Evangelicals are usually described as Christians who:
- are devoted to the Bible as God’s word,
- feel it is important to share their faith and engage in charitable activity,
- emphasize the cross of Christ is central; and,
- believe in conversion -- that each person must turn from their sin, receive forgiveness through Christ and commit to a life of discipleship and service
Evangelicals are a significant segment of the Christian population in Canada. Almost half of the 24,000 Christian congregations in Canada are Evangelical.
It is estimated that about 10 - 12% of Canadians, or 4 million people, are Evangelical.
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Evangelicals are identified either by a focus on particular beliefs and practices, or by associating with a church or denomination that is part of the evangelical movement. (See “Defining ‘Evangelical’
by John G. Stackhouse Jr.).
Historically, evangelical denominations or churches grew out of revivals in the eighteenth century. In more recent times, the evangelical movement in Canada has expanded, as Reformed and Anabaptist groups not traditionally associated with revivalist traditions have identified with the movement. Ministries like the EFC have helped to facilitate this broadening of the evangelical movement.
Evangelicalism refers to Christians who emphasize David Bebbington’s four criteria of crucicentrism, Biblicism, conversionism and activism. John G. Stackhouse Jr. would add transdenominationalism and the twin criteria of orthodox and orthoprax. Those with evangelical beliefs and practices may be found in denominations and ministries which do not have a connection to Evangelicalism.
Briefly, Bebbington’s criteria augmented by Stackhouse’s are:
- Crucicentrism: The centrality of the cross and preaching on the saving work of Christ on the cross.
- Biblicism: The authority of the written Word of God for faith and practice.
- Conversionism: The belief that each person must be converted from sin to salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.
- Activism: Proclaiming the Gospel and caring for all of creation though charitable works.
- Transdenominationalism: An openness to work cooperatively with Christians in other denominational traditions.
- Orthodox and Orthoprax: They subscribe to the main doctrinal, ethical and liturgical tenants of the churches to which they belong.
It is estimated that Evangelicals make up 10 - 12% of the Canadian population. There are about 4 million Evangelical Christians in Canada and approximately 11,000 Evangelical congregations.
Evangelicals in Canada are more ethnically diverse than the general population and the movement is constantly being enriched and renewed by new Canadians and their evangelical traditions.
According to Statistics Canada data, Evangelicals give more to both religious and secular charities than the average Canadian. They are also more likely to volunteer and to volunteer for more time.