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Ireland (pronounced /ˈaɪrlənd/ locally [ˈaɾlənd]; Irish: Éire, pronounced [ˈeːɾʲə]) is an independent state in north-western Europe. The modern sovereign state occupies about five-sixths of the island of Ireland, which was partitioned on 3 May 1921. It is a parliamentary democracy and a republic. It is bordered by Northern Ireland to the north east, the Irish Sea to the east, St George's Channel to the south-east, the Celtic Sea to the south and by the Atlantic Ocean to the west and north. The name of the state is Ireland, while the description the Republic of Ireland is sometimes used when there is a need to differentiate the state from the island.
On 29 December 1937 Ireland became the successor-state to the Irish Free State, itself established on 6 December 1922. In 1949, Ireland became a republic and left the British Commonwealth.
Religion in Ireland
Over 85% of the people of Ireland are Roman Catholic. Other Christian denominations that have long had a smaller following in Ireland are the Anglican Church of Ireland, Presbyterianism and Methodism.
In recent years immigration has brought about an increase in the number of followers of the Eastern Orthodox Church, Hinduism and Islam. Ireland's small Jewish community has also grown and the number of atheists and agnostics has also increased. About 0.5% of the people of Ireland are Buddhists.
The patron saints of Ireland are Saint Patrick, Saint Bridget and Saint Columba. Saint patrick is the most well known of the three, Saint Patrick's Day is celebrated internationally as a festival of all things Irish.
- The Complete Book of Buddha's Lists -- Explained. David N. Snyder, Ph.D., 2006.
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