34,300,083 (July 2012 est.)
GDP PER CAPITA
$41,100 (2011 est.)
Roman Catholic 42.6%, Protestant 23.3% (United Church 9.5%, Anglican 6.8%, Baptist 2.4%, Lutheran 2%), other Christian 4.4%, Muslim 1.9%, other and unspecified 11.8%, none 16% (2001 census)
Canada is an overwhelmingly Christian country, though the role of religion in public life has waned in recent decades. French settlement beginning in the 17th century established a Roman Catholic francophone population in Lower Canada, now Quebec, followed by English settlement that brought Anglicans and other Protestants to Upper Canada, now Ontario. The religious, cultural, and political antagonism between Canadian Protestants and Catholics remained a central theme of Canadian history. The most recent vote for Quebec’s secession from Canada, held in 1995, was defeated by only 1%. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees freedom of religion and prohibits religiously based discrimination. Provinces are permitted to fund religious education in public schools, leading to funding of Catholic education in Catholic-majority areas like Quebec, and funding of Protestant education in much of the rest of the country.
The Canadian Islamic Congress (CIC) is the main independent organization representing Canada's Muslims, both Sunni and Shiite. The congress's website and regional programs provide a wide range of basic educational materials relating to Islam and promote an agenda of "Smart Integration" to merge the Islamic faith with Canadian identity; to this end, it offers university scholarships to Muslim students studying in journalism, law, the social sciences, or political science and publicly...
The United Church of Canada (UCC) is the largest Protestant denomination in Canada, with approximately 3 million members. The denomination formed in 1925 following the merger of Methodist, Congregational, and Presbyterian groups; later talks with the Anglican Church of Canada and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) ultimately did not result in greater union. One major focus of UCC's overseas partnerships has been gender justice and the role the church can play in its development. Its...
The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops is the Canadian branch of the global network of Episcopal Conferences. It represents all bishops in Canada, and engages in a broad range of activities including interfaith and ecumenical dialogue, social justice, international aid, theology, liturgy, and education. It is organized into six commissions, four committees, and an aboriginal council, each of which specializes in a specific pastoral area. Their members support bishops in their ministry by...
The Canadian Jewish Congress is a 90-year-old organization that aims to represent Canadian Jews before the Canadian government and society at large. Focused primarily on Parliament, it engages in advocacy and education on a broad variety of issues, ranging from combating antisemitism to social justice issues. It has also been active in the struggle for peace in Darfur, and raised awareness about persistent poverty in Canada. In addition, it has an extensive media center through which it...