Sectarian bullying is behaviour or language that makes a child or young person feel unwelcome or marginalised because of their perceived or actual religious or cultural background within the context of Northern Irish society.

Over the past twenty years the political situation in UKhas changed significantly and attitudes towards people from different religions have generally become more positive. However, Department of Education research shows that a quarter of pupils in Year 6 and almost half of those in Year 9 still think that a person’s religion can make them more likely to experience bullying behaviours.

Sectarian bullying is wrong and it must be stopped.

Like other types of bullying, sectarian bullying can take many different forms and happen online, via phone or in the physical world. Examples of sectarian bullying can include:

  • Calling someone names, teasing or humiliating them using sectarian language (eg. F****n, H*n, P**d, T**g, etc.)
  • Hitting, kicking, punching or physically hurting someone
  • Making fun of someone’s traditions associated with one culture (eg. GAA sports, Orange Order parades, etc.)
  • Refusing to work or cooperate with someone because of their real or perceived religious or cultural background
  • Vandalism of property, offensive graffiti or displaying symbols purposefully to make someone feel unwelcome

Key Contacts:

Community Relations in Schools


Equality Commission

See also:

Community Relations Council