why dublin?The Republic of Ireland in the 21st Century is becoming more urbanised and cosmopolitan. At present, 35% of the Republic’s population live in Dublin and this is expected to rapidly rise in the coming decade to two million people. Recent census figures show that 13% of the present Dublin population are from overseas. Almost 50% of the population of Dublin are under the age of 25.
It is the capital of Ireland, where parliament and most related governmental organizations and institutions are located. As such it is the political center of Ireland and therefore one of the major shapers of the European Union.
It is also the cultural center of Ireland. From the busker to the baritone, the craic to the complicated, from the ridiculous to the sublime, Dublin has it all. Countless adventurous and creative initiatives, brought together in fringe and film festivals, contribute to the city’s very unique artistic flair.
In addition, Dublin is also the center for higher education in Ireland. Over 70, 000 students make Dublin their home from all over the world. Trinity College, being one, is Ireland’s oldest university, founded in 1592 on the site of a monastery.
Finally Dublin is the trend capital for much of Ireland. In many ways it is true to say, ‘as Dublin goes, so goes Ireland.’ Many new ideas and movements that eventually influence the whole of the nation do start here. At the moment, its identity is up for grabs. Dublin is seeking to reinvent itself, and consequently it is attracting interest from all around the world, in areas like commerce and education. These in time will influence the priorities and self understanding of the nation.
It is because Dublin is the economic, cultural and educational epi-center for the island that we need to take the disinterest in the gospel here seriously! It does not bode well, if the gospel is not flourishing here.
Most of the churches in the city will be dead in 25 years time. Traditional mainline churches are simply maintaining decline. The church as an institution has suffered a fatal loss of credibility amongst the new progressive generation. Even if they have questions, they see no need for them to be answered immediately. The challenge is huge, especially amongst students and recent post grads.
These people are streaming into Dublin, from all over Ireland, Europe and the world, and there is practically no one reaching out to them spiritually. We are committed to changing this situation. Although the challenge is big, we are convinced that God is bigger. The spiritual vacuum created by such unsatisfying answers as money, sex and power will not stay unfulfilled forever.
Please join us in this exciting project.