Religion in Canada, Category:Religion in Canada
, Talk:Religion in Canada
Top Religious Denominations in Canada
| rowspan=2 |
! align=center colspan=2|2001
! align=center colspan=2|1991
! align=center rowspan=2 style="font-size: 70%"|% change
! Number!! %!!Number!! %
!align=left |Christian || ||77|| ||80
|align=left | - Roman Catholic
||12,936,905|| 43.6||12,203,625|| 45.2|| +4.8
|align=left | - Total Protestant|| 8,654,850|| 29.2|| 9,427,675|| 34.9|| -8.2
|align=left style="text-indent:30px"| - United Church of Canada
||2,839,125|| 9.6||3,093,120||11.5 ||-8.2
|align=left style="text-indent:30px"| - Anglican Church of Canada
|| 2,035,495|| 6.9||2,188,110|| 8.1|| -7.0
|align=left style="text-indent:30px"| - Christian, not included elsewhere¹|| 780,450|| 2.6||353,040|| 1.3|| +121.1
| align=left style="text-indent:30px"|- Baptist
|| 729,475|| 2.5||663,360||2.5 || +10.0
|align=left style="text-indent:30px"| - Lutheran
|| 606,590|| 2.0||636,205||2.4 || -4.7
|align=left style="text-indent:30px"| - Protestant, not included elsewhere²|| 549,205|| 1.9
|align=left style="text-indent:30px"| - Presbyterian
|| 409,830|| 1.4||636,295||2.4 || -35.6
|align=left | - Christian Orthodox
||479,620|| 1.6|| 387,395|| 1.4|| +23.8
!align=left|No religion|| 4,796,325|| 16.2||3,333,245|| 12.3|| +43.9
|align=left| - Muslim
|| 579,640|| 2.0||253,265|| 0.9||+128.9
|align=left| - Jewish
||329,995|| 1.1|| 318,185|| 1.2||+3.7
|align=left| - Buddhist
||300,345|| 1.0 ||163,415|| 0.6|| +83.8
|align=left| - Hindu
||297,200|| 1.0|| 157,015|| 0.6|| +89.3
|align=left| - Sikh
||278,415|| 0.9|| 147,440|| 0.5|| +88.8
|align=left colspan=6 style="font-size:90%"|¹ Includes persons who report “Christian”, and those who report “Apostolic”, “Born-again Christian” and “Evangelical”.² Includes persons who report only “Protestant”.
* For comparability purposes, 1991 data are presented according to 2001 boundaries.
Non-Christian religions in Canada
Non-Christian religions in Canada are more concentrated in metropolitan cites such as Montreal
, and to a much lesser extent in mid-sized cities such as Ottawa
. A possible exception is Judaism, which has long been a notable minority even in smaller centres. Much of the increase in non-Christian religions is attributed to changing immigration trends in the last fifty years. Increased immigration
, the Middle East
has created ever-growing Muslim, Buddhist, Sikh, and Hindu communities.
Canadians with no religious affiliation
Lack of religion is most common on the West Coast, particularly in Greater Vancouver
. Non-religious Canadians include atheists
as well as other nontheist
s. Currently, they make up 16.2 percent of the population according to the 2001 census. Some non-religious Canadians have formed some associations, such as the Humanist Association of Canada
. In 1991, some non-religious Canadians signed a petition, tabled in Parliament by Svend Robinson
, to remove "God" from the preamble to the Canadian Constitution
, after which he was relegated to the backbenches by his party leader. According to http://www.religioustolerance.org/can_rel2.htm www.religioustolerance.org
, among those with no religion approximately 17,815 specified agnostic, 18,605 specified atheist, and 1,245 specified they were humanist.
Christianity in Canada
The majority of Canadian Christians only attend church
infrequently. Cross national surveys of religiosity rates such as the Pew Global Attitudes Project indicate that, on average, Canadian Christians are less fervent that those of the United States
but are still more overtly religious than those of continental European countries such as France
. In 2002, 30% of Canadians reported to Pew researchers that religion was "very important" to them. This figure was similar to that in the United Kingdom (33%) and Italy (27%). In the United States, the equivalent figure was 59%, in France, a mere 11%. Large regional differences within Canada exist, however, as well as a very notable urban-rural divide. The rates for regular church attendance are contested, with estimates running as low as 20% and as high as 35%.
As well as the large churches, Canada also has many smaller Christian groups from Eastern Orthodoxy
. The concentration of these smaller groups often varies greatly across the country. The Maritimes
have large numbers of Lutherans
who were deliberately imported by the British. Southwest Ontario saw large numbers of German migrants, including many Mennonites
. The large Ukrainian
population of Manitoba
has produced many followers of the Uniate
or Ukrainian Orthodox Church
has seen considerable immigration from the American plains creating a large Mormon minority in that province.
Government and religion
Canada today has no official church, and the government is officially committed to religious pluralism. In some fields Christian influence remains.Christmas
are nationwide holidays, and while Jews, Muslims, and other groups are allowed to take their holy days off work they do not share the same official recognition. The French version of "O Canada
", the official national anthem, contains an overtly Christian reference to "carrying the cross". In some parts of the country Sunday shopping
is still banned, but this is steadily becoming less common. There was an ongoing battle in the late 20th century to have religious garb accepted throughout Canadian society, mostly focused on Sikh turban
s. Eventually the Royal Canadian Mounted Police
, the Royal Canadian Legion
, and other groups accepted members wearing turbans.
Canada is a Commonwealth realm
in which the head of state
is shared with 15 other countries, including the United Kingdom
. The UK's succession laws forbid Roman Catholics and their spouses from occupying the throne, and the reigning monarch is also ex officio Supreme Governor of the Church of England
, but Canada is not bound by these laws. Within Canada, the Queen's title include the phrases "By the Grace of God" and "Defender of the Faith
While the Canadian government's official ties to Christianity are few, it more overtly recognizes the existence of God
. Both the preamble to the Canadian constitution
and the anthem in both languages refer to God.See related article, Status of religious freedom in Canada.
Before the arrival of Europeans, the First Nations
followed a wide array of mostly animistic
religions. See also Native American mythology
. The first Europeans to settle in great numbers in Canada were French
Catholics, including a large number of Jesuits
dedicated to converting the natives; an effort that had only limited success.
The first large Protestant communities were formed in the Maritimes after they were conquered by the British. Unable to convince enough British immigrants to go to the region, the government decided to import continental Protestants from Germany
to populate the region and counter balance the Catholic Acadians
. This group was known as the Foreign Protestants
. This effort proved successful and today the South Shore
region of Nova Scotia
is still largely Lutheran.
This pattern remained the same after the British conquest of all of New France
in 1759. While originally plans to try to convert the Catholic majority were in place, these were abandoned in the face of the American Revolution
. The Quebec Act
of 1774 acknowledged the rights of the Catholic Church throughout Lower Canada
in order to keep the French-Canadians loyal to Britain.
The American Revolution brought about a large influx of Protestants to Canada. United Empire Loyalists
, fleeing the rebellious United States, moved in large numbers to Upper Canada
and the Maritimes. They comprised a mix of Christian groups with a large number of Anglicans, but also many Presbyterians
In the early nineteenth century in the Maritimes and Upper Canada, the Anglican Church held the same official position it did in Great Britain. This caused tension within English Canada, as much of the populace was not Anglican. Increasing immigration from Scotland
created a very large Presbyterian community and they and other groups demanded equal rights. This was an important cause of the 1837 Rebellion in Upper Canada
. With the arrival of responsible government
, the Anglican monopoly was ended.
In Lower Canada, the Catholic Church was officially pre-eminent and had a central role in the colony's culture and politics. Unlike English Canada, French-Canadian nationalism became very closely associated with Catholicism. During this period, the Catholic Church in the region became one of the most reactionary in the world. Known as Ultramontane
Catholicism, the church adopted positions condemning all manifestations of liberalism
, to the extent that even the very conservative pope
s of the period had to chide it for extremism.
In politics, those aligned with the Catholic clergy in Quebec were known as les bleus
(the blues). They formed a curious alliance with the staunchly monarchist and pro-British Anglicans of English Canada (often members of the Orange Order
) to form the basis of the Canadian Conservative Party
. The Reform Party, which later became the Liberal Party
, was largely composed of the anti-clerical French-Canadians, known as les rouges
(the reds) and the non-Anglican Protestant groups. In those times, right before elections, parish priests would give sermons to their flock where they said things like Le ciel est bleu et l'enfer est rouge
. This translates as "Heaven/the sky is blue and hell is red".
By the late nineteenth century, Protestant pluralism had taken hold in English Canada. While much of the elite were still Anglican, other groups had become very prominent as well. Toronto
had become home to the world's single largest Methodist
community and it became known as the "Methodist Rome". The schools and universities created at this time reflected this pluralism with major centres of learning being established for each faith. One, King's College, later the University of Toronto
, was set up a non-denominational school.
The late nineteenth century also saw the beginning of a large shift in Canadian immigration patterns. Large numbers of Irish
and Southern Europe
an immigrants were creating new Catholic communities in English Canada. The population of the west brought significant Eastern Orthodox
immigrants from Eastern Europe
immigrants from the United States.
Domination of Canadian society by Protestant and Catholic elements continued until well into the 20th century, however. Up until the 1960s, most parts of Canada still had extensive Lord's Day
laws that limited what one could do on a Sunday. The English-Canadian elite were still dominated by Protestants, and Jews and Catholics were often excluded. A slow process of liberalization began after the Second World War
in English-Canada. Overtly Christian laws were expunged, including those against homosexuality
. Policies favouring Christian immigration were also abolished.
The most overwhelming change occurred in Quebec. In 1950, the province was one of the most dedicatedly Catholic areas in the world. Church attendance rates were extremely high, books banned by the Papal Index
were difficult to find, and the school system was largely controlled by the church. In the Quiet Revolution
of the 1960s, this was spectacularly transformed. While the majority of Québécois are still professed Catholics, rates of church attendance are today extremely low, in fact, they are the lowest of any region in North America today. Common law
, and support for same-sex marriage
are all far more common in Quebec than in the rest of Canada and than in almost any other area of the world.
English Canada had seen a similar transition, although less extreme. The United Church of Canada
, the country's largest Protestant denomination, is one of the most liberal major Protestant churches in the world. It is committed to gay rights including marriage and ordination, and to the ordination of women. The head of the church even once commented that the resurrection of Jesus
might not be a scientific fact. However, that trend appears to have subsided, as the United Church has seen its membership decline substantially since the 1990s, and other mainline churches have seen similar declines, while overall church attendance has increased in the 2000s.The influence of the Orange Order
continued, especially in Toronto
, but has largely diminished since the 1960's.
In addition, a strong current of evangelical Protestantism exists outside of Quebec. The largest groups are found in Western Canada
, particularly in rural Alberta
, southern Manitoba
and the southern interior and Fraser Valley region of British Columbia
. There is also a large evangelical population in rural parts of southern and eastern Ontario
outside the Greater Toronto Area
and a few rural sections of the Maritimes
. In these areas, the culture is much more conservative, somewhat more in line with that of the rural United States
, and same-sex marriage, abortion, common-law relationships are much less popular. This movement has grown considerably in the past few years (primarily in those areas listed above) due to strong influences on public policy and stark divides, not unlike those in the United States, although the overall proportion of evangelicals in Canada remains considerably lower. There are very few evangelicals in Quebec and in the largest urban areas, which are extremely secular.
*Buddhism in Canada
*Islam in Canada
*Judaism in Canada
*Hinduism in Canada
* http://archives.cbc.ca/IDD-1-69-97/life_society/religion_classroom/ CBC Digital Archives - Religion in the Classroom
* http://www12.statcan.ca/english/census01/Products/Analytic/companion/rel/canada.cfm Canada religious census 2001
* http://www.acs-aec.ca/Polls/30-03-2005.pdf Canada’s Demo-Religious Revolution: 2017
*http://pewglobal.org/reports/pdf/167.pdf "U.S. Stands Alone in Its Embrace of Religion" 19 December 2002, Pew Centre for People and the Press
Ron Graham, God's Dominion: a Sceptic's Quest (Toronto : McClelland & Stewart, 1990).
Michael Adams, Fire and ice : the United States, Canada and the Myth of Converging Values (Toronto: Penguin, 2003). fr:Religion au Canada