Some of you might be reading this headline and are thinking, "wait, don't we have a giant cross on Mont-Royal and didn't the CAQ just claim that the giant cross in the national assembly isn't a religious symbol?" Well, yes, you're absolutely right! However, statistics prove that Canada is one of the least religious countries in the world.
Yes, it's true. According to the Pew Research Centre for Religion and Public Life, Canada is among the least religious country in the world, with only 27% of Canadians reporting that religion is important in their lives. That's really below the global average, which is at 55%. In the Pew Research ranking of 40 countries, Canada tied with Chile as the 12th least religious country.
TL;DR Statistics show that Canada is one of the least religious countries in the world with more than 20% of Canadians claiming that they aren't affiliated with any religion. In this article, I break down the statistics for you.
Religion In Canada
Since 2011, Canada's religious composition has drastically evolved. In what was once a bastion of Roman Catholicism, Canadian Catholics have suffered an over 10% drop in affiliation. Other religions like Islam, Hinduism, and Sikhism are growing and account for one-in-ten Canadian citizens.
Over the same period of time, the percentage of atheists and "religiously unaffiliated" people jumped from 4% to 24%. In fact, Canadian atheists outnumber their American counterparts by 4%. While religion is holding steady in the United States, with 53% of people reporting that religion is important in their lives, Canadians have experienced a substantial drop in all religious practice across the board.
One of the most important factors for this trend is the growing generational differences between Canadians. Almost 40% of Canadian millennials report that they've rejected religion, opting for a more spiritual outlook on life. This is not to say that millennials outright reject religious views, as they are one of the most accepting generations when it comes to religious difference.
Religion in Quebec
One of the more interesting statistics concerns the regional religious affiliations within Canada. You might be surprised to find out that Quebec is slowly becoming one of the least religious provinces in Canada. However, the growth of minority religions has contributed to the overall decrease in Roman Catholic affiliation.
As of 2011, minority faiths are quickly growing in Quebec. With rising numbers of immigrants across the province, this isn't surprising. Again, generational differences have a lot to do with the proliferation of new religious groups, as millennials are more willing to accept different points of view than their boomer predecessors.
How many of you are affiliated with a religious group? As the data shows, it's likely that most of you aren't religiously affiliated with anyone.
Whether you are or you aren't, the good news is that Canadian millennials are more accepting and more open to alternative religious views, so you don't have to worry!