TORONTO – Canadians are split on the question of whether religion does more harm than good in the world, according to a new poll conducted by Ipsos Reid.
Forty seven per cent of Canadians say they agree that religion does more harm than good and a majority (64 per cent) believe religion actually provides more questions than it does answers for what is going on in the world and their own life.
The poll, conducted on behalf the Christian current affairs program Context with Lorna Dueck, finds a majority (71 per cent) do not believe devout people make better citizens.
In fact, one in three – or 34 per cent -agree their religion defines them as a person.
Reflecting Canadian values of diversity and acceptance, most (89 per cent) say they’re completely comfortable being around people with different religious beliefs.
While just 16 per cent of respondents say they attend worship services on a weekly basis, two in 10 Canadians polled say they are curious about what the bible has to say. Of the service-going group, Protestants are more likely than Catholics to attend a weekly religious service.
Is there a heaven and a hell? Only 29 per cent of Canadians say they believe in heaven and just 19 per cent say they believe in hell.
On the question of their belief in God, 53 per cent of Canadians say they do believe in God. Interestingly, one quarter of Canadians with no religious identity say they also believe in God.
Thirty three per cent of respondents who identified themselves as Catholics say they don’t believe in God, along with 28 per cent of Protestants who echo this sentiment.
The results of respondents from other religious denominations were not specified.