Religious diversity in Canada has rapidly changed over the past few decades.
This change in the religious landscape is partly due to new incoming permanent residents, who are more likely to subscribe to a faith other than Christianity.
A recent poll from the Angus Reid Institute has found that new and second-generation immigrants are generally satisfied with Canada’s freedom of religion, respect for religious minorities, and harmony among religious groups in Canada.
Across all three poll topics, 4 in 10 immigrants say that Canada is better than their home country, while another 4 in 10 also say that it is comparable.
By the numbers
Participants of the poll were divided into 3 sections: immigrants (new permanent residents), second-generation (the individual and their parents were born in Canada), and third-generation (grandparents or older relatives were born in Canada).
While approximately 4 in 10 new and second-generation immigrants believe Canada has better religious freedom than other countries, a nearly double 7 in 10 third-generation immigrants also believe so.
Respect vs. Freedom
Currently, Catholicism (at 39%) and Protestantism (at 27%) remain the largest religions for those who identified as religious in Canada.
However, a diverse range of religions are growing, and while roughly 4 in 10 immigrants think Canada is doing a better job of respecting religious minorities than their home country, a striking 1 in 10 new immigrants think Canada is doing worse.
On a global scale
Overall, according to a recent Pew Research report, Canada remains a global leader on minimizing religious restrictions.
While harassment and government restriction on religion has increased globally, Canada finds itself on the lowest level of Pew’s relative scale.