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Religious intolerance in Canada

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Overview:

Religion and cultural matters in Canada are profoundly affected by activities in the United States with which Canada shares the longest almost undefended border in the world. (It is only in recent years that guards on the Canadian side of the border have started to pack guns.)

There are major religious differences between the U.S. and Canada:

  • The percentage of adults who are Roman Catholics is much higher in Canada. A government census in 2001 showed "just under 12.8 million" Roman Catholics in the country. A 2011 National Household Survey found 12.7 million Catholics, thus indicating a slight decline in numbers and percentage. They represent about 42% of the total national population. 1 In comparison, about 24% of Americans identify themselves as Catholics. 2

  • The percentage of Canadian adults who identify themselves as evangelical Protestants is less than 10%. 3 This is much lower than the approximately 26% in the U.S. 2

  • The two largest denominations in Canada are the United Church of Canada and the Anglican Church of Canada -- both relatively liberal denominations.

  • The percentage of adults who "say" that they attend regular church, circle, mosque, synagogue or temple services is only about 20% and is dropping about 1 percentage point per year. In the US, about 40% of adults report attending regular services; that number is fairly constant. Recent studies in which individual attendees were actually counted have revealed that these numbers are about double the actual number in both countries.

The differences affect Canadians' responses to controversial topics such as abortion access, same-sex marriage, freedoms of transgender persons and transgender, etc. which are generally more incusive than among Americans.

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Topics of religious intolerance in Canada covered in this section:

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References used:

  1. Benjamin Shingler, "StatsCan: Roman Catholics remains single largest Christian religious group in Canada,"  The Canadian Press, 2013-MAY-08, at: http://globalnews.ca/
  2. "Religious Landscape Survey," Pew Research Religion & Public Life Project, 2007-MAY to AUG, at: http://religions.pewforum.org/
  3. Douglas Todd, "Harper the evangelical," The Canadian Charger, 2011-APR-14, at: http://www.thecanadiancharger.com/


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Copyright 2013 to 2017by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2013-SEP-26
Latest update: 2017-FEB-05
Author: B.A. Robinson

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