For me, there is nothing more boring than statistics, and I have always doubted Statistics Canada reports, because I questioned the reliability of the response from subscribers.
Unfortunately, it’s hard to dismiss two separate recent reports from Statistics Canada’s 2021 Census.
The first was recently reported by Alaska Highway News showing in and around Fort St. John that 58.4%, or 16,590 of the population, have no religious affiliation.
There were 10,435 who identified as Christians, including 2,900 who identified as Catholic, Anglican 575, Pentecostal/Charismatic 495, United Church 425, Baptist 335, Lutheran 280, Jehovah’s Witness 250, Anabapist 235, Saints of Latter Days 130, Presbyterian 115, Orthodox Christian 75 and Reformed 15.
Statistics Canada has documented that there are seven non-Christian religions representing a population of 1410.
As Christians, we can spin the numbers any way we like, but if that’s not a wake-up call for Christians, who are supposed to care for the eternal life of their neighbors, friends, and family members , so I don’t. know what else you would call it.
Of the 10,435, there were 3865 Christians who did not identify a denomination and 680 claimed to follow a Christian ministry.
One of the apparent reasons many do not identify with denomination is the belief that denomination is not a biblical term, and the other reason is that some religions claim to be Christian but do not fulfill the biblical mandate.
The label “evangelical Christians” was not used, but it states that Christians share their faith. Unfortunately, not much personal evangelism is taking place and the numbers certainly support the lack of evangelism.
For serious and committed Christians, the numbers are actually much lower than the 10,435 reported by Statistics Canada. The true biblical reference reflects those who have repented, placed their faith in the Savior and Lordship of Jesus Christ, thus being born of His spirit in their hearts.
As Jesus taught in the Gospel of John, we must be “born again,” which is of His spirit. If this is the true test, then the number is not as high as the 10,435 quoted. What separates Christians as a biblical reference is that we are the Body of Christ or the Bride of Christ.
The second report, noted by CBC from Statistics Canada’s 2021 Censuswas that 34.6% of people in Canada have no religious affiliation, however, in British Columbia, this number rises to 52.4%.
As a member of the inviting committee who contacted the Billy Graham Evangelical Association to ask Billy to come to Vancouver to organize a crusade, I recall that one of the main reasons he accepted was a report that less than 2.7% of the population of the Lower Continent and surrounding areas did not attend any place of worship.
As true believers and followers of Jesus Christ, we must heed our Lord’s words in 2 Chronicles 7:14: “If my people, who are called by my name, humble themselves and pray, seek my face and turns from his wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
John Grady lives and writes in Fort St. John.