Canada

Population

About country profiles

The country profiles are intended to provide some background and context for the descriptions of the churches. These profiles should be read in conjunction with those of the churches in the country.

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31972474
Surface area:10000000 km2
Capital:Ottawa
GNI per capita:24470 US$
Classification:Major industrialized economy
Languages:

English

French

Religions:

Christian: 80.00%

Jewish: 1.30%

Muslim: 1.70%

Buddhist: 1.30%

Hindu: 1.00%

Christianity:

Catholics: 14000000

Protestants: 4636290

Anglicans: 718000

Orthodox: 691610

Independent: 1689130

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Canada, which was colonized first by the French and later by the British, became a confederation in 1867, and adopted its own constitution in 1981. Tensions between French- and English-speaking Canadians continue over language and culture to the present day. Immigration has brought people from many parts of the world to Canada, and multiculturalism is a defining characteristic of Canadian society. The indigenous people of Canada, called the "First Nations", have successfully lobbied for increased autonomy and the settlement of their claim to their traditional lands. They have also obtained reparation for abuses suffered in the "Native Residential Schools", which were operated by the Anglican, Catholic, Presbyterian and United churches as official agents of the government's policy of assimilation. This has been a test, also financially, for the churches, which have acknowledged and lamented their past with a remarkable sense of responsibility. Ecumenism has been a strong dimension of the Canadian churches. The United Church of Canada is one of the oldest organic unions in the ecumenical movement. In the 1980s the so-called "coalition model" marked the cooperation between the Canadian churches and ecumenical groups dealing with issues such as social justice, peace, etc. The Canadian Council of Churches, which includes the Catholic and Orthodox churches, has evolved into a "forum". Working relationships with the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, an affiliated body of the WEA, are good. Evangelicals and Pentecostals represent about 29 percent of the Protestants, and seven percent of the total number of Christians.

 

Ecumenical Organizations and Councils

Last updated: 01/01/06