Younger Canadians Hold More Negative Views About Religious Groups

TORONTO, May 28, 2014 /CNW/ - Today, the Canadian Race Relations Foundation (CRRF) and the Canadian Institute for Identities and Migration (CIIM) are releasing additional details from a January - February 2014 national survey that examined ongoing concerns about religious diversity, racism, and intergroup relations.

"We have continued to analyze results from this survey which illustrate the ongoing challenges facing the country in the area of race relations and diversity", said Rubin Friedman, designated spokesperson for the CRRF.  

The survey reveals that there is an increasingly negative view of all religious groups in Canada and notably held by younger Canadians. Negative views of Aboriginal Peoples and Immigrants are also high amongst youth.

See release on CRRF front page at www.crrf-fcrr.ca/en

"These results remind us of the need to re-examine teaching and education about religious diversity in Canada, as well as confronting attitudes toward Aboriginal Peoples and immigrants. While schools and other educational institutions have a front line role, it is essential to revisit the messages conveyed to the public with respect to religions and other groups," said Rubin Friedman.

Executive Vice-President of the Identities Institute, Jack Jedwab, observed that, "These and other results of the survey confirm that the debate in Quebec about secular values could easily heighten negativity about religious groups and minorities when discussions are held in a damaging atmosphere and framework.  Such discussions must be handled with greater care and sensitivity than was recently demonstrated."

Albert Lo, Chairperson of the CRRF concluded, "Our recent consultations during the Interfaith and Belonging Initiative show a widespread desire for a more explicit and common framework for the values inherent in Canadian citizenship.  These are matters we need to pursue at an appropriate pace and through more involvement of Canadians at the grass roots, something the CRRF has done and proposes to continue, especially in reaching out to youth. As we face growing challenges in building a diverse society, all of us have the obligation as Canadians to understand the common bases for citizenship and the need for mutual respect as a cornerstone upon which equality and freedom can flourish."

SOURCE: Canadian Race Relations Foundation

For further information: Rubin Friedman CRRF Spokesperson: 647-403-8526; Jack Jedwab, Executive Vice-President of CIIM (a division of the Association for Canadian Studies): 514-240-9548

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