People believe Catholic-Protestant relations are getting worse - according to latest report
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People believe Catholic-Protestant relations are getting worse - according to latest report

PEOPLE in Northern Ireland think relations between Protestants and Catholics are getting worse according to a new report.

Two years ago, the Good Relations Indicator report - organised by government in Northern Ireland - showed that 49% of adults and 46% of young people thought that relations between Protestants and Catholics were better than they were five years ago.

However, the latest polls show that those figures have dropped, and that just 43% of adults, and 42% of young people believe that the relations are getting better, according to the Belfast Telegraph.

Alliance MLA Maire Hendron said that there were "some positive findings", including significant numbers of people supporting integrated neighbourhoods and schools.

"Obviously the lack of a functioning Assembly and Executive has led to a reduction in the number of adults who feel they have an influence on local decisions," she added.

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"This may also be the reason behind the reduced numbers who think relations between Protestants and Catholics have worsened. This should be a further sign to the DUP and Sinn Fein that we need to get back to Stormont."

The report also showed that 91% of people surveyed would prefer and even advocate for a mixed religion workplace, while 76% were in favour of a mixed religion neighbourhood and 68% were in favour of mixed religion schools.

It showed that town centres were seen as safer places generally for those in fear of religion persecution or discrimination. 67% of those surveyed said they felt as if they were welcoming places for people of all walks of life, a 6% rise on 2017's figures.

Events held in a Protestant secondary school would be safe, according to 92% of people, a figure that fell to 91% for events in a Catholic secondary school.

Meanwhile, 94% of adults said their child's school was somewhere they could be open about their cultural identity.

The culture and traditions of Protestant communities was thought to add richness and diversity to society by 76% of those surveyed. This figure fell to 71% when asked about Catholic communities.

Since 2017 there has been a significant decrease in the number of adults who feel they have an influence on decisions at a local council level (from 26% to 19%) and NI level (24% to 16%).

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