My only major issue with these tax exemptions in Canada is that the advancement or religion is considered charity. Churches are granted their tax exemptions as registered charitable organizations. This status can, and has been revoked from churches abusing that status. I don't know how vigilantly this is enforced though.
Perhaps. Again, I don't think that the advancement of religion should be considered charity; however, advancement of education could also be considered charity, so you could create a similar organization that was completely atheistic* and it should (I think) be equally eligible for the same tax benefits.
*I didn't want to say 'atheist church', but I suppose that would be the general idea.
My own perception on this is that government wants churches to stay in business. Many would likely not be able to survive if they were subject to paying taxes since their monetary positions are often borderline. And as they say; " religion is regarded by common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful ". You know what happens when a drug addict is taken off of their drug? Imagine many christians without their drug ( house of worship ). Yes you can say well if only a few churches were to close their doors there would be other ones they could attend. But you know how " clickey " congregations are. Once you find a church that you feel at home with, just going to another one out of nessesity doesn't always fit most churchgoers.
the reason is obvious. Christianity has become so popular that people are judged if they are not a christian. it's gotten to the point were someone will not even vote for a leader if they are not of the same faith as them. It's ignorance like thinking that America is a christian nation, and that they have to reclaim it in the name of their god. It's only getting worse it seems, especially when you look at extremists like the tea party.
Well...in my area, where undeveloped land is at a premium, most of the churches would be unable to afford to pay the property taxes on their land. So, what would happen is that they'd sell off chunks to developers who would build lots of ticky-tacky McMansions. So, in principle I agree that churches should pay taxes but for selfish reasons (I enjoy the extra green spaces).....I don't mind that they don't