A recent survey by Canada's foremost religion pollster suggests that the country may be experiencing a period of spiritual renewal. A survey of 3,500 Canadians revealed that weekly church attendance has increased, the core membership has stabilized, and those who attend church infrequently were not "deserting the ship." The trend was most evident among mainline Anglican, Lutheran, Presbyterian, United, and Roman Catholic churches. "If we use cold marketing language, there has been a demand for religion," said Reginald Bibby, who teaches sociology at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta.
He has monitored religious trends in Canada every five years since the 1970s. His latest survey suggests that a 30-year downward trend in church attendance has been halted. He was surprised by the results because earlier surveys pointed to a waning religious influence in Canada. "Groups like the United Church and the Anglicans may be joining the evangelicals in experiencing revitalization," he said. The signs of renewal included renewed interest among young people.