Chapters related to the public policy issues of healthcare, education and multiculturalism show how new ethnic and religious diversity are challenging and changing Canadian institutions and society. Comprehensive and insightful, Religion and Ethnicity in Canada makes a unique contribution to the study of world religions in Canada. Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App.
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Write a customer review. University of Toronto Press , - Social Science - pages. Sikhs in Canada Identity and Commitment. Buddhists in Canada Impermanence in a Land. Education Multiculturalism and Religion. Health Care Religion and Ethnic Diversity. Toward a New Story about Religion and Ethnicity. Demographics of Religious Identification. Canada is a Commonwealth realm in which the head of state is shared with 15 other countries. As such, Canada follows the United Kingdom's succession laws for its monarch, which bar Roman Catholics from inheriting the throne. Christmas and Easter are nationwide holidays, and while Jews , Muslims , and other religious groups are allowed to take their holy days off work, they do not share the same official recognition.
There was an ongoing battle in the late 20th century to have religious garb accepted throughout Canadian society, mostly focused on Sikh turbans. The Canadian Armed Forces authorized the wearing of turban in , eventually the Royal Canadian Mounted Police followed in and eventually other federal government agencies accepted members wearing turbans.
Religious Diversity in a Multicultural Canada: Quo Vadis? | Policy Horizons Canada
Secularization has been growing since the s. In recent years there have been substantial rises in non-Christian religions in Canada. Before the arrival of Europeans, the First Nations followed a wide array of mostly animistic religions and spirituality.
They were dedicated to converting the Natives; an effort that eventually proved successful. The first large Protestant communities were formed in the Maritimes after they were conquered by the British. This effort proved successful and today the South Shore region of Nova Scotia is still largely Lutheran.
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After the Expulsion of the Acadians beginning in a large number of New England Planters settled on the vacated lands bringing with them their Congregationalist belief. While Anglicans consolidated their hold on the upper classes, workingmen and farmers responded to the Methodist revivals , often sponsored by visiting preachers from the United States.
He brought in the converts by the score, most notably in the revivals in Western Canada from to His technique combined restrained emotionalism with a clear call for personal commitment, coupled with follow-up action to organize support from converts. It was a time when the holiness movement caught fire, with the revitalized interest of men and women in Christian perfection. Caughey successfully bridged the gap between the style of earlier camp meetings and the needs of more sophisticated Methodist congregations in the emerging cities.
In the early nineteenth century in the Maritimes and Upper Canada , the Anglican Church held the same official position it did in England. 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 Rebellion in Upper Canada.
With the arrival of responsible governments , the Anglican monopoly was ended. In Lower Canada , the Roman Catholic Church was officially pre-eminent and had a central role in the colony's culture and politics. Known as Ultramontane Catholicism, the church adopted positions condemning all manifestations of liberalism. In politics, those aligned with the Roman 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 , national census revealed By the late nineteenth century, Protestant pluralism had taken hold in English Canada.
While much of the elite were still Anglican, other groups, including the Methodists, had become very prominent as well. 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 as a non-denominational school. The influence of the Orange Order was strong, especially among Irish Protestant immigrants, and comprised a powerful anti-Catholic force in Ontario politics; its influence faded away after The late nineteenth century also saw the beginning of a large shift in Canadian immigration patterns.
In Canada's five major Protestant denominations Anglican , Baptist , Congregational , Methodist , and Presbyterian cooperatively undertook the "Forward Movement. The movement invoked Anglophone nationalism by linking donations with the Victory Loan campaigns of the First World War , and stressed the need for funds to Canadianize immigrants.
However the campaign exposed deep divisions among Protestants, with the traditional Evangelists speaking of a personal relationship with God and the more liberal denominations emphasizing the Social Gospel and good works. As of , Roman Catholics were the largest religious body in Canada, with 4 million people. Following it were the United Church of Canada including Methodists, Congregationalists and Presbyterians , with 2 million; the Anglican Church, with nearly 2 million; and the Presbyterian Church, with approximately , The Canada Year Book reported that "of the non-Christian sects, , or 1.
Domination of Canadian society by Protestant and Roman Catholic elements continued until well into the 20th century. Until the s, most parts of Canada still had extensive Lord's Day laws that limited what one could do on a Sunday. Overtly Christian laws were expunged, including those against homosexuality.
Policies favouring Christian immigration were also abolished. In , a nationwide census was taken after incorporation of predominantly Protestant province of Newfoundland and Labrador. According to statistics provided by Statistics Canada , Protestants held a slight majority in the country between and Despite Canada's large Roman Catholic population, this fact is confirmed by nine consecutive national censuses. The most overwhelming change occurred during the Quiet Revolution in Quebec in the s. Up to the s, the province was one of the most traditional Roman Catholic areas in the world. Church attendance rates were high, and the schools were largely controlled by the Church.
In the s, the Catholic Church lost most of its influence in Quebec, and religiosity declined sharply. English Canada also underwent secularization. The United Church of Canada , the country's largest Protestant denomination, became one of the most liberal major Protestant churches in the world.
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Flatt argues that in the s Canada's rapid cultural changes led the United Church to end its evangelical programs and change its identity. It made revolutionary changes in its evangelistic campaigns, educational programs, moral stances, and theological image. However, membership declined sharply as the United Church affirmed a commitment to gay rights including marriage and ordination, and to the ordination of women.
Meanwhile, a strong current of evangelical Protestantism emerged.
Religious Diversity in a Multicultural Canada: Quo Vadis?
The social environment is more conservative, somewhat more in line with that of the Midwestern and Southern United States , and same-sex marriage, abortion, and common-law relationships are less widely accepted. This movement has grown sharply after The evangelicals increasingly influence public policy. Nevertheless, the overall proportion of evangelicals in Canada remains considerably lower than in the United States and the polarization much less intense.
There are very few evangelicals in Quebec and in the largest urban areas, which are generally secular, although there are several congregations above members in most large cities. Ives, of Canadian ancestry, though not living in Canada at the time. The majority of Canadian Christians attend church services infrequently.
Cross-national surveys of religiosity rates such as the Pew Global Attitudes Project indicate that, on average, Canadian Christians are less observant than those of the United States but are still more overtly religious than their counterparts in Western Europe. This American magazine reported that three polls conducted by Focus on the Family , Time Canada and the Vanier Institute of the Family showed church attendance increasing for the first time in a generation, with weekly attendance at 25 per cent.
This number is similar to the statistics reported by premier Canadian sociologist of religion, Prof. Reginald Bibby of the University of Lethbridge , who has been studying Canadian religious patterns since The Egyptian population in Ontario and Quebec Greater Toronto in particular has seen a large influx of the Coptic Orthodox population in just a few decades. The relatively large Ukrainian population of Manitoba and Saskatchewan has produced many followers of the Ukrainian Catholic and Ukrainian Orthodox Churches , while southern Manitoba has been settled largely by Mennonites.
The concentration of these smaller groups often varies greatly across the country. Baptists are especially numerous in the Maritimes. The Maritimes, prairie provinces, and southwestern Ontario have significant numbers of Lutherans. Southwest Ontario has seen large numbers of German and Russian immigrants, including many Mennonites and Hutterites , as well as a significant contingent of Dutch Reformed. Alberta has seen considerable immigration from the American plains, creating a significant Mormon minority in that province.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints claimed to have , members 74, of whom in Alberta at the end of Canada as a nation is becoming increasingly religiously diverse, especially in large urban centres such as Toronto , Vancouver , and Montreal , where minority groups and new immigrants who make up the growth in most religious groups congregate.
Two significant trends become clear when the current religious landscape is examined closely. The other is the increasing presence of ethnically diverse immigration within the religious makeup of the country. As Mainline Protestants and Roman Catholics have experienced drastic losses over the past 30 years, others have been expanding rapidly: This increased influx of ethnic immigrants not only affects the types of religions represented in the Canadian context but also the increasingly multicultural and multilingual makeup of individual Christian denominations.
From Chinese Anglican or Korean United Church communities, to the Lutheran focus on providing much needed services to immigrants new to the Canadian context and English language , immigration is making changes. For some Protestant denominations , adapting to a new secular context has meant adjusting to their non-institutional roles in society by increasingly focusing on social justice. This of course will depend on the background of the immigrant population, as in the Hong Kong context where ordination of Florence Li Tim Oi happened long before women's ordination was ever raised on the Canadian Anglican church level.
As well a multicultural focus on the churches part may include non-Christian elements such as the inclusion of a Buddhist priest in one incident which are unwelcome to the transplanted religious community. This high commitment would seem to translate into the kind of political power evangelicals in the United States enjoy but despite Canada's historically Christian background as Lori Beaman notes neatly " Much as many Roman Catholics in Quebec ignore the Church's stance on birth control , abortion , or premarital sex , the churches do not dictate much of the daily lives of regular Canadians.
This religious event was the largest tourist attraction to Toronto  in the year This event was characterized by unusual religious ecstascy such as being slain in the Spirit , laughing uncontrollably , and other odd behavior. A study estimates some 43, believers in Christ from a Muslim background in Canada, most of whom belong to the evangelical tradition. In mids Hutterites moved from Europe to the Dakota Territory in the United States to avoid military service and other persecutions.
First Mennonites arrived in Canada in from Pennsylvania , but following Mennonites arrived directly from Europe.
The Catholic Church in Canada, under the spiritual leadership of the Pope and the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops , has the largest number of adherents to a religion in Canada, with It was the first European faith in what is now Canada, arriving in when John Cabot landed on Newfoundland and raised the Venetian and Papal banners, claiming the land for his sponsor King Henry VII of England , while recognizing the religious authority of the Roman Catholic Church.
Adherents of Eastern Orthodox Christianity in Canada belong to several ecclesiastical jurisdictions. Historically, Eastern Orthodoxy was introduced to Canada during the course of 19th century, mainly through emigration of Christians from Eastern Europe and the Middle East. Honoring such diverse heritage, Eastern Orthodoxy in Canada is traditionally organized in accordance with patrimonial jurisdictions of autocephalous Eastern Orthodox Churches, each of them having its own hierarchy with dioceses and parishes. According to census data, Greek Orthodox community constitutes the largest Eastern Orthodox community in Canada, with , adherents.
It is followed by other communities: