Thursday, September 03, 2009
Notre Dame Bascilica Montreal
Recently the Globe and Mail offered an interesting feature article on the state of religion in the province of Quebec. After three hundred years of almost total cultural domination by the Roman Catholic church in the province, Quebeckers roundly rejected religion in a number of different ways. Comparitively few people attend church or get married in church. Many churches are essentially museums and only 6% of Quebec residents go to mass, the lowest percentage amongst Western nations. Point taken about forcing religion on people.
Yet a surprising number of Quebec couples choose to have children baptized even though they don't attend church, and there is always a public outcry when religious institutions are challenged, including plans to remove the crucifix from the national assembly. Hence the "baptized pagans" mention in the article.
The United Church is trying to figure out how to increase its presence in French-speaking Canada, including Quebec. At the recent General Council it was proposed that millions be spent expanding this ministry as an alternative for Francophones. This intrigues me in part because our son Isaac is training for the ministry in Montreal and is bilingual. He has preached in French in Montreal United Churches and he and wife Rebekah have attended a French-speaking congregation which is a "mixed bag" of those seeking a different perspective on Christianity.
I'm glad that the UCC is looking in this direction.