Canada is a complex land of two Territories and ten Provinces, [a Province may be likened to a State], the larger of which are roughly rectangular in shape and lined up perpendicularly to the US border. The Provinces are all skewered together by the 19,000 mile Canadian Pacific Railroad [CPR] and the Trans-Canada Highway [TCH]. The CPR is unique in many ways, including the fact that it passes through the longest train tunnel in the world [9 miles], and traverses two spiraling tunnels, each a mile long, in which the train makes two-thirds of a circle underground. Although we know that the US is roughly 3,000 miles from east to west, the US border with Canada is some 4,300 miles connecting the portal cities of Halifax, Nova Scotia [NS] to Vancouver, British Columbia [BC].
Canada’s land area [ten million square kilometers] is slightly larger than China’s [9.6] and the US’s [9.5]. However, populations and population densities vary dramatically for China’s 1.2 billion population gives a density of [127/sq. km], while the US population of 258 million yields a density of [27/sq. km], but Canada’s 32 million yields a density of 3/sq. km]. Thus, much of the land is sparsely inhabited, with 80% of the population living within 100 miles of the US border [which is about 25% of the province] and is 77% urban. In fact, half the population lives in 8 cities. Two of the ten provinces boast 61% of the populace, Ontario 10 million and Quebec with 7 million.
The per capita income is $35,000.00 as of 2015 as compared with Mexico at $16,200.00 with triple the population and US $51,590.00
Relations between Canada and the US have been remarkably quiescent. Since the War of 1812 and boundaries were set, the border is regularly crossed without incident. A favorable trade agreement between the two countries has provided good employment in manufacturing and ready markets.
Canada is also a mosaic of indigenous and immigrant peoples. The population can be roughly divided into thirds: 1. British, 2. French [Quebec has 7 million French speakers who are only 1.5% evangelical], and 3. Other Europeans, Asians [4.3%], Indigenous Peoples [3.2%] and Middle Easterners [3.2%]. Sixteen percent of Canadian residents are foreign born [12.6% US] and speak 78 different languages, yet literacy is 96%. It is estimated that there are some million Muslim in Canada. The Jewish population is 400,000. In the year 2016, people from 204 nations immigrated to Canada. It is estimated that 200,000 annually immigrate to Canada from around the world. That figure is estimated to increase to 340,000 per year in 2015.
Canada has many resources which American entrepreneurs have helped to develop as a major trading partner. The Prairie Provinces, Alberta [AB], Saskatchewan [SK] and Manitoba [MB] produce 95% of Canada’s wheat and enough for major exporting. Canadian forests and mining fuel its industries and export trade. The province of Ontario [ON] is said to be the ‘powerhouse of Canada’ [National Geographic 6/96] because of it’s industrial engine, banking, tourism, 17 universities and the capitol, Ottawa. However, the crowning jewel is Toronto, the largest city of the nation, where over a third of the entire nation lives.
Metropolitan Toronto is home to some 6 million people. The city is the ‘forum of English-speaking Canada’, for publishers of books, magazines and newspapers are headquartered here. It is the center for radio [broadcasting in 32 languages], TV and film production, making Toronto ‘Hollywood North’. .Tourist attractions include: Niagara Falls, winter vacationing in the ‘Canadian Shield’ of Hudson Bay and the North West Territories. The cityscape is pierced by the tallest freestanding structure in the world [1815’], built by the CPR. One-third of the 230,000 immigrants entering Canada each year, settle in Toronto, making it the most ethnically and racially diverse city on earth, according to Richard Conniff, writer for the National Geographic magazine. Yet, crime is minuscule, with only 2 murders per 100,000 people compared to 65 for Washington, DC., making it the most hopeful and healthy city in North America’. Yet, 49% of Toronto's population are foreign born.
There is a city under the city of Toronto, for there are 6 miles of tunnels connecting the city to everything, complete with shopping and restaurants. The vast middle class people of Toronto still live in the central city and love it.
QUEBEC PROVINCE, is a most beautiful place, however, socially it has serious problems. It has the highest divorce rate in Canada, as well as one of the highest suicide rates in the world. It is not surprising when one notes that only .05% of Quebecans is affiliated with an evangelical church, which only average 100 members. Biblical Literature Fellowship is seeking to provide Christian literature for these 6 million French speakers, whom they depict as North America’s most unreached people group. Only 25% of the predominately Catholic go to mass.
Vancouver, BC, has a population of2.4 million. It also has a South Asian telephone directory. The 1996 BC edition indicates a ‘free circulation to 250,000 South Asians in BC’, covering those from India, Pakistan, Fiji, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. It is said that half of Vancouver’s population speaks other than English. South Asians make up 17%. It is interesting to note that the South Asian phone book is written in English mixed with foreign language advertising. One of the adds offers translation work. The road from the airport passes numerous Hindu and Sikh temples plus Mosques. In the city there is a large China town with its Buddhist temples. Some 250,000 Sikhs in Vancouver, makes it the largest Sikh population outside of Asia. Tragically, this population is only 0.1 % Christian. Obviously there is great need for missionary vision to evangelize this strategic city.
ST. JOHN’S -- Newfoundland [NF]. On the other end of the TCH, Canada Rt 1, lies St. John’s, which is another whole world, still Canada. The entire population of the province of NF is but 515,000. The province is divided into two parts, Labrador, east of Quebec and Newfoundland Island. Labrador once had a thriving industry with whaling, fishing and mining. Today only mining is operating, but also diminishing, making jobs scarce for the 30,000 citizens. This is Inuit country whom the Moravian missionaries once sought to preach the Gospel. The earliest Moravians came in 1771 and dotted the coast with missions to the whalers and fishermen. But these outposts are but relics of a busy past There is need for hardy missionaries to pick up the mantle.
Although maintaining a strong historical relationship with Europe, Canadians enjoy religious freedom and 64% claim church membership. Yet only 26.8% [US 44%],find time to attend any of the 22,000 denominational churches scattered over the expansive countryside and divided among 78 denominations. The average church attendance is 124, with half having less than 74. Protestants make up 32% of the population and Catholics 45%. Perhaps 6% are evangelicals who attend some 8,000 churches. Canadian churches send out some 5,432 missionaries under the auspices of 118 agencies. Yet, as Patrick Johnstone, in Operation World notes, ‘the Christian church has been marginalized in Canadian society, having a lack of vision for evangelism and compromising on homosexuality’. Denominational attendance continues to decline, but there is still a need to double the number of evangelical churches in Canada. These churches need to reach out and impact the Canadian society which is in deep trouble. Statistics Canada reports that one in ten families lives in common-law relationships. This represents 1.5 million Canadians. Lone parent families represent 17% of the populace. Religious pluralism is on the increase at the same time there is a decreased sense of shared morality and reduced ability of the churches to speak in a unified voice on family matters.
Non-Christian religions are growing in Canada. Between 1991-2001, Islam grew 129%, Hinduism & Sikhism both grew 89%, Buddhism 84%, No religion 44%. During the same period Protestantism grew 8%, Catholicism 5% and Judaism 4%. Some revelation, is it not?
There are a number of Bible institutes, colleges and seminaries, many located in the Prairie provinces, which are training future leadership for the evangelical church
The Francophone population, located primarily in Quebec Province [PQ], are 85% Catholic, but less than 30% attend mass. In French speaking Quebec, there may be 400 evangelical congregations with some 35,000 adherents. This is a great and effectual door of opportunity for evangelism and church planting.
Some 230,000 immigrate each year to Canada haIling from the following areas: 38% from Asia, 27% from Europe, 19% from North and South America, 8% from Africa, 7.5% from other and 0.5% from the Pacific countries. Twenty-five years of multiculturalism has brought 5 million foreign born to Canada. That is 1 in 6 or 17%.
There are over 400 missionaries to Canada, working under numerous boards. Many of these mission boards have a foreign counterpart, but are duly established as Canadian missions.
In Canada, the Native population of 1.3 million, is called First Nation Peoples or Aborigines. Three-fourths live on 2400 reserves or have access to 6,500,000 acres of reserve lands which are administered by the government. The government seeks to provide roads, housing and good education, however even though the Aborigines have been Christianized, great spiritual needs still exist. This is evidenced by serious family violence, widespread abuse of drugs and high suicide rate.
A serious problem among the native population in Canada is alcoholism and suicide as found in the US and Mexico. A recent study completed by the Canadian government reveals that suicide, which is epidemic and 4 times national average, has two root causes, moral problems caused by sexual abuse and family breakdowns. Claire Schnupp reports, fourty-seven percent of children are growing up without their fathers. Eighty-five percent of single parents are women.. The birth rate of adolescent girls aged 15-19 in the Manitoba Native population is four times the non-Native rate. Another study reveals that 7 to 10% of the Native population is infected with AIDS. [Information from ‘The Focus’ published by the Northern Youth Programs, Site 306, Box 1, RR 3, Dryden, ON P89 3G2]
Although no clear-cut reason has been discovered for the excessive and nearly universal abuse of alcohol in the native family, an observation by a Canadian, Vincent Yellow Old Woman, gives some clear insight. He reports that there is a growing need for counseling of natives who are now willing to reveal the hurt and pain of abuse with which so many are suffering and which until now they could not talk about.
It has been well known that many Aborigine children were raised outside their homes, having been sent away to school. What has not been as clearly understood is the fact that many, if not most of these children have been sexually and physically abused as a way of life. This abuse continued into adulthood by family members, relatives and others, leaving indelible scars. Obviously this trauma was easier to drown than talk about.
In 1992, a Native initiated and governed organization called, ‘Rising Above’ was established. Each year the conference moves to a different location and is attended by increasing numbers, now reaching several hundreds. Specially trained speakers and counselors teach the Word of God and help the hurting to find hope in the message of Salvation. The testimonies of those delivered from their traumatic experiences at the conference is overwhelming. Mervin Cheechoo, President, says the name, ‘Rising Above’ was chosen because we believe that with God’s help one can rise above the pain, confusion and despair, and enjoy the abundant life God planned. Rising Above is ‘First Peoples helping First Peoples deal with the issues of abuse.’ [Information from INDIAN LIFE, 1996, Vol. 17 No 1] Further information can be obtained from InterAct Ministries for Rising Above, 202, 110 11th Ave, Calgary, AB, T2R 0B8 or call 403-265-8383.
A second serious problem is the extensive practice of common-law marriage. NYM Ministries has prepared a Family Studies Series which includes a course called ‘Family Fraud, The Deception of the Common-Law Relationship. Within the study it is suggested that there is even confusion in the Native church about the question and rarely do church leaders speak against common-law unions. This subject needs to be addressed to establish Biblically based Christian homes.
There are approximately 224,000 Aborigines living off the reservations. They continue to move to such cities as Winnipeg [60,000], Toronto [50,000] and Regina [45,000]. Walter Selke, who has planted an Aborigine church in Regina, indicates it is estimated that by the year 2000, the city of Regina will be nearly 50% Aborigine. There may be 200 practicing Aborigine Christians in Regina.
Rev. and Mrs. Clair Schnupp, founder of Northern Youth Programs 1967 of Ontario, have spent a lifetime since 1959 ministering to Canada's First Nation peoples. Their stated purpose is: "Offering Christ's hope to youth and families" in Northwestern Ontario, Canada, the Canadian Arctic, Russian Arctic and Greenland. Several programs have been developed: Beaver Lake Camp, Prison ministries, Arctic Discipleship, Aircraft Maintenance, Support Services and Personal Workers Training Camp [PWTC]. Those in the PWTC spend 6 weeks in the program--- one week trainig and 5 weeks hands on.
They fly into the interior including Alaska and Greenland, to minister to peoples living in remote areas. In their newsletter, Clair says, 'In 2017 we hope to meet some reindeer herders in Siberia to discuss training programs". Their emphasis has always been to train the First Natin Peoples to reach their own. They have produced an amazing number of materials which are culturally sensistive and available for download.
Northern Canada Evangelical Mission, [NCEM], 1964, publication 'Nothern Lights' reports they have 100 fulltime missionaries ministering on 20 stations across the country including on reservations among Forst Nation Peoples and the Tribal Tails TV ministry which generates an effective 'spiritual helpline call in ministry' from many who are looking for answers to deep spritual problems aften leading to suicidal despair. One testimony among many said, "If not for that phone call" I would not be here. [Winter 2017].
UIM International [formerly United Indian Ministries] in 1956 began minisry among Candada's First Nation Peoples. Doug Anderson, Field Director in Canada, indicates their vision is to train 5000 First Nation men to share the Gospel with their people on the reservtions which are very spiritually dark places.
One Canadian has said, “Now the pagans and heathens have moved in here and they’re quite nice people, eh?” They number some 600,000. Ten thousand East Indians move to Canada each year.
The majority are non-Christian. There are 450,000 Muslim, 300,000 Buddhists and 200,000 Hindus.
The area around Vancouver, BC, is home to the second largest population of Sikhs outside of India, numbering some 250,000, representing 75 groups which attend 64 gurudwaras [temples]. Rev. Daniel Hilson, Outreach Canada missionary to the Indo-Canadian community and born in India, says the Sikh community is largely unreached. Another large community of Sikhs is to be found in Toronto, ON. InterAct Ministries and NAIM both maintain ministry in the Sikh communities. There are less than 100 Christians.
As of 2015, there are a million Muslim. London, Ontario's population is 10% Muslim.
CHINESE -- There are 1.25 million Chinese and 6 Chinese newspapers. 450,000 live in Toronto and 350,000 in Vancouver. Cantonese is spoken by 78%.Eighty growing churches have been planted among them.
FILIPINO -- 350,000 living mostly in Toronto
VIETNAMESE -- 60,000
JAPANESE -- 43,000
KOREAN -- 29,000
TIBETANS -- Many are being settled around Vancouver and Seattle.
HINDUS -- 200,000
MUSLIM -- 300,000
BUDDHISTS – 300,000
JEWISH -- 747,000
ARAB -- 2016 34,000 Syrian refugees, million Muslim
IRANIAN -- 15,000
TURKISH -- 5,000
Only 0.13% are Hispanic [US 12%]
PORTUGUESE -- 141,000, The largest Portuguese community in North America with only a few evangelical churches.
HAITI -- 241,000
There are 266 college campuses in Canada, with 800,000 resident students, each with tremendous spiritual needs. Ministries include: InterVarsity Christian Fellowship [English], GBU [French], Ambassadors for Christ [Chinese], Navigators, Campus Crusade for Christ and Youth for Christ [high schools].
CONCLUSION: A recent survey 1997, of 1200 evangelical leaders, admitted their churches are not sensitive to the needs of people in the community. The Canadian frowns on sharing a Gospel of exclusiveness, desiring to be tolerant of all faiths.
1. Outreach Canada, #16 - 12240 Horseshoe Way, Richmond, BC V7A 4X9 Canada. Ph 604-272-0732,
Fax 604-272-2744. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Rev. Gerry Kraft, Executive Director says
that the goal of OC is to assist churches increase their effectiveness in reaching all Canadians with the
Gospel by means of a ministry assessment questionnaire of church members, analysis of community
demographics resulting in area maps based on Canadian census figures, which reveals areas of ministry
2. Indian Life Magazine for all Native North Americans, P O Box 3765, RPO Redwood Center, Winnipeg,
Manitoba R2W 3R6, Canada.
3. Native Bible Centre, Box 2100, Station A, Kamloops, BC V2B 7K6. They have Training Resources for
Indian Bible Education. “How to Train Church Leaders Through TRIBE”, [catalog] Native Bible Centre,
a ministry of InterAct.
4. Key Way Tin Bible Institute, Box 540, Lac La Biche, AB T0A 2C0.
5. Native Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, Box 1460, Siksika, AL T0J 3WO Kene Jackson, Ex. Dir.
Organization of Native churches. Sponsor Rising Above conference on abuse.
The Mission Handbook, published by MARC lists 136 missions based in Canada, but clearly states, “The listings in the Handbook reflect only an organization’s overseas activities, and not its ministry in North America. For information about an agency’s North America ministries, the reader is encouraged to secure the organization’s annual report” [p 419]. Thus, it does not include statistics on Canada, but it does list ministry in Mexico, which it considers ‘overseas’. ANAM considers Mexico a part of North America; therefore, can consult those statistics.
ASSOCIATION OF BAPTISTS FOR WORLD EVANGELISM CANADA
A C T S INTERNATIONAL
ANGLICAN CHURCH OF CANADA WORLD MISSION
BAPTIST MISSIONS OF CANADA - DINORWIC
CHRISTIAN SERVICE INTERNATIONAL
EVANGELICAL HOME MISSIONARY ASSOC/Assembly of God
EVANGELISM MISSION, INC
FOURSQUARE MISSIONS INTERNATIONAL
GREATER EUROPE MISSION (Canada)
INTERACT MINISTRIES OF CANADA
INTERNATIONAL CHILDREN'S HAVEN (Canada) Society
INTERNATIONAL CHRISTIAN AID CANADA
INTERNATIONAL GOSPEL OUTREACH
INTERNATIONAL TEAMS OF CANADA
NCEM [NORTHERN CANADA EVANGELICAL MISSION]
NORTHERN CANADA EVANGELICAL MISSION, INC [NCEM]
NORTHERN GOSPEL MISSION
NORTHERN LIGHT GOSPEL MISSION
NORTHERN YOUTH PROGRAMS
OPERATION MOBILIZATION, INC
OUTREACH CANADA MINISTRIES
PRISON MISSION ASSOCIATION
REFORMED CHURCH IN AMERICA
SGM INTERNATIONAL (CANADA)
THE LEPROSY MISSION CANADA
WEC NTERNATIONAL (Canada)
WORLDWIDE CHRISTIAN SCHOOLS
WYCLIFFE BIBLE TRANSLATORS OF CANADA, INC.