Over half of Canadians polled think religion does more harm than good

A new Ipsos poll shows that more than half of Canadian respondents believe religion does more harm than good.

According to Global News, only 24 percent of those polled said they believe religion makes you a better person, while a third believe religion should be in politics.

“There’s a lot that’s happening in the world right now in the name of religion,” Sean Simpson, vice-president of Ipsos Affairs, said. “Of course, ISIL being the primary example that’s using religion to justify what they’re doing.”

Simpson explained that the number is rising; when Ipsos asked the same question in 2011, 44 per cent of respondents agreed.

“But I think we hear about these incidents more often, not just because they may be happening more often but because of the information age.

“We’ve got 24-hour news cycles and social media and Twitter where we hear about every incident so it’s not surprising to me that a growing number of Canadians believe it does more harm than good.”

According to the poll, only 13 percent of respondents said they lose respect for someone when they find out they are religious but, that number jumps to 18 per cent when you look specifically at Quebec.

In spite of their declining religious beliefs, Canadians are very tolerant of other people’s religions. According to the Global News report, 9 out of 10 respondents said they were “completely comfortable being around people who have different religious beliefs than me.”

Continuing the trend, there’s also a declining view that religion should play a role in politics. Twenty years ago, 45 per cent of respondents to a similar poll said that religion should play an important part in political life.

Featured image: Patrick Dalton (Flickr)