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Let me share some examples. On my trip to Ireland, we visited Northern Ireland including a city called Londenderry. This was something because of the violence that tours would not have done ten years ago. The name of the town is significant because it became a symbol of people being marginalized. Aristocrats from England wanted to rename the town from Derry to Londenderry. They of course were Protestants. Native Roman Catholics wanted simply Derry but they were powerless to do so.


The media has portrayed the conflict in Northern Ireland to be a matter of religion: Protestant versus Catholic. However, there was much more to it than religious beliefs. Yes, the division was along these religious lines but the factors behind them had more to do with economics and political power than religious ideals. It was about justice.


A law was created by the elite that would not allow RC’s (Roman Catholics) to own land. This obviously puts a financial burden on a certain group of people, but what else does that lack of land ownership do? It prevents one from voting. Therefore who stays in office and holds the power? Protestants. At heart of the issue, the RC’s wanted to join the rest of Ireland because they saw the British or Unionists as being oppressive. Desiring an end to oppression and being treated justly is not a sinful, envious desire.



Since the Belfast Agreement that basically allowed for equal economic rights and the sharing of power, violence has all but disappeared. Tensions still exist. But the emerging generations are less and less concerned with the "wars of their fathers" and instead are focused on making the most of economic opportunity.

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