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Centre for Research on Canadian Evangelicalism

Canadian Bible Engagement Study (CBES)

Equipping You With New Information

A series of reports are forthcoming from this major Canadian research project. So far, two have been released.

New research report (November 2014)! The King James Version is the most popular Bible according to what Canadians tell pollsters. But it’s actually not the translation that gets read the most. Learn more at Bible Translation Choice in Canada, 2013 (available at www.theEFC.ca/TranslationChoice). This paper by the EFC’s Rick Hiemstra is the second in a series based on the CBES.

The initial report from May 2014, Confidence, Conversation and Community: Bible Engagement in Canada, 2013, remains available at www.bibleengagementstudy.ca. At that website you’ll also find:

  • the 2 minute video "Are Canadians Done With the Bible?"
  • an executive summary of Confidence, Conversation and Community (in English and en français) as well as the full report
  • resources to help your church improve its Bible engagement, including a church self-assessment tool, Bible reading plans, Apps, ebooks and more

Future reports will also look at the formats of the Bible Canadians use and Bible literacy.

Food for Thought From the Initial Report

  • Just 14% of Canadians read the Bible at least once a month in 2013 (down from 28% in 1996).
  • 64% of Canadians think the scriptures of all major world religions teach essentially the same things.
  • 69% of Canadians think the Bible has irreconcilable contradictions
  • Only 18% of Canadians strongly agree that the Bible is the Word of God

However, the study also found that

  • Canadians who strongly agree the Bible is the Word of God are six times more likely to attend religious services weekly than those who only moderately agree.
  • Canadians who talk with others about the meaning of the Bible at least once a week are:
    • four times as likely to attend religious services weekly,
    • six times more likely to read the Bible at least a few times a week, and
    • six times more likely to reflect on the meaning of the Bible – compared to those who have conversations just a few times a month.
  • Those who don't think the Bible has irreconcilable contradictions are three times more likely to attend religious services weekly than those who do.

What is the CBES?

The Canadian Bible Engagement Study is a ground-breaking study of 4,474 Canadians conducted by Vision Critical on their Angus Reid Forum. The study data was gathered in late 2013 and released to the public May 1, 2014.

The study was sponsored by The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada and the Canadian Bible Forum with funding participation from Stronger Together Grants.

Related New Resources

What Leaders Are Saying About the CBES

EFC Expertise


The lead investigator in the CBES project is Rick Hiemstra, the EFC’s director of research. He worked with a team including Bruno Désorcy of Christian Direction, Andrew Grenville of Vision Critical and the members of the Canadian Bible Forum. Hiemstra welcomes questions on the literature review, the English qualitative interviews, the survey development and the data analysis.

More Info

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