Canadians seem to lack the statistical studies that our neighbours to the South have. And this means we find it harder to understand our nations religious mood and sensibilities. Yet the Angus Reid Institute, Statistics Canada, and a recent study of churches in Southern Ontario provide fascinating insights into our nation’s religious sensibility.
Here are ten interesting statistics about religion in Canada.
- Only 29% of religiously committed people in Canada view evangelism positively. Only 8% of all Canadians view evangelism positively.
- Immigrants are more likely to be “super donors” than others in Canada, and 71% of immigrants say that their faith plays an important role in why they give charitably.
- When asked what three things were most important to religiously committed people family, comfort, & honesty were the most common answers. The least common were success, being in nature, and intellectual inquiry (only 9% chose intellectual inquiry).
- In 2011 Census data Statcan reported that Canada had over 630,000 Baptists. Surprisingly, the same study showed that Canada had about 550,000 Orthodox Christians. This means that Canada has nearly as many Orthodox Christians as it does Baptists.
- The median age of United Church persons is 52.3 and of the Anglican Church is 51.1. In contrast, the median age of Muslims in Canada is 28.9. Islam is also the fastest growing religion in Canada, while the United Church and Anglican church are shrinking.
- According to the Angus Reid Institute, “Six-in-ten (58%) say that religion should be kept out of public life completely.” Canadians affirm that religious people can privately practice their faith, but most Canadians think religious people should not practice their faith publically.
- Canadians favourably view Christianity (68%) and Buddhism (58%), yet Buddhism only accounts for about 1% of the Canadian population.
- Among clergy in churches that are shrinking in Southern Ontario, all (100%) disagreed with this statement: “The Bible is the actual word of God and is to be taken literally.” Of the same group of clergy, more than 50% agreed that “The Bible is the product of human thinking about God, so some of its teachings are wrong or misguided.”
- Among growing churches, their clergy overwhelming (about 90%) believe, “Jesus rose from the dead with a real ﬂesh and blood body, leaving behind an empty tomb.”
- In growing churches, 100% of their clergy strongly agreed that “Jesus was cruciﬁed, died and was buried but then he was resurrected to eternal life,” while only about 69% percent of shrinking church clergy persons strongly agreed with the same statement.