Over the years Ireland has been known as a "Catholic Country". Generally in Ireland we tend to confuse Religion with denomination or confession. When the census is taken instead of replying to the question, "What Religion are you", by saying Christian we reply Roman Catholic, Baptist etc. This situation is changing rapidly and now we have representatives of all the major world religions present here. Naturally our main focus is looking at groups that have their origins in these World religions, but are offshoots from them.
We wanted to have available to the general public links to these World Religions so that people can be informed about the Classical Religions that have shaped our world. This is also necessary particularly in the Irish context where there is no study of World Religions at third level or at second level where this subject is now on the curriculum. Some religions like Sikh's or Bahai regard themselves as World Religions, so we will have them in our A-Z of groups, but are happy to go with the five below.
At a time of crisis for organized religion people don't stop being religious. Many who have lost (or never had) faith in the Christ turn to alternative organizations and movements in search of spiritual fulfilment and a sense of belonging.
There are many New Religious Movements (NRMs) active in Ireland today, a number of which are listed above. Space has been allotted on the basis of criteria such as size, degree of controversy and the level of commitment a movement demands of its members. It will be noted that while many groups are of Eastern origin, others are based on psychological theories. There is a multitude of New Age groups. Fortunately, Ireland to date does not seem to have any of the so-called 'doomsday' or 'suicide cults'. We do however, have controversial NRMs claiming biblical and Catholic backgrounds.