This week’s Diwali festival in Moncton, New Brunswick was a celebration of a dream come true for the local South Asian community.
Numbering around 2,000, many members of the community gathered in a rented space on Milner Road for the opening of a new Hindu temple in their town – a vision that took many years to come to fruition.
“It will grow,” Ketan Raval, an organizer with the Hindu Society of New Brunswick, told the gathering of volunteers and devotees, adding that the new temple will not just be a place of worship, but a support center for newcomers to the region. .
As immigration pushes non-Christian religions into the country, the majority of the Canadian population is Christian, but their share is shrinking, Statistics Canada said. Islam is the second most cited religion.
In Saskatoon, a new mosque, school and community center are taking shape under the auspices of the Islamic Association of Saskatchewan (IAS).
Organizers stressed that the space would not just be for Muslims but a place to build bridges. If all goes well, the IAS plans to launch the $10 million project within two years.
In a quiet corner of Metro Vancouver’s Coquitlam suburb, Father Pio Kim and his mostly Korean congregation recently celebrated the fifth anniversary of their new St. Agnes Kim Parish Church.
According to British Columbia’s Catholic Weekly, the goal of the Korean parish, the second of its kind in the Archdiocese of Vancouver, is to become a “collaborative community” and a “prayer community.”
These are just a few examples of the country’s growing ethnocultural and religious diversity, which Statistics Canada says is largely driven by immigration, according to its latest census report.
Drawing on data from more than 450 ethnic and cultural backgrounds, 200 places of birth, 100 religions and 450 languages, Statistics Canada researchers said that immigration is one of the main drivers of religions, especially non-Christian denominations, in the country.
According to his analysis, immigrants made up the majority of Buddhists (68.9%), Muslims (63.1%), Hindus (62.9%) and Sikhs (53.8%) in the country.
In comparison, immigrants made up almost a quarter (23.0%) of Canada’s population in 2021. In addition, a large proportion of immigrants admitted from 2011 to 2021 reported a non-Christian religion: 18.9% reported being Muslim , followed by Hindu (9.0%) and Sikh (5.8%).
In 2021, more than 19.3 million people declared a Christian religion, or just over half of the Canadian population (53.3%). However, this percentage is down from 67.3% in 2011 and 77.1% in 2001.
Catholics are the largest Christian denomination in Canada, with 10.9 million people (29.9%) in 2021. The United Church (3.3%) and the Anglican Church (3.1%), two other Christian denominations, each numbered more than a million people. in Canada. Orthodox Christians (1.7%), Baptists (1.2%) and Pentecostals and other Charismatics (1.1%) were the most frequently cited other Christian denominations.
Here are some of the other key findings from Statistics Canada’s portrait of the country’s religious diversity;
- About 12.6 million people, more than a third of Canada’s population, said they had no religious affiliation. The proportion of this population has more than doubled in 20 years, rising from 16.5% in 2001 to 34.6% in 2021.
- Although small, the proportion of the Canadian population who identify as Muslim, Hindu or Sikh has more than doubled in 20 years.
- After Christianity, Islam was the second most commonly reported religion in Canada in 2021, with almost 1.8 million people, or 1 in 20 people. In 20 years, the share of the Muslim population in Canada has increased than doubled, from 2.0% in 2001 to 4.9% in 2021.
- In 2021, nearly 830,000 people, or 2.3% of the total population, reported being affiliated with Hinduism. Similar to Muslims, the proportion of the population with Hinduism as a religion has more than doubled over the past 20 years and increased from 1.0% in 2001.
- The share of the population reporting Sikhism as a religion has also more than doubled since 2001, from 0.9% to 2.1% in 2021. About 770,000 people reported Sikhism as a religion in the 2021 census.
- About 335,000 people reported being Jewish in 2021. This number has changed little over the past 20 years; in 2001, 330,000 declared Jewish affiliation. Although the total population of Canada has increased, the proportion of the population with a Jewish religious affiliation has decreased slightly, from 1.1% in 2001 to 0.9% in 2021.
- In 2021, nearly 360,000 people, or 1.0% of the Canadian population, declared Buddhism as their religion, the same percentage as in the 2001 census.
Business Development Advisor – Multi-award winning journalist Fabian Dawson is an internationally acclaimed author, filmmaker and media expert. His work over the past four decades spans the globe and he is also a consultant/strategic advisor to various international companies. As associate editor of The Province, part of the Postmedia chain, Dawson led initiatives within a special publications group to provide directed content to various organizations. He was named the 2019 recipient of the Bruce Hutchison Lifetime Achievement Award at the Jack Webster Awards. Dawson has been invited by the governments of India, Malaysia, Taiwan, China, Hong Kong and the United States to act as a media monitor/advisor on a variety of Canada-Asian issues . Dawson, now operates FD Media, which specializes in leveraging editorial assets to generate revenue opportunities.