Angus Reid Poll: Canada at 150: Religion seen to have played a positive role in local communities, less so on the national stage

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June 29, 2017 – Though the religions of the world are massive, globe-spanning umbrellas for people of faith, the bulk of people’s interactions with religion – their own and others – occur at the community level.

It is through this local lens that a new national study from the Angus Reid Institute, in partnership with Faith in Canada 150, finds Canadians largely pleased with the contributions faith-based organizations have made to their local communities since Confederation. The development of hospitals, schools, and charitable organizations is widely seen as a positive force, especially by those inclined to embrace their own faith.

At the same time, on a national level, the legacy of faith and religion in Canada over the last 150 years has been more mixed. Whether they are devoutly religious or staunchly atheist, Canadians agree that interactions between religious institutions and Indigenous Canadians – most notably the residential school system run largely by Christian churches – have been much more bad than good, and that reconciliation is paramount.

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