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article imageReligious faith in Canada is changing

By Mark Shiffer     Jun 7, 2015 in World
While Canadians are increasingly rejecting organized religion, certain religious faiths are getting boosted by an influx of immigration.
As with most Western countries, organized religious faith in Canada is changing. Canadians are generally divided into three groups. With their numbers steadily rising, up to 26 percent of the population rejects organized religion. About 30 percent claim they fully embrace religion and the other 44 percent of Canadians felt somewhere in between. The numbers for the first two groups have important political implications as religious beliefs could have an impact on various controversial issues such as abortion, capital punishment, and assisted suicide. The most religious regions in the country were Manitoba, Saskatchewan and the Maritimes. The least religious provinces were British Columbia and Quebec.
While religious leaders are wary of the increasing lack of affiliation by Canadians, certain religious groups are seeing a healthy boost in their memberships. The faiths on the rise include Roman Catholics, Evangelical Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists and Sikhs. Much of the success of these faiths is due to immigration. Immigrants entering Canada tend to be more religious and likely to participate in organized services. As well, immigrants tend to have larger families and all family members are more likely to participate.
The religious groups seeing fewer adherents or stagnating are the United Church, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Anglicans, Pentecostals and Jews. Again, part of the reason for this is due to lack of immigration of people belonging to these faiths. As an example, Presbyterians have historically benefited from a large influx of Scottish immigrants to Canada. Immigrants from Scotland now make up a tiny proportion of yearly immigration numbers.
Overall, Christianity is still by far the most dominant religious affiliation in Canada. Over 22 million people, or about two-thirds of the Canadian population regard themselves as Christian. Roman Catholics make up the largest denomination at 39 percent. In second, about one-quarter of Canadians don't identify with any religious denomination. Muslims at 3.2 percent of the population came in third.
More about Religion, Faith, Canada, Immigration, Religious
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