Quantcast
About this site
About us
Our beliefs
Your first visit?
Contact us
External links
Good books
Visitor essays
Our forum
New essays
Other site features
Buy a CD
Vital notes

World religions
BUDDHISM
.
CHRISTIANITY
Who is a Christian?
Shared beliefs
Handle change
Bible topics
Bible inerrancy
Bible harmony
Interpret Bible
Persons
Beliefs, creeds
Da Vinci code
Revelation, 666
Denominations
.
HINDUISM
ISLAM
JUDAISM
WICCA / WITCHCRAFT
Other religions
Other spirituality
Cults and NRMs
Comparing religions

About all religions
Important topics
Basic information
Gods & Goddesses
Handle change
Doubt/security
Quotes
Movies
Confusing terms
Glossary
World's end
One true religion?
Seasonal topics
Science v. Religion
More info.

Spiritual/ethics
Spirituality
Morality/ethics
Absolute truth

Peace/conflict
Attaining peace
Religious tolerance
Religious hatred
Religious conflict
Religious violence

"Hot" topics
Very hot topics
Ten commandm'ts
Abortion
Assisted suicide
Cloning
Death penalty
Environment
Equal rights - gays & bi's
Gay marriage
Nudism
Origins of the species
Sex & gender
Sin
Spanking kids
Stem cells
Women-rights
Other topics

Laws and news
Religious laws
Religious news

 

!!!!!!!! Search error!  If the URL ends something like .htm/  or .htm# delete the character(s) after .htm and hit return.

A GOOD EXAMPLE OF HOW TO NOT REPORT RELIGIOUS INFO.

horizontal rule

Sponsored link.


horizontal rule

Spero News publishes on the Internet news reports supplied by a large group of contributors. 1 One of their articles deals with the decline of membership in Canada's major Christian denominations. It was sent to them by Ferdy Baglo and published on 2005-DEC-05. 2 It was attributed to a report by Ecumenical News International (EMI). 3

The main topic of the article is the declining membership of two major Canadian Protestant denominations: the Anglican Church of Canada (ACC) and the United Church of Canada (UCC). It is a good example of how to not report religious information. 

Some of the problems with the article are:

bulletThe original article is copyrighted by Ecumenical News International. However, their copyright was not acknowledged even though it appears to have been copied in full from their web site.
bulletThe article quotes Keith McKerracher who prepared a membership study for the ACC. He indicated that:
bulletThe church membership was 642,000 in 2001. However the source for this information is not given. Other information sources give much higher memberships. For example, the 2001 Canadian Census reports that 2,035,500 Canadians identify with the ACC. To be helpful, the article should give the source of the data, and a definition of who is included in the number -- whether it be only active and baptized adult members, all adult adherents, adults and children, etc.
bulletThe church is losing 13,000 members a year and "is facing extinction by the middle of this century." The assumption(s) for the extinction conclusion are not given. Presumably McKerracher divided the 2001 membership by the loss in membership per year and came up with the value of 49 years. If one assumes that the rate of decline in membership will remain constant over the next five decades, then his conclusion is valid. However, that is not necessarily valid. The article gives no room for other scenarios.
bulletThe article refers to at least six organization directly by name. But when the mention the name of the group that maintains this web site, they state: "A group that calls itself Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance....." (Emphasis ours). To at least some readers, this probably projects a condescending attitude to our organization and may imply hypocrisy or phoniness.
bulletThe article refers to Anglicans, Christians, Jehovah's Witnesses, Lutherans, Mennonites, Pentecostals, and Roman Catholics:
bulletIn each case, they capitalized the name of the faith group. This is normal practice, and is  a sign of respect. But when the refer to non-Christians, they use lower case, as in "atheists, agnostics, humanists, secularists..." which might indicate lack of respect.
bulletThey refer to Christian groups directly by name. But when referring to non-Christians, they  refer to "self-professed atheists, agnostics,..." (Emphasis ours). This term appears frequently in the media and on the Internet. Christians, Muslims, Jews, etc. are referred to directly; references to such folks as Wiccans, Atheists, Agnostics are "self-professed" or "self-identified." This can project an condescending, belittling attitude.
bulletThe article states that the Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance web site refers to self-professed atheists.... Many readers would conclude that one of our essays, presumably the one on non-Christian census data, uses this phrase "self professed." It does not and to our knowledge never did. We do avoid the phrase (except when quoting the media) because we regard it as derogatory.

horizontal rule

References used:

  1. Ferdy Baglo, "Canada's churches suffering serious decline. Researcher says membership losses pushing Canadian churches to brink of 'extinction'," 2005-DEC-06, at: http://www.speroforum.com/
  2. Highlights: "Plummeting attendance shows Canadian church faces 'extinction'," ENI-05-0938, 2005-DEC-15, Ecumenical News International, at: http://www.eni.ch/

horizontal rule

Site navigation:

Home page > Religious information > here

horizontal rule

Copyright 2005 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally posted: 2005-DEC-16
Latest update: 2005-DEC-16
Author: B.A. Robinson

line.gif (538 bytes)


horizontal rule

Go to the previous page, or to the "Religious info" menu, or choose:

Google
Web ReligiousTolerance.org

Go to home page  We would really appreciate your help

E-mail us about errors, etc.  Purchase a CD of this web site

FreeFind search, lists of new essays...  Having problems printing our essays?


Twitter link

Facebook icon

Google Page Translator:

This page translator works on Firefox,
Opera, Chrome, and Safari browsers only

After translating, click on the "show
original" button at the top of this
page to restore page to English.