Since General Conference reports were given in alphabetical order, Canada went first. Brian Magnus, bishop of the United Brethren Church in Canada, opened his report on January 11 by talking about the secularization of his country.
“I believe North America is coming to a place, soon, where Europe has been for a while. People are already calling North American post-Christian. Christian values are being dropped all over the place. Marriage in Canada is now between any two persons, regardless of sex.
“I predict that very soon, polygamy will be legal in Canada, too. We have many people who have immigrated from Muslim and other countries, and they want to bring over their second, third, and fourth wives. Marriage itself has dropped in popularity; the majority of people simply move in together and never get married. The divorce rate has gone down, but it’s only because so few people get married.
“We have a partnership with a Christian organization called Christian Horizons which provides services for handicapped people. A case currently making its way to our Supreme Court will affect all Christian organizations in Canada. One of the 3000 employees of this organization had signed an agreement to live by Christian values, but then she entered into a lesbian relationship and was fired.
“The courts have found the Christian organization guilty of discrimination. The question before the courts now is whether Christian organizations can hire only other Christians, or must hire anyone. This specifically relates to doing social work, which of course as Christians we want to do.
“The country has become very secular. But we want to take advantage of the opportunities we have, and not just feel sorry because our country is changing. God has us there for a reason. We want to be his servants.”