Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Canadians lose faith in faith

Poll shows changing attitudes on religion

A recent Ipsos Reid poll finds almost half of Canadians believe religion does more harm than good.

Of those polled, 47 per cent find that religion is more harmful than good, while 53 per cent have a more favorable view toward religion.

Experts have offered a few explanations for this attitude among many Canadians, including fear of extremists, anger toward individuals abusing positions of power, as well as ‘forgetting’ Canadian's history.

“In the past few years, there have been several high-profile international situations involving perceived religious conflicts, as well as the anniversary of 9/11, and I think when people see those, it causes them to fear religion and to see it as a source of conflict,” said Janet Epp Buckingham, associate professor at Trinity Western University.

Other poll results include:

  • 53% of respondents said they believe in God. (28% of those identified as Protestant and 33% Catholic)
  • 23% of those who attend weekly religious services do not believe in God.
  • 29% believe in heaven and 19% believe in hell. (71% of weekly churchgoers believe in heaven and 54% believe in hell.)
  • 89% are ‘completely comfortable’ being around people with different religious beliefs.
  • 71% don't think religious people make better citizens.
  • 33% of Catholics say they don't believe in God
  • 28% of Protestants say they don't believe in God

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