ant.” Jean-Bourgeault speaks of
barely healed wounds of clergy
abuse, corruption, and oppression by a Roman Catholic
Church that walked hand in
hand with the State.
But according to this young
Evangelical, Catholicism also
gave Quebec a value system, an
education and health system, and a historical identity rich and
valuable and cannot be easily dismissed. “I conciliated my
faith with my cultural identity when I rediscovered the religious heritage of ancestors. I think that part of the answer for
Evangelicalism in Quebec is to at least change one’s mentality
towards this heritage.”
a complicated place to Be an Evangelical
Jean-Sébastien Morin is a Baptist pastor from Saint-Constant,
a city in southwestern Quebec. He is a university teacher
who converted to Evangelicalism through the witness of his
stepfather. Morin has written extensively for the evangelical
community of Quebec. His book Nous croyons en Dieu: La foi
évangélique pour tous [We Believe in God: Evangelical Faith for
Everyone] (Éditions Ministères Multilingues, 2009) is addressed
to newcomers and nonbelievers, and presents basic theology
contextualized to Quebec’s cultural norms and mores.
“There is a total lack of resources in Quebec,” says Morin.
“We were complaining about this
same problem 20 years ago – it
seems to still be the case. I think
almost every evangelical publishing company is struggling
financially. A majority of Christian books are translated from
At 31 Morin is one of the youngest pastors in his denomination. In the Union d’Églises baptistes francophones du Canada, 46 per cent of the denomination’s financing comes from
out of the province, 1 in 4 current pastors will retire in the next
5 years, and salaries for pastors, says Morin, remain low. He
views his own denomination, and the larger evangelical scene
in Quebec, as struggling. “More churches would be alright, but
I would be especially concerned with seeing healthy churches
first and foremost,” he says.
Healthy churches are not in abundance, but they do exist.
Some of Quebec’s most steadily growing congregations are larger regional churches with attendance ranging between 400 and
2000, such as Nouvelle Vie in Longueil, Carrefour Chrétien de
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Noémie Jean-Bourgeault observes that evangelical trends in Quebec come and go.