The poll comes at a time when church attendance rates are dipping, when most Canadians say they do not consider religion important and when claiming “no religion” is a more common answer than ever before — less than 1% of Canadians ticked off “no religion” four decades ago, but according to 2001 census data, the latest such data available, 16% marked that box.“Organized religion is on the decline, but when we talk about spirituality, that’s a whole different ball game,” said Lorne Bozinoff, Forum’s president.

“These people don’t believe in organized religions’ view of God.

And the latest Pew study on global religions, she said, spells more “good news” for a group that deems itself “at the forefront of rational thinking and beacons of enlightenment.”“Being non-affiliated means, ‘I’m not willing to follow a particular dogma,’ and that’s a good step in the right direction,” she said.

“Once they’ve given up their attachment to religion, they might take another step toward really thinking about what it means that someone came out of nothing and did all these magical things.”But Rev.

But there’s still a fear of death — big questions around things like that — and I think those kinds of things keep people spiritual, even though they might not be religious.”A lack of historic data, or restrictions in accessing it, make it impossible to prove whether this shift is true worldwide, but the Pew Foundation this week released the next best thing — a far-reaching snapshot on religious adherence culled from 2,500 different data sources across 232 countries.

And what it implicitly projects is this: Much of the western world is at the gates of a transformation, leaving behind religion in favour of more individualized spirituality. believe in God or a higher power — this, in a year when America for the first time shed its status as a Protestant-majority nation.“To my knowledge, [the Pew report] is the first scientific estimate of how big the global non-affiliated population is, ever,” said Conrad Hackett, a lead researcher on the study, who is now analyzing demographic data to scientifically project the future of religion worldwide.

It sparks competing declarations that religion will become extinct in the not-so-distant future, or that religious institutions in free countries will be stronger for having shed the half-hearted, or that parts of the world will become more peaceful because religion will no longer divide us.

It spurs debate about whether churches will forever stick to their eternal values or adapt with public opinion on social issues such as gay marriage, abortion and birth control, and whether we are, as Southern Baptist leader Richard Land put it, on the path toward “maximum individualism” where we worship the Holy Trinity of I, Myself and Me and forgo religious traditions such as marriage altogether.“It could spell a moral calamity for the country and the western world,” said Mr.Did your son's confession of same-sex attraction come as a surprise?When Jordan called a family meeting one night, I honestly had no idea what he was going to say.When Rachel's 22-year-old son Jordan initially came out to her last year, she was shocked.Instead of avoiding the conversation, however, Rachel and her husband chose to turn to Scripture, church counselors, conversation, and prayer.They rank scholarships on the basis of how hard it is to apply for, how competitive a scholarship is, and their application due date.