Canadians are leaving religion behind claims Atheist United Church of Canada minister Gretta Vosper.

Reverend Gretta Vosper, 57, is a United Church of Canada minister, who does not believe in God. She was ordained in 1993 and started serving as the minister at the West Hill United Church in Toronto in 1997.

She has two best-selling books to her credit. With or Without God: Why the Way We Live is More Important than What We Believe was published in 2008. Amen: What Prayer Can Mean in a World Beyond Belief was published in 2012. Vosper is also the founder of the Canadian Centre for Progressive Christianity. Gretta Vosper could soon be defrocked by the United Church.

It all started with her open letter to the spiritual leader of the Church, in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris. She pointed out in the letter that belief in God can motivate bad things. According to Vosper, Canadian people's outlook or take on religion and faith are changing.

Canadians want to move past rigid religious rules and beliefs to lead a meaningful life. They want a country that is not divided by religion. Organized religion was very important to Canadians, once. It is not, any longer. In an interview given to CTV’s Canada AM, Vosper said that the Canadian people are no longer in search of religion-dictated doctrinal beliefs, no matter how scientifically progressive it may sound.

According to a survey conducted by the Angus Reid Forum, Canada's leading online market research community, 1 in 4 Canadians are inclined to reject religion, around 30% are inclined to accept religion, and the rest falls in between. According to Michael Ingham, a retired Anglican bishop, religion is no longer powerful in most of the Western world, as it has once been.

Professor Timothy Caulfield (University of Alberta’s Faculty of Law and School of Public Health), who has been researching the connection between spirituality and celebrity culture for the past few years, says that there is no importance for religion in most of the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries. He points out that the rise of science may be one of the reasons for such a drastic decline in faith.

As of now, the United Church is going ahead with the unprecedented review to defrock Gretta Vosper. An appeal filed by her has already been dismissed by the Church. Julian Falconer, one of the lawyers for Vosper, said that a full hearing on the appeal would have been a golden opportunity for the Church to reflect/project its reputation for openness and fairness. It has lost its opportunity.


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