Christian Living in Canada

Some 70 - 80 percent of Canadians are Christian today and believe in the resurrection and life of Jesus Christ. The Catholic Church dominates the religious landscape in Canada.

Christian Living

According to the Pew Global Attitudes Project, Canadians are more observant than Christians on the Old Continent but less observant than Christians in the U.S. This means that they attend services occasionally or infrequently. Religious observance and attendance also varies by province and region. Observance is high in the rural regions of Ontario and in Alberta and low in Quebec and British Columbia. About 1/3 of Canadians consider that religion is central to their lives. In comparison, this is true for 55 percent of Christians in the United States.

The smallest number of Christians live in British Columbia and Yukon (about 44 and 46 percent, respectively), and the highest number live in Nunavut and Newfoundland and Labrador (about 86 and 93 percent, respectively. More Christians live in Quebec, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island compared to Alberta, Ontario, the Northwest Territories and Manitoba. Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia are in the middle.

Denominations and Trends

There are many large and small churches in Canada, the main ones being the Anglican, United, and Roman Catholic. Minorities include the Mormons in Alberta, the Hutterites, Lutherans, and Mennonites in Ontario, and the Coptic Orthodox in Quebec and Ontario. There are also Ukrainian Orthodox and Catholic minorities. The most religiously and ethnically diverse cities are Montreal, Vancouver, and Toronto.

Religious Denominations and Minorities

The religious landscape has changed since the 1970s as well. In the 70s, some 47 percent identified as Roman Catholic, and in 2011, this figure fell to 39 percent. The same goes for Protestants. Some 41 percent identified as Protestant in the 70s and just 27 percent in 2011. The figure rose for Canadians who identify with other religious denominations (from 4 to 11 percent respectively) and for the religiously unaffiliated (from 4 to 24 percent). The percentage of Canadians who identify with other religions is also growing at present, including Eastern Orthodox, Buddhism, Sikhism, Hinduism, Islam, and others. Today, 1 in 10 people in Canada reports belonging to a religious denomination other than Catholic or Protestant. In comparison, this figure is 6 percent in the United States, and the increase has been more gradual over the years. In Canada, religious diversity can be explained by the fact that the country has embraced multiculturalism as a core value. Immigration is another factor that contributes to this.

Religious Disaffiliation and the Changing Landscape

The percentage of people who are religiously unaffiliated varies by province, and it is lower in Quebec and Atlantic Canada and higher in British Columbia. There are age differences as well. Young people fall in the group of the highest percentage of religious disaffiliation, especially compared to Canadians born in the 1940s and 50s. Today, 1 in 5 young people is religiously unaffiliated in Canada and 1 in 5 people of those born in the 50s. Affiliation also varies by gender, level of education, marital status, and other factors. More college graduates are unaffiliated (23 percent) than persons with college or high school education (21 percent). The difference is even more noticeable when you look at foreign-born Canadians (20 percent) and native-born Canadians (25 percent). Men also report disaffiliation more often than women.

A significant drop in religious observance and attendance has been reported as well. About 27 percent of Canadians attend religious service once a month today while this figure was 43 percent in 1986.

How Faith Can Help You Overcome Financial Hardship

While it is unrealistic to believe that you can consult God about your financial problems, faith can help you deal with stress and anxiety and overcome financial hardship. Facing a challenge like financial problems can be difficult, whether a repossession, collection, bankruptcy, or excessive debt load.

Read the Bible and Reflect

The Bible says "Do not be anxious about anything", and the truth is that when we face problems and challenges, we are under pressure and live under fear, frustration, stress, depression, and anxiety. When people are apprehensive and worry about their financial future, fear can be felt as trepidation, nervousness, anxiety, dread, panic, desperation, and horror. These are intense emotions to deal with. Nervousness is the uncertainty whether you should anticipate a danger or not (collection agencies, bankruptcy, etc.) Dread is even more intense – this is when you anticipate severe danger. And when you are desperate, then you feel unable to avoid danger. Such strong emotions make it difficult to think rationally and find a way out of your financial problems.

"Seek first the kingdom of God" when you ask yourself questions such as what shall I wear, eat, or drink (Matthew 6:31-32). It is easier to look for solutions when you have peace of mind. And the Bible will help you to relax and look at the bigger picture rather than focus on details such as money issues. Think of how enjoyment and relaxation can help you relieve stress and move on to deal with financial hardship. Enjoyment is about feelings of peace, contentment, and ease. Fiero is an Italian word which means joy that you've met a challenge in life. Think of how good you will feel about yourself knowing that you overcame financial hardship. This will make you more confident in the face of other challenges in the future. You will certainly feel proud that you've overcome a challenge, and pride means satisfaction and happiness about your achievements.

Think of the worst case scenario – what will happen if you lose your home? While this can be a stressful situation, it is not the end of the world. You still have a job (and if you don't, the job market offers plenty of opportunities: You can always find a low-cost rental apartment and live there for a while or until you find a well-paid job. When there is a problem, there is also a solution. Or as psychologists say, there are at least 3 possible solutions out of every situation. It is up to you to come up with a solution and see how it will work out in your situation.

What to Do Yourself

But while it is important to calm down and relax, this doesn't mean you shouldn't do your part to deal with debt or other financial problems that you have. Instead of going out at night with friends, invite them over and cook a meal for them. Avoid buying on impulse and splurging to save money toward your credit card or loan balance - There are basic necessities and unnecessary expenses and costs you may want to cut. Unnecessary expenses that destroy your budget and force you to borrow more debt include gym memberships, subscriptions, your daily cappuccino or latte, and entertainment. And while entertainment is an important part of life, you can have fun and save at the same time. Why not join a loyalty club, for example? As a member, you may be offered kids' snack packages, free popcorn, popcorn refills, or anything else. If you or your partner work a low-income job, this is a good time to think of another job or second job to relieve your financial worries. Finally, if you are desperate and see no way out, you may want to use the services of a financial counselor.