Religion and Immigration in Canada: Exploring the Role of Religious Institutions in the Integration of African Christian Immigrants in Canadian Society

Title: Religion and Immigration in Canada: Exploring the Role of Religious Institutions in the Integration of African Christian Immigrants in Canadian Society
Authors: Machuhi, Eunice W.
Date: 2019
Abstract: Religion plays a critical role to immigrants as it provides a platform for identity, support and sharing. Religion especially for the African Christian community has been a strong pillar on which important decisions are made on migrating from one country to another. This research paper studies the African Christian immigrant population in Canada and the distinctive role played by religion and religious institutions in their integration into Canadian society. The paper attempts to answer the questions of how religious institutions encourage and facilitate the integration of African Christian immigrants into Canadian society and how the immigrants from Africa change and adapt their beliefs, religiosity and practice while in Canada. My choice of the above was to confirm whether observations of religion being a key factor of integration of immigrants in other countries would be similar in Canada. The study notes that the role of religion and its influence on African Christian immigrants has been underemphasized as it does not feature prominently, hence the lack of scholarly research. Despite this, the study indicates that the African Christian immigrants face numerous challenges of which they continuously look for solutions. The church provides one of the places from which the solutions are sourced from. The solutions are noted as being either economic or social that assist the integration of the immigrants into the host society. The religious institutions are seen as good reference and networking points that the host society can rely on and hence the immigrants seek the important services from these institutions. As part of the networking done by the religious institutions, participation in community activities enables the immigrants to participate actively in the host community activities or religious practices which in turn enables them to adapt or change to the host community’s ideals. The study proposes the need to have comparative research conducted in different continents such as Asia, Europe and Gulf to examine if similar traits have been observed so as to conclude the importance of religion on the settlement process of immigrants. Additionally, further studies can be done to establish if religion can also be an obstacle towards successful integration of new immigrants into the host communities.
CollectionÉtudes sociologiques et anthropologiques - Mémoires // Sociological and Anthropological Studies - Research Papers
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