This Week in Canadian Religion 2018-06-10

by | June 10, 2018


By Scott Douglas Jacobsen

WEATHER-RELATED disasters can make people more religious but it depends on the toll they inflict, suggests new UBC research. If a disaster injures a significant number of people, it can strengthen religiosity among those who are already religious. But if a disaster inflicts mostly economic damage, the opposite effect applies.

“It’s generally assumed that disasters can intensify religious preferences or practices,” said study author Oscar Zapata, a postdoctoral researcher in UBC’s school of community and regional planning. “My analysis suggests that it depends on the frequency of disasters in that region and the specific impact of the disaster.”

Eighty-two per cent of survey respondents said they believe in God, with the majority reporting that they are either Roman Catholic, Protestant or Christian Orthodox. Using statistical analysis, Zapata found that among the believers of God, religiosity increased following disasters that injured a significant number of people; for every one per cent increase in the number of injured due to a climate disaster, attendance at religious services increased by close to four per cent.”


“The couple spoke in tongues in court to a stuffed lion who they claimed was giving them direct counsel from God.

They rejected legal aid, preferring to advise witnesses “it was their lawyer Jesus Christ asking the questions through the voice of the parent.”

The battle was for custody of their baby — who the mother wants to rename Jesus JoyoftheLord.

They lost.

Now, in a decision highlighting the tightrope social workers walk in balancing parental beliefs with child safety, a B.C. Supreme Court judge has dismissed the Kelowna couple’s claim of religious persecution.”


“An Osborne Village-area church is using the separation of religion and state as an argument against a city plan to confer heritage status on the building.

On Friday, city council’s property and development committee voted to place Trinity Baptist Church on Gertrude Avenue on the City of Winnipeg’s list of historical resources.

The 80-member congregation opposed the heritage designation for its 108-year-old building on the basis it could hamper the church’s religious freedom, in the event it wished to make changes to its interior. ”


“Canada’s Supreme Court strongly supported religious freedom when it ruled that faith-based congregations have the right to establish their own rules of membership and procedures for determining when someone can be expelled.

The May 31  decision was met with relief by Christian groups that backed the case of a Jehovah’s Witness community in the western province of Alberta, which had been sued by a former member it had excommunicated.

The nation’s highest court ruled unanimously that the state had no right to interfere in the internal affairs of any religious organization as long as it didn’t affect civil rights or laws.”


“MONTREAL – Beginning next month, at least one employee in every Quebec government body, municipality, transit agency, school board, university, daycare and hospital will need a new skill: judging the sincerity of religious beliefs.

Across the province, hundreds of “accommodation officers” are getting crash courses on whether to accept or reject requests for accommodations made on religious grounds, such as meals respecting dietary restrictions or time off for religious holidays.

In recently published guidelines, the provincial government says the officers will apply a number of criteria established over time thorough jurisprudence, including whether the request for a religious accommodation stems from a “sincerely held belief.””


Scott Douglas Jacobsen is the Founder of In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal and In-Sight Publishing. He authored/co-authored some e-books, free or low-cost. If you want to contact Scott:

Do not forget to look into our associates: Godless Mom, Nice Mangoes, Sandwalk, Brainstorm Podcast, Left at the Valley, Life, the Universe & Everything Else, The Reality Check, Bad Science Watch, British Columbia Humanist Association, Dying With Dignity Canada, Canadian Secular Alliance, and Centre for Inquiry Canada.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.