Quebec is usually cited as one of the most shocking examples of rapid secularization. The process was worrisome enough to draw Charles Taylor from writing about Hegel and epistemology into interpreting secularity in books such as A Secular Age and Secularism and Freedom of Conscience.
In response to my musings on Putin’s continuity with Russian history and the report on the statistical state of Orthodoxy my friend Jean-Francois came up with the following surprising conclusion going off of these numbers:
To put the numbers that Artur quotes in perspective, there are more people who declare themselves Catholic in Quebec (77%) than Russian Orthodox in Russia (70%) and more than twice as many practising Catholics (22%) as there are practising Russian Orthodox in Russia (10%)!
I can’t help thinking about Voltaire’s quip about the Holy Roman Empire: It was neither holy, nor Roman, nor an empire.
Perhaps things aren’t so bad in Quebec after all?
Then again, it might be the case that things aren’t so bad in Russia. Religious belief is much more difficult to quantify than statistics of attendance and notional assent to creeds can quantify.