Thursday, October 15, 2009
Liberals Ignore Non-Religious Canadians at their own Peril
It is high time those Liberals who encourage the party to court evangelicals address the non-religious elephant in the living room. When it comes to religion, by far the quickest growing group in absolute terms is non-religious Canadians. 16.2 % of Canadians describe themselves as non-religious in the 2001 census; this represented a 44% increase since 1991 and increase of nearly 1.5 million. According to 2008 stats Canada study by 2005, that number had reached 22% amongst those over 15. http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/89-630-x/2008001/article/10650-eng.pdf There are far more non-religious Canadians than there are evangelicals Canadians and non-religious Canadians are younger. Your average non-religious person is 31. Your average baptist, for example, is 39. Furthermore, the extent of such a trend is masked by the fact that the overwhelming majority of Quebecers still identify as being Catholic even as Church attendance in Quebec continues to plummet there and 43% of Canadians did not attend a place of worship in the last year. Add to all of this the fact that growth of non -religious voters is concentrated in the very areas in which the Liberals stand a chance of winning some seats. For instance, 42% of Vancouverites describe themselves as non-religious.