55% of Canadians say religion has a positive effect on the world overall

CANADA’S religious landscape has shifted in recent decades, as its composition has grown more diverse with each decade. New permanent residents are increasingly likely to identify as following a faith other than Christianity, which in turn is testing the nation’s respect and treatment of religious minorities.

A new study from the Angus Reid Institute asks Immigrants and Second-Generation Canadians for their perceptions of Canada’s performance on religious tolerance, and finds a generally satisfied population. Roughly four-in-ten newcomers say that Canada is better than their home country when it comes to religious freedom, while a similar number say it is about the same.

Interestingly, Third-Generation+ Canadians, who presumably have less experience regarding religious culture abroad, are considerably more positive about their nation’s religious freedom and treatment of religious minorities.

This report also compares the perspectives of these three groups, newer and older in their Canadian lineage, on questions of morality and values. Across each of the groups, Canadians are divided over personal definitions of right and wrong, the place of religion in society, and how best to live one’s life.

More Key Findings:

  • Across three measures, freedom of religion, respect for religious minorities, and harmony among religious groups in Canada, four-in-ten immigrants say Canada performs better than the country they came from, while four-in-ten say Canada compares similarly
  • Just over half (55%) of Canadians say religion has a positive effect on the world overall, and immigrants are twice as likely to strongly agree with this sentiment when compared to Third-Generation+ Canadians
  • Regardless of how long they have been in Canada, Canadians are divided on the question of what makes for the best life. Half say focusing on helping others, while half say focusing on individual achievements

For more: www.angusreid.org/religious-freedom-in-canada-immigrants