June 18th, 2024

Statistics show people who consider themselves Christian in Lethbridge a minority

By Lethbridge Herald on November 10, 2022.


I read with great interest the latest 2021 Census data which presented data on, amongst other things, the state of religion in Canada, Alberta, and even good ole Lethbridge. The results were fascinating and, I believe, should serve to break a myth that has persisted about Lethbridge for far too long. The myth: Lethbridge is an incredibly religious place. 

In the 2001 census, Lethbridge was clearly a Christian town. Something on the order of 71 per cent of respondents declared a Christian affiliation. At that time, members of the LDS community numbered about one in every 10 Lethbridge residents. The percentage of people with no religious affiliation was 22 per cent. This is about what we would expect for the city. It shows that at one time, Lethbridge was a very Christian city. 

The 2011 census started to paint a very different picture of religion in Lethbridge. Back then, the percentage of respondents in Lethbridge saying they were Christian had fallen to the low 60s. The LDS population had fallen to about one in 13 residents. But the biggest surprise was that the percentage of people with no religious affiliation came out to about 34 per cent. The percentage of people in Lethbridge with no religious affiliation was higher than the national and provincial averages. In 2011, a reasonable case was starting to form that Lethbridge had long left its Christian dominated roots behind, and that in fact, Lethbridge was actually more secular than the provincial and national trend. Yet the myth of religious Lethbridge continued to persist.

As I was filling out the 2021 census, I made a prediction: I guessed that the number of Christians in Lethbridge would be around 55 per cent and the percentage of non-religious people hover in around 35-40 per cent. When I saw the data last week, my mouth hit the ground. In 2021, 48-49 per cent of Lethbridge residents identified as Christian. Christianity is now a minority religion in Lethbridge. 

The percentage of non-religious residents is 44 per cent. The number of LDS residents in Lethbridge has fallen to one in 20. Friends, this just in: Lethbridge’s largest religious affiliation 10 years from now is going to be far and away no religious affiliation. The myth of religious Lethbridge is dead – Lethbridge is no longer a religious prairie town. We need to stop pretending that it is, and we need to finally kill the myth that ardent religious followers control the city’s agenda.

Aaron Von Rothstein


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This has to be a great thing for our little city. It tells me that people are leaning less on Religion as a crutch in life as time goes by. Now if we can get to 0% Religious by the end of the century that would be really something to celebrate!

Southern Albertan

And yet, there is still, the aspect of the religious right wing prosperity doctrine intertwined in UCP politics in Alberta, and federal right wing politics, as aptly described in an article in ‘albertaviews.’ And, not to forget, there is the issue of some folks believing they are ‘christians’ but by their actions/beliefs, are not walking their christian talk with God.


And let’s not forget that the many in the religious right view the world through the Calvinist lens of the Doctrine of Depravity.

Southern Albertan

That may be for some, but, I was raised in a right wing religious calvinist family, and what took priority, for sure, was the prosperity doctrine. In fact, we used to joke that what should be on the wall behind the pulpit in our right wing calvinist church should be a dollar sign instead of a cross.


I love religion I was raised Catholic, its the organized part that gives me pause. Organized religion is a business, at least it acts that way. You take a look at what the catholic church has done in the past few decades and you cant come up with a different hypothesis. Add to that the recent 5th estate episode on the LDS it becomes even clearer.

Take a look at the churchs in this city and think of the lost property tax to the city. Do they not receive city services? They receive their tax free status based on the common good they provide. Using that argument shouldn’t other places also qualify? Health clinics, Gyms, grocery stores among others province for my common good.