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Quebecers no longer among least religious comment (0)

March 14, 2013

TORONTO — A new poll suggests Quebecers are no longer among the least religious residents of Canada.

Quebecers are now slightly more likely to feel an “attachment to religion” than they have in previous years, while other Canadians are less likely to feel attached to religion, according to the Leger Marketing poll for the Association for Canadian Studies.

While Quebecers have tended to be “more averse to organized religion,” the recent data suggest their “antipathy to religion may have bottomed,” the survey concluded.

The poll suggested that 36 percent of Canadians said they are “very” or “somewhat” attached to religion, down from 39 percent two years ago. Religious attachment among Quebecers, meanwhile, rose from 26 percent to 34 percent over that time period. Older Canadians generally still feel attached to religion — 52 percent of those 65 and older said they were “very” or “somewhat” attached.

The online survey of 2,200 Canadians was conducted in November 2012, well before news that Cardinal Marc Ouellet, the former archbishop of Quebec, was among the front-runners to replace Pope Benedict XVI, who resigned Feb. 28.

Jack Jedwab, executive director of the Association for Canadian Studies, speculated to Postmedia News that the October 2012 elevation of 17th-century aboriginal woman Kateri Tekakwitha to sainthood may have given Catholicism a slight boost in Quebec, where she spent the last days of her life.

The survey has an error margin of plus or minus 2.9 percentage points. 

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