Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Attendance declines with 'liberal' attitudes

[Caledon Citizen] 27 June 2007--There are two main characteristics about formal organized religion in Canada. First, the vast majority of Canadians believe in God (and in percentage terms, most espouse the traditional Christian God). Second, the vast majority of Canadians rarely attend Church.

Why? What's the disconnect between faith and church attendance?

Part of the answer can be seen in this week's historic General Synod in Winnipeg where more than 400 bishops, clergy and ordinary members of the Anglican Church of Canada, this country's oldest Protestant Church, are holding their first such meeting in three years.

There are two main issues: electing a new Canadian leader; and voting on whether or not to let Anglican priests bless same-sex partnerships. And there, dear hearts, is the rub.

The fact is, the more "liberal" a Church becomes, the more Church attendance declines. And in Canada, as elsewhere, Churches have been taken over by the liberals and - with the exception of the Roman Catholics and evangelical churches, which continue to espouse more conservative theologies (and enjoy attendance growth) - attendance has plummeted.

Which is why the future of the Anglican Church of Canada hangs in the balance this week.

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