139 Pages

Just read through the complete text of the EFC report Hemorrhaging Faith.  

HemorrhagingFaith_cover

Although it is somewhat skewed by its biases, it’s a valuable document.  A solid research effort went into interviewing several thousand participants and analysing their responses.

All of the participants were between 18 and 34, and all had some kind of church background.  The study examines the extent to which they are currently engaged with the institutional church, and their reasons for their level of engagement.

It’s a welcome document, not least because it is firmly rooted in the Canadian context.  For once, we don’t have to rely on American materials to understand our culture.  The unique religious environment in Quebec is examined, as are the churchgoing trends of first-generation immigrants.

Unfortunately, the report doesn’t go far enough.  It recognises the large number of young people who have rejected the church, and carefully notes their reasons, but doesn’t really allow that their criticisms might be valid.  The report sometimes feels as if it has been written by a group that used to enjoy a position of influence and prestige in society, and is frustrated that now it needs to compete on a level playing field with other sources of information and ideas.

Despite that, I’d recommend the report to any church leader, and I’d recommend thinking long and hard about the implications of the report’s findings.