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Number of Canadians holding favourable views of various religions increases

Canada is often held up as the paragon of a diverse society. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has proclaimed that “diversity is Canada’s strength”.

A new study from the Angus Reid Institute finds not only support for, but also limitations to that narrative when it comes to both faith and the visible role of religious symbols in society.

While a strong majority of Canadians are inclined to view the Christian and Buddhist religions favourably, a number of other faiths are viewed with more skepticism. In a climate rife with conversations about Islamophobia, Islam itself is viewed unfavourably by almost half of Canadians (46%). A similarly negative sentiment is found when discussing religious clothing associated with that faith – the Burka and Niqab.

Though Canadians view the Muslim faith with a lower degree of favourability than other religions, this survey reveals an important trend: In both Quebec and the rest of Canada, an increase in favourability from multiple previous waves of reporting has pushed positive opinion to one-third. In Quebec, this represents a doubling of the number of residents who view the religion in a positive light over the past four years.

Key Findings:

  • One-in-three Canadians support a person wearing the Niqab (32%) or the Burka (29%), while a strong majority support wearing the Nun’s Habit (88%), Kippah (85%), Turban (77%) or Hijab (75%)
  • The percentage of Quebec residents saying they hold a favourable view of Islam has doubled since 2009 from 15 per cent to 32 per cent. Views of four other religions, Sikhism, Buddhism, Judaism, and Hinduism, have all increased in favourability over that time in la belle province
  • More than eight-in-ten Canadians say it would be acceptable for their child to marry someone who practices Christianity, while this number drops to below two-thirds for the five other major religions canvassed.

Link to the poll here:

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