Due to long-standing religious tensions in the British province more than 90 per cent of students are taught in schools managed by Roman Catholic or Protestant groups, and now the Taken star is out to change that.

Liam, 64, has appeared in a video for the Integrated Education Fund (IEF), which campaigns for schools in Northern Ireland to educate children of different faiths together.

In the video, posted on YouTube, he said, "We look to our children for the future, so why do we continue to educate them apart: different religions, different backgrounds, different schools?

"There is another way. Most people agree that educating children together is a better way forward for our society. It's time to turn our aspiration into reality, to believe in your children and believe in their future."

Although most Catholic and Protestant schools are technically open to pupils from another denomination, few have a significant portion of students from a separate faith group.

In order to obtain integrated status schools must attract at least 30 per cent of pupils from a different religious background.

Calling on parents to push for their schools to achieve the target, Liam added, "Protestants and Catholics, other beliefs and none, learning and working together every day. Most people agree that educating children together is a better way forward for our society - it's time to turn our aspiration into reality."

Liam, who was brought up as a Catholic in Ballymena, a predominantly Protestant town, plays a Jesuit priest in his latest film, Martin Scorsese's historical drama Silence.