Today Statistics Canada released the results of its 2011 National Household Survey. The findings in the area of religion are startling.

The really alarming news is that, despite all appearances to the contrary and all the dire prognostications, it seems the religious sky has not fallen quite yet. Without having actually seen the report myself, but from what I have been able to discern from the media, it seems the much touted, collapse of religion in Canada may be as much a myth as some people believe the tenets of religious people to be.

The Toronto Sun announces:

While Canada’s face has changed, Christianity remains the predominant religion in the country.

More than two thirds of Canadians identify with some Christian denomination, though Chui said that’s down in the last decade.

“Compared to 2001, the last time religion data were collected, 77% at that time reported (that they were) Christian,” said Chui.

Chui said immigration is a key factor in pushing Islam up as the religion of 3.2% of the population in Canada, up from 2% in 2001.

Almost a quarter of Canadians report no religious affiliation now, compared to 16.5% in 2001.

“When you look at new immigrants, those who came in the last five years, almost one in five “¦ reported that they had no religious affiliation,” said Chui.

Statistics Canada said the top source country for recent atheist immigrants is China, where Christianity and other religions are actively suppressed by the Communist dictatorship.

http://www.torontosun.com/2013/05/08/2011-census-nearly-one-in-five-canadians-are-visible-minorities-statscan-reports

“More than 2/3 of Canadians identify with some Christian denomination”! That is a stunning percentage, though the Sun is quick to point out “that’ s down in the last decade.” The people in this category are apparently not simply willing to identify as Christian, or as believing in God, but are actually willing to identify “with some Christian denomination.” To listen to many commentators today, you could be forgiven for being shocked that 2/3 of Canadians can even identify a Christian denomination, let alone express a willingness to identify “with” such a body.

Ofcourse the mainstream media is eager to paint the potentially sunny picture in as negative and gloomy a light as possible. So Canada.com is quick to point out that,

Nearly one-quarter of Canadians (23.9 per cent) had no religious affiliation last year, up from 15 per cent a decade earlier.

This means that over 3/4 of Canadians are willing to admit to a “religious affiliation” down only 8.9% over a decade earlier! How is this bad new?

Even Canada.com feels compelled a concede that

That’s not to say that religion is dead in Canada. About 22.1 million Canadians (67.3 per cent of the population) are Christians. Roman Catholics are the largest of that group, with 12.7 million Canadians (38.7 per cent) saying they are Catholics.

Read more: http://www.canada.com/life/Statistics+Canada+survey+highlights+immigration+religion+shift/8354086/story.html#ixzz2SiDfj2GC

The only really bad news for religion that anyone seems to be able to dredge up in the Statscan Report is for followers of the Star Wars church. Eager to perform its role as purveyor of all informanation vital to being an informed Canadian , the CBC spends an entire report today announcing that,

Once numbering in the vicinity of 20,000, the ranks of those in this country who claim to be Jedi Knights inspired by Star Wars movies have dwindled to fewer than half that figure, according to Statistics Canada’s first release of data from the 2011 National Household Survey.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/arts/story/2013/05/08/census-jedi-knights-religion-household-survey-statscan.html

So, if you see someone walking with a little extra jaunt in their step this morning, they may not be a Jedi Knight; but they just might be someone who has spent their life working in the church who feels a little encouraged by today’s Statscan Report.

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