Friday, December 3, 2010

Canadians and Americans lie about church attendance

It comes as no surprise to this blogger, as a Canadian, to find that Canadians and Americans lie on religious surveys, as reported by Shannon Proudfoot of Postmedia, December 3, 2010:

With a prime church-going holiday just around the corner, new research reveals Canadians are second only to Americans in their propensity to inflate their attendance at religious services.

The University of Michigan study encompassed more than 400 different surveys and 750,000 people from 14 countries, including Canada, the United States, Britain and France, finding that while Europeans report their religious attendance more or less accurately, there's a big gap between what Canadians and Americans say and what they do...

...In the U.S. over the past three decades, 35 to 45 per cent of people said they attended religious services regularly, but time-use information reveals that about 25 per cent is a more accurate figure.

In Canada, the percentage of people who said they worshipped regularly fell from 41 per cent in 1974 to 25 per cent by 2005, but over that time period, the percentage who actually attended religious services ranged from about 22 to 10 per cent.

In Europe, the biggest gaps between people's reported and actual religious attendance are found in predominantly Catholic countries. But even in Ireland — where reported church attendance tumbled from 90 per cent in the 1970s and '80s to about 46 per cent in 2006 — the gap was only about four to eight percentage points.

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