Deterioration Of Religion in Canada
The decline in religious Faith in the Canadian Society.
In many societies there are ways to instil rules and accomplish order. Religion is one method used instil morals and adhere to the rules and laws. When referring to the 16th to the 18th centuries in Europe, religion was one of the main methods used by the church and the monarchs to rule the country. With time, the religious systems deteriorated due to different beliefs and the need for freedom, democracy and reason. This point in history was marked as the Enlightenment Era. Enlightenment era was the age of reasoning rather than beliefs and the age of questioning traditional institutions, morals and customs. Today, in Canada religion takes a much smaller portion in social system, whereas in the past the social system of the British and Europeans in general were based on religion. Deterioration of religion may be caused by loss of faith due to advances in science, freedom, and weakening of religious structures.
Advancement in evolutionary science has opposed the biblical creation of the universe in many ways. The conflict between science and religion concerning the creation of the universe and everything has long been documented. As stated in Genesis 1:1 NIV, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” for example, god made the “heaven and earth” in one day (Wayne, 2002). Today, scientists believe that this great event took place over 15 billion years (Wayne, 2002). This example demonstrates only one conflict between religion and science. With the progression of science occurring today, more people are beginning to abandon the biblical and the religious explanations, and tend toward the science discoveries.
In Canada today, less people every year are identifying themselves as religiously affiliated to a particular faith, and the number of Atheists, Agnostics, Humanists, no religion, etc is rapidly rising. According to statistics Canada, the number of individuals that pertained to no religious group in 1981 was approximately 7.4 percent of the Canadian population (B.A. Robinson. 2005). In two decades (2001) that number more than doubled to a staggering 16.2 percent, and will likely increase as the years pass (B.A. Robinson, 2005). As the members of society become more educated, these individuals will more likely to acknowledge that there is a god, but will not refer to any religious faith.
In today’s society people may stop believing in their religion due to the amount of strictness empowered by the government. For example in Saudi Arabia women are forced to wear a Muslim veil. If a woman does not wear the veil she is severely punished and forced to wear the veil. Therefore, some women will immigrate to another country for more freedom and they will stop believing in their religion (Solyom, 2003). These women stop believing in there religion not because the religion is too strict but because the way that it was enforced onto them. In most religions it is unacceptable to have sexual intercourse before marriage; also, in most religions drugs and alcohol are unacceptable. Many teenagers will ignore these rules, they feel no guilt because in today’s society everyone wants freedom and to make their own individual choices (Solyom, 2003). While these teenagers are the future, they are the role models to the next generation. This will only cause weaker and weaker belief in religion as generations go by.
Today, very few individuals follow rules or laws unless they are enforced by a higher authority. This is because people want the freedom to do as much as they possibly can to express ones self in any way they feel. And with the lack of belief in god, which would be the higher authority if believed in, very few people follow these simple rules set out by the highest of all authorities simply because they want the freedom to do what ever they wish to do and also because there is no authority to stop them because it is believed it’s not until after death that people are either punished by going to hell or rewarded by going to heaven (Vermeulen, 1998).
With religion being a less influential part of an individual’s everyday life, less people are attending religious services. Church today is not emphasized as much two or three centuries ago (Gordon, 2008). Two centuries ago people never worked on Sundays as it was “Sabbath day”. People always made sure that on Sunday they went to church and rested. Today, people wouldn’t go to church on Sunday even for a silly reason like if they were too tired. Church or religious services in general today are not promoted enough for society to recognize the importance of these events. A survey conducted by statistics Canada found that between 1986 and 2001 there was a seventeen percent increase in people not attending religious services (26 % and 43 % respectively) (Robinson, 2003). It is estimated that the majority of the Canadian adults will not attend any services by 2011. This rising “religious crisis” could be due to many reasons. For example, many young adults who do not attend religious services regularly could be due to a reason such as not being able to comprehend the material lectured by the priest (Gordon, 2008). Ultimately, this leads to these individual not attending church, mosque, etc. If trends observed today continue, Canada will ultimately face a religious crisis. The majority of the population will be non-followers of a particular religion, and the minority will be the individuals of a particular religion.
In conclusion, Canadian society can soon be entering a religious catastrophe. The deterioration of religion and the loss of faith in god and religion are declining very rapidly. The loss of faith in religion may be due to advances in science, freedom, and weakening of religious structures.
B.A Robinson (1992). Ontario Consultants on Religion Tolerance. Retrieved on May 8, 2008 from http://www.religioustolerance.org/can_rel0.htm.
Gordon, H. 2008. God’s Continent: Christianity, Islam, and Europe’s Religious Crisis. Foreign Affairs, 00157120, Vol. 87, Issue 1.
Solyom, L. 2003. The role of constitutional courts in the transition to democracy. International Sociology 18:133-161.
Vermeulen, B. 1998. The historical development of religious freedom. In Religious freedom and the new millennium, edited by D. Fefferman, 49-51.Falls Church, VA: The International Coalition for Religious Freedom.
Wayne Blank. (2002). The Seven Days Of Creation. Retrieved on May 8, 2008 from http://www.keyway.ca/htm2002/sevncrea.htm.