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February 10th, 2010:

Did Malcolm X really appear on Front Page Challenge?

Or is this photo-shopped?

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Anglican church on verge of extinction… here’s hoping others follow…

The Globe and Mail is reporting this morning that according to the church’s own internal report, the once mighty Anglican church of Canada is only one generation away from extinction.

Regular attendance is declining at all Canadian Christian churches, except for the Roman Catholic Church, whose small increase is attributed to immigration.

But Anglicanism’s problem is aggravated because it is primarily a tribal church, the offspring of the Church of England. It has traditionally been home to Canadians of Anglo-Saxon descent who increasingly have no ethnic identification with the church, said religious studies professor David Seljak of St. Jerome’s University in Waterloo, Ont.

A similar problem burdens the Presbyterian Church – offspring of the Church of Scotland – which is losing adherents almost as quickly as the Anglicans.

As an atheist who sees the demise of an archaic institution like church – any church – as reason for celebration, I still have to wonder about why this is happening.

The report, prepared for the Anglican Diocese of British Columbia, calls Canada a post-Christian society in which Anglicanism is declining faster than any other denomination. It says the church has been “moved to the far margins of public life.” (my bold)

According to the report, the diocese – “like most across Canada” – is in crisis. The report repeats, without qualification or question, the results of a controversial study presented to Anglican bishops five years ago that said that at the present rate of decline – a loss of 13,000 members per year – only one Anglican would be left in Canada by 2061.

Is Canada really becoming a post-christian society? Are Canadians becoming more intelligent, more secular and in general more cynical of institutions generally? Or has this particular church brought about it’s own demise? I little of each, I wager. And if so, can the other churches be approaching the same fate? One can only hope though it is unlikely I will see this in my current lifetime.

As a postscript, one thing I have often wondered is why we still have highway signs pointing out the direction to the nearest church? Did or do folks have spiritual “emergencies” that demand they find a church tout de suite?

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