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New Canadians more religious than their natural-born counterparts: study

July 9, 2023

By National Post |

Newcomers to Canada tend to be more religious than their natural-born counterparts, a new study suggests.

The study, released Thursday by think tank Cardus, suggests many new immigrants to Canada hold deeper religious beliefs than those born in this country, attend religious services more often, and say those in public positions should be free to integrate their faith into their words and actions.

“We’re now anticipating about 1.5 million new immigrants coming into the country by 2025,” said Rev. Dr. Andrew Bennett, Cardus’ faith communities program director.

“If you look at the the data for new immigrants, disproportionately they’re coming from countries where religion is a much more public reality than in most western democracies.”

The report, Bennett said, suggests that religion plays a larger role of in the lives of newcomers compared to those born in Canada.

“New immigrants are more likely to express their religion publicly than non-immigrant Canadians,” he said. “They’re more likely to attend religious services, they’re more likely to desire to have their children educated according to their religious tradition.”

Data published by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada points to India as this country’s top source of immigrants in 2022, with 118,095 new people arriving from that nation last year.

That was followed by China (31,815), Afghanistan (28,735), Nigeria (22,085) and the Philippines (22,070).

Rounding out the top 10 were France, Pakistan, Iran, the United States and Syria.

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