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Northern Ireland

Politics, religion, and society in Northern Ireland are so deeply intertwined that it is virtually impossible to discuss issues of religion and society without constant reference to the ongoing political conflict. The creation of Northern Ireland as a six-county region of the United Kingdom (as opposed to the nine Ulster counties) in 1921 was itself based on a religious headcount, since the unionist aim at the time was to ensure a Protestant-Catholic ratio that would guarantee Protestant-unionist political domination in the long term. There had been significant political, social, and cultural differences in the past between members of the Church of Ireland, Presbyterians (who were mostly represented in the northeastern counties of Ireland and thus came to be the largest Protestant group in Northern ...

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