A new Religious Trends poll conducted by Ipsos in February revealed that while a majority of Canadians view Christianity and Buddhism favourably, some religions are viewed in a less positive light.
Of the 1,515 Canadian adults who participated in the poll, 68% held a generally favourable view of Christianity and 58% viewed Buddhism in a favourable light. Roughly half of those surveyed viewed Judaism and Hinduism positively, but the number dropped dramatically when asked about Sikhism (38%) and Islam (33%).
Millennials were more likely to favour Islam, Buddhism, Sikhism and Hinduism than older religions, while those 55 and older viewed Christianity and Judaism in the most favourable light.
Broken down by political affiliation, Conservatives tended to favour Christianity (80%) and Judaism (62%), but only 24% viewed Islam in a positive light as opposed to 45% of Liberals and 42% of New Democrats.
An interesting trend was observed in Quebec, where Islam and Sikhism’s favourability index increased from 17% and 15% in 2009 to 32% in 2017. Angus Reid Institute executive director Shachi Kurl suggested the deadly mosque shooting in Quebec City in January may have contributed to an increased support of the Muslim religion.
On a question of religious symbols, burka and niqab were two of the most-opposed forms of religious dress, with only 29% and 32% supporting the wearing of the Islamic full-body veils in public.
75% of those polled supported the hijab, 85% supported the kippah (Jewish skullcap) and a whopping 90% supported the crucifix.
A similar Ipsos poll conducted in France in late March showed that 61% of French adults surveyed believe that Islam and the way it is practiced is not compatible with modern France compared to 94% and 83% who viewed Catholicism and Judaism, respectively, as compatible with France.
Ilana Shneider is the co-editor of CIJnews and the founding executive director of Canada-Israel Friendship Association, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the mutually beneficial, long-standing diplomatic, economic and cultural ties between Canada and Israel. She can be reached at [email protected]