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.
October 20, 2010
With the appointment of 20 cardinal electors, Pope Benedict XVI continues to put his mark on the College of Cardinals, which will eventually elect his successor. Benedict has now appointed 40% of the college, with the rest chosen by his predecessor. Granted his age, these could easily be the cardinals who will choose the next pope.
October 30, 2009
150 years ago--in October 1859--John Brown led a raid on a U.S. armory in Harper's Ferry, Virginia. He hoped to gather arms and lead an army to fight slaveholders. Instead, he was quickly stopped and hanged for his lawless actions. Is he a hero, a martyr, or a criminal?
September 10, 2008
July 4, 2008
In terms of Faith and Values politicking, it's been a rough week for the Democrats. Yesterday, while Sarah Palin was (again) reminding folks of Barack Obama's views on bitter Americans clinging to religion and guns, Joseph Biden found himself enmeshed in the one religiously themed debate he must steadfastly avoid. The issue in question: What else? Abortion.
On Meet the Press this past Sunday Senator Biden reiterated that, as a Catholic, he is personally opposed to abortion. He went on to add,...
May 8, 2008
World leaders are heading for Japan for the annual ritual known as the Group of Eight meeting. Last week a different group of leaders met, also in Japan, also to take stock of the leading issues that face the world.
They were religious leaders, and their gathering took place in two Japanese cities with spiritual roots, Osaka and Kyoto. The meeting is part of a tradition, now three years old, of a religious summit on the eve of the grand G8 summit.
Religious leaders don’t make policy,...
April 25, 2008
The global food crisis came like a tsunami, with amazing speed and stealth. Development institutions everywhere are scrambling to face the urgent problems and questions that come in its wake.
There's the immediate problem: How to find funds to buy enough food to meet steep increases in demand to feed hungry people here and now.
March 3, 2008
The landmark "Breakthrough" summit at the National Cathedral had a clear goal; to bring together faith, development, and women's organizations in order to create a powerful new force for reducing poverty by improving the lives of women and girls around the world.
The event, held April 13-14, had two distinct parts. The first was a grand and moving show that drew in the crowd in both a spiritual and sensory way. In the morning a forum in the Cathedral nave featured Thoraya Obaid, who heads...
Admit it, Secular America. If Mike Huckabee had said something like this on the campaign trail you’d be locking and loading faster than you could hum John Lennon’s lyric “Imagine all the people, Living life in peace”:
And during the course of that sermon, I was introduced to someone named Jesus Christ. I learned that my sins could be redeemed and that if I placed my trust in Christ, He could set me on the path to eternal life.
And you’d probably be thinking again...
January 12, 2008
Charles Taylor writes on the Immanent Frame: Robert Bellah’s latest post poses clearly the issues that we’ve been agonizing over in Canada, and in a different way now in Quebec. Lots of people want to shy away from a political identity which is primarily defined in ethnic terms. On the contrary when asked what are the crucial uniting ideas of our society, they come up with some variant of universal “values,” defined in terms of modern charters of rights (all...
What holds us together
January 10, 2008
Robert Bellah writes on the Immanent Frame: In his response to my concern about whether “post-Durkheimian” is a viable category, Charles Taylor goes part way in answering my query, but, in my view, not far enough. When he writes “I don’t think it’s possible to have a successful, modern democratic society without some strong sense of what unites us as citizens,” he is conceding my basic Durkheimian point, that a society without common values is not a viable...
What inspires us & what holds us together
January 21, 2007
Charles Taylor writes on the Immanent Frame: Having escaped for a few seconds from the Commission, I had a chance to read many of the very interesting posts to the blog. With many I agree, others not. But there are two points where I obviously failed to communicate what I wanted to say (possibly because that is incoherent, though I hope not).
Elizabeth Hurd headed off a series of entries with “The slipstream of disenchantment and the place of fullness”. “Fullness” is a...