Most of Canada’s 26 million people can choose between American and Canadian television, including religious television. The landscape of religious broadcasting north of the border, however, looks quite different from that in the United States.

For starters, evangelical television ministries are not only far fewer in number, but their budgets are but a fraction of the size of those of their American counterparts.

The country’s only large-scale electronic media ministry, Crossroads Christian Communications, with the flagship daily program “100 Huntley Street,” operates on an annual budget of approximately $14 million (U.S.). (In the U.S., this would not be among the top ten.) More typically, Canadian ministries operate on budgets under $1 million (U.S.).

The only official vehicle monitoring financial accountability is the Canadian Council of Christian Charities, a much smaller counterpart to the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability. But the financial integrity of leading Canadian evangelicals, within or outside the electronic church, has never been seriously challenged. In fact, Canada’s best-known television preacher, David Mainse, host of “100 Huntley Street,” once told the press he sometimes could not bear to watch some “flashy American TV evangelists.”

Multifaith Venture

Canadian religious broadcasting is characterized in part by a tolerance for other beliefs. Unlike the U.S., in Canada religious broadcasting is not synonymous with Christian programming.

Canadian evangelicals have taken part in various cooperative ventures with other faith groups. Most notable among them is Vision TV, a multifaith, multicultural cable network that debuted last year (CT, Nov. 18, 1988, p. 58). Its programming, which one media critic ...

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