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I am not a particularly political person.

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587 concerned Canadian academics have signed an open letter warning of the danger they perceive in a shift they see in the current Canadian Federal election to focus attention on a particular religious practice.

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We have heard the dire predictions so often, they have almost become truth simply by virtue of repetition. Religion in Canada is dying. Churches must close. The end is nigh. “Last one out turn off the lights.”

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Now here is a headline from CBC that may gladden the heart of any number of people, but particularly those of us who labour in the church:

More Canadians plan to attend a Christmas service than watched the Grey Cup

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When the Washington Post takes an interest, you know the story must be worthy of note. When the story the Post is reporting originates in Canada, it really is time to pay attention. When the Canadian story that merits column space in the Washington Post, is a story about religion in Canada, you know something really remarkable must be taking place.

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Lee-Anne Goodman of the Canadian Press offers a helpful observation from the StatsCan National Household Survey results that were released on Wednesday.

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

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Conventional wisdom over the past two decades has held with absolute confidence the conviction that religion in Canada is on the decline and is about to be obliterated from the public domain.

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Religion in Canada, and particularly religious leaders in our country, are in trouble.

Lest Canadians fall prey to the illusion that our ancestors were guiltless in the atrocities perpetrated against the Jewish people in Europe between 1933 and 1945, we would do well to read this morning’s Globe and Mail article “From Daniel Libeskind, a machine of shame.” The article announces the unveiling today of a memorial in Halifax that is intended to keep alive the memory of the refugee boat the MS St. Louis that was turned away from Canadian shores in 1939.

In an associated opinion piece Irving Abella explains the plight of the MS St. Louis.

On May 15, 1939, 907 desperate German Jews set sail from Hamburg on a luxury liner, the St. Louis. They had been stripped of all of their possessions by the Nazis, hounded out of their homes, their businesses and now their country. Their most prized possession was the Cuban entry visa each carried. Yet they considered themselves lucky – they were leaving a country where living as a Jew had become impossible.

Tragically, the ship was turned away from Cuba and when it sailed off Canadian shores, we too refused the passengers entry into our country.
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You have set my feet in a spacious place ~ Psalm 31:8

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