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Canada's Diverse Religious Groups and How They Interact with Each Other


Today, Canada is a culturally diverse country; people speak many languages and profess different religions. Religious diversity is a topic that is often discussed in the cultural context, and it is important to mention that immigration has contributed significantly to its growth.

Different state and private agencies conducted numerous studies, trying to understand the changes in the population structure. Two-thirds of the citizens consider themselves Christians, but their share in the population’s structure is not stable. Due to immigration, the amount of people practicing Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism has increased. Their total share is more than 7%. Ten years ago, the rate was less than 5%. Judaism is the religion of 1% of the Canadian population. It is interesting to note that almost 25% of people have no religious affiliation, and the number of atheists is growing.

Muslims make up the largest religious group among the non-Christians. Over one million people, or 3% of the total population, are persons who identify themselves as Muslims. The median age of a Canadian Muslim is 29 years; this means that this population group is the youngest in the country. For instance, the Catholic median age is 43 years. Most Muslim immigrants come from Pakistan, Hindus from India, and atheists from China.

Each religious group has its traditions, and often chooses representatives who actively participate in the community. These individuals help prevent tensions and overcome cultural differences in order to improve communication. In big cities, religious communities often try to segregate themselves, and thereby avoid conflicts with other social groups. This situation leads to misunderstandings, and does not help immigrants assimilate and actively participate in social activities.

The interaction among different religious groups is possible when people want to talk to each other. Otherwise, the lack of communication causes conflicts and violence. Communicational issues become harsher, partly because the immigrant population in younger and less experienced. The youth often do not have higher educations and cannot effectively collaborate with the public authorities and local citizens.

To sum it up, Canada is a home for representatives of different religious groups. Cultural differences must be treated with respect so that the immigrants can practice their religions. However, other Canadian citizens also have the right to learn more about different traditions and ask questions to gain better understandings of the needs of religious minorities. The lack of information is a serious communicational barrier, which society has to overcome.

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