Vast majority of Canadians think an afterlife is possible

by | Apr 25, 2024 | Faith & Religion, Life & Death, Spirituality, Story Ideas | 0 comments

March 2024

New data, collected by Angus Reid Institute and think tank Cardus, shows that three-in-five Canadians believe in some form of life after death, and that many couple this belief with religious faith. The proportion has been fairly stable since the 1960s, fluctuating between 60 percent and 66 percent.

Although the remaining 40 percent of Canadians don’t believe in an afterlife, only 13 percent, or one in eight, “definitely” rule out that possibility.

Among those with a religious affiliation, Jews are the least convinced of life after death. A majority among (60 percent) believe physical death is the end. Conversely, a full 92 percent of evangelical Christians do believe life extends beyond mortal death, as do 67 percent of Roman Catholics, 87 percent of Muslims and 71 percent of Hindus.

Geographically, the highest proportion of believers in an afterlife is found in the prairies and the lowest on the coast, particularly in the province of Quebec, where secularism is more widespread than elsewhere in Canada.

Unsurprisingly, those who define themselves as non-religious or non-spiritual show the highest proportion of people who don’t believe in life after death, 92 percent. The “spiritually uncertain”, who make up 43 percent of the Canadian population, show the most equal split, with a slight inclination (56 percent) towards belief in some sort of afterlife.

The survey also asked if people believe Jesus’ resurrection actually took place. “Yes”, say 36 percent; “no”, say 38 percent. While the majority of evangelical Christians unsurprisingly think it did occur, 30 percent of them think the resurrection wasn’t a real historic event.

Anders Bolling

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