There is no state religion in Canada. However, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms recognizes the supremacy of God and grants freedom to all Canadians to practise the religion of their choice.

More than 80% of Canadians are Christians. Some attend church every week, while others attend only on special occasions, such as baptisms, weddings, funerals and Christmas. There are many Christian denominations in Canada. Many towns have several churches, each one representing a different denomination. Roman Catholics are the largest Christian group. Priests lead the service, called a mass, which is held every day. The largest services are on Saturday evening and Sunday morning.

Protestants include United Church members, Anglicans, Presbyterians, Lutherans, Baptists and Pentecostalists. Protestant church leaders are called ministers, priests or pastors. The services are usually held on a Sunday morning. Sunday school provides religious training for children. There is a renewed interest in traditional indigenous spirituality, which recognizes the powers and sacredness of the natural world.

Canadians include an increasing number of people of other religions such as Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus and Sikhs. Synagogues, temples and mosques are common sights in Canada’s major cities.

  Did you know?
Canadians have a reputation for being reserved and polite, yet informal. They usually address each other by their first names. Most people shake hands when they meet for the first time. Close friends may greet each other with a hug.

  Did you know?
Some Canadians who practise native spirituality pray every day using a smudge bowl. In the bowl they burn cedar and sage, which are women’s medicines, with tobacco and sweetgrass, which are men’s medicines. Burning them together creates a balance. A sacred eagle feather is passed through the smoke.