• Italy!

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    Crumbling buildings in Rome (pictured) only add to the atmosphere in a country where old is redefined and western civilization begins. Explore Italy!

  • Ireland!

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    Ireland
    The Emerald Isle is world famous for its landscapes, foods, beers, and culture. Explore Ireland!

  • Serbia!

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  • Armenia!

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  • Switzerland!

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  • Latvia!

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Ethnicity, Language, & Religion of Ireland

Ethnicity

Nearly everyone living in Ireland is ethnically Irish. This ethnicity is based on a Celtic history, but the people today also have significant traces of Norman, Flemish, and Anglo roots among various other ethnic groups. The closest relatives to the Irish are the Scots, Welsh, and oddly the Basques, a Celtic group in present-day Spain.

Language

English and Irish (also known as Gaelic or Gaeilge) are the official languages of Ireland although only English is widely spoken. Irish is one of the oldest languages in Europe still in existence and is perhaps, first and foremost, a member of the Indo-European language family. The most similar language to Irish is Scottish Gaelic and other Gaelic languages, most of which are no longer spoken. Few people in Ireland actually speak Irish today, although each year many students take the language in school.

Religion

The overwhelming majority of Ireland's population is Catholic. A few adherents to Protestantism are also present, most notably in the counties adjoining Northern Ireland, but these people are a significant minority, even in their own counties.

Catholicism is a Christian religion that is one of the first Christian religions (founded after the death of Jesus in about 30-33 AD). Catholicism believes that there is a single God who created everything, a savior, the son of God, Jesus Christ who is the forgiver of sins, and there is the Holy Spirit, which makes up the last part of the Holy Trinity. Catholics follow the teachings of the Bible, consisting of the Old and New Testaments. Much of the faith is based on the life and teachings of Jesus, which is found in the gospels (in the New Testament).

Continue reading on Safari the Globe to Learn the Catholic Church's doctrines, liturgy, symbolism, traditions, & hierarchy

This page was last updated: May, 2014