While many protests against the influx of migrants and asylum-seekers occur in Ireland near refugee centers in small neighborhoods, recently a larger protest was organized and held in Dublin. Ireland has historically prided itself on its warm welcome to strangers, however, protesters argue that the nation is running out of room to house non-Irish people. Ireland is currently facing both a housing and a homelessness crisis and many are angry that foreigners receive housing priority over citizens. Many also worry that droves of young refugee men are arriving in the country unvetted, leaving the neighborhoods they settle into uncomfortable with their presence. One year ago, the government was housing a total number of 7,500 migrants and refugees; today, that number has climbed to 73,000 with Ukrainians comprising 54,000 and asylum-seekers 19,000. A counter-protest took place in support of migrants with both groups having nearly the same number of participants. The protestors against the influx of migrants deny that racism has any bearing on their position while the counter-protestors state that it is a far-right maneuver to isolate and frighten the refugees.
Prior to the current refugee situation, Ireland’s population was 4.9 million. Of those millions, only 1.5% are evangelical Christians while the majority of the country is Roman Catholic–many in name only. Please pray for the Irish people to be open to the gospel, for church planters to go to this needy nation, and for the peace and love of Jesus Christ to drastically change the hearts of every person there, both Irish and non-Irish.