Religious segregation

Two separate doors (one for Jews, and one for Christians) on a house in the town of Endingen, Switzerland.

Religious segregation is the separation of people according to their religion. The term has been applied to cases of religious-based segregation occurring as a social phenomenon,[1] as well as to segregation arising from laws, whether explicit or implicit.[2]

The similar term religious apartheid has also been used for situations where people are separated based on religion,[3] including sociological phenomena.[4]

Northern Ireland

A "peace line" in Belfast, Northern Ireland, 2010

In Northern Ireland religious segregation has been a phenomenon which increased in many areas, particularly in the capital city of Belfast and Derry. This trend increased since the Troubles, a protracted series of conflicts and tensions between Roman Catholics and Protestants from the late 1960s to the late 2000s. Segregation does not occur everywhere. State schools are non-denominational, but many Roman Catholics send their children to Roman Catholic Maintained Schools.

In government housing, most people will choose to be housed within their own communities. This segregation is most common with lower income people in larger towns and cities, and where there has been heightened levels of violence.

In 2012 Foreign Policy reported:

The number of "peace walls," physical barriers separating Catholic and Protestant communities, has increased sharply since the first ceasefires in 1994. Most people in the region cannot envisage the barriers being removed, according to a recent survey conducted by the University of Ulster. In housing and education, Northern Ireland remains one of the most segregated tracts of land anywhere on the planet -- less than one in 10 children attends a school that is integrated between Catholics and Protestant. This figure has remained stubbornly low despite the cessation of violence.[5]