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Canada's Mythical Religious Mosaic: Some CensusFindings

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Extensive world-wide emigration to Canada has resulted in the widely-held perception that this self-declared, “multicultural”country is characterized by considerable religious diversity. National census data, however, suggest that such a religious mosaic is largely a myth. The proportion of Canadians who identify with Christianity remains high, while those who adhere to Other Faiths has risen only slightly over time. To the extent that religious intermarriage takes place—primarily with Catholics and Protestants—the tendency is for Other Faith women and men to raise their children in their partner' tradition. As a result of such assimilation patterns, Christianity continues to enjoy a significant numerical monopoly in Canada.The census further reveals that smaller new religions are also having difficulty making inroads. In short, Canada is characterized by an extremely tight “religious market” that continues to be dominated by Catholic and Protestant “companies.”

Document Type: Short Communication


Affiliations: Department of Sociology, The University of Lethbridge, Canada

Publication date: June 1, 2000


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