Are Canadians Done With the Bible?
Revealing study compels Canadian Bible agencies to undertake unprecedented nationwide action
Waterloo, ON (May 1, 2014) - Canadians have been asked about their Bible reading habits for years. In 2013, the Canadian Bible Forum, a group of nine Canadian Bible agencies together with The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, engaged world-class market research company Angus Reid Strategies, led by Angus Reid, to undertake the Canadian Bible Engagement Study. The study results were so concerning that the Canadian Bible Forum member agencies have chosen to partner closely to take action to reverse the alarming trends.
More than 4,500 people across Canada were interviewed for the study, making the Canadian Bible Engagement Study the most recent comprehensive national study of its kind. The study revealed many details about Bible reading and engagement, with the overall finding being that most Canadians are not reading and are not interested in reading their Bible. Since 1996, weekly Bible reading has declined by 60 per cent and only 14 per cent of Canadians actually read the Bible at least once per month.
“Hold on,” you say, “It’s not that bad. People are just busy. If Canadians had more time, they would read the Bible more.”
That’s not what Canadians told the Canadian Bible Forum. Study results revealed that:
- In general, confidence in the Bible is at an all-time low
- Many Canadians no longer believe that the Bible is the Word of God
- Some Christians question the reliability and trustworthiness of the Bible
- Since 1996, church attendance (which has a strong link to Bible reading and engagement) has plummeted in Canada
The Canadian Bible Engagement Study found that Canadians with real, meaningful Bible engagement have three behaviours in common:
- Community: They are involved in a worshipping community; they go to church regularly and participate in church community.
- Conversation: They discuss and explore the Bible with their friends. They’re having conversations about the Bible, often in small groups.
- Confidence: They have a growing confidence in the Bible as the way to know God and hear from Him.
The Study argues that in order for Bible engagement to flourish, all three behaviors must be performed intentionally.
The Canadian Bible Forum Responds with Hope
While the study results leave Canadians wondering whether our nation is in fact, done with the Bible, the Canadian Bible Forum members are encouraged that there are things that can be done today to encourage people to find community, engage in conversation and increase their confidence in God’s Word.
Forum Members are committed to creating and making available free Bible engagement resources to churches and individuals, taking a long view to improving and even reversing downward trends. A Bible engagement study website featuring free and low-cost resources, along with a free download of the research results and a video synopsis, has been created. Participating organizations include:
- Bible League Canada
- Canadian Bible Society
- Every Home for Christ
- Open Doors
- Scripture Gift Mission
- Scripture Union
- The Gideons International in Canada
- Wycliffe Canada
About the Canadian Bible Forum
The Canadian Bible Forum promotes collaboration and cooperation amongst Bible Agencies with a shared vision of working together to maximize the access and impact of God’s Word in Canada and the world. CBF collaboration includes strengthening of inter-agency understanding and relationships, undertaking strategic national or international initiatives, advocating for the centrality of God's Word in life and mission, and most recently (in partnership with the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada), formulating and facilitating the Canadian Bible Engagement Study. The members of the CBF are the Bible League of Canada, Canadian Bible Society, Every Home for Christ, Gideons Canada, OneBook, Open Doors Canada, Scripture Gift Mission Canada, Scripture Union Canada, and Wycliffe Canada. To learn more visit the Bible Engagement Study website