Australia

Section I. Religious Demography

The U.S. government estimates the total population at 22.9 million (July 2016 estimate). According to the 2011 census, 61 percent of residents are Christian, including 25 percent Roman Catholic and 17 percent Anglican. Buddhists constitute 2.5 percent of the population; Muslims 2.2 percent; Hindus 1.3 percent, and Jews 0.5 percent. Eight percent either did not state a religious affiliation or stated other religious affiliations such as “new age,” “not defined,” or “theism,” while 22.3 percent report having no religious affiliation.

The census indicated indigenous persons constitute 2.5 percent of the population, and that 1 percent of indigenous respondents practice traditional indigenous religions. Among this group, affiliation with a traditional indigenous religion is higher in very remote areas (6 percent) than in all other areas (less than 1 percent). Approximately 60 percent of indigenous respondents identify themselves as Christian and an estimated 20 percent report having no religious affiliation. The remainder either did not state a religious affiliation or stated other religious affiliations.

Burma

Section I. Religious Demography

The U.S. government estimates the total population at 56.9 million (July 2016 estimate). According to the most recently available estimates, approximately 88 percent are Theravada Buddhists. Approximately 6 percent are Christians (primarily Baptists, Roman Catholics, and Anglicans, along with several small Protestant denominations). Muslims (mostly Sunni) comprise approximately 4 percent of the population. The Rohingya population, which is predominantly Sunni Muslim, is estimated at approximately 1 million by NGOs, with more than 800,000 stateless individuals in Rakhine State, according to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). There are small communities of Hindus and practitioners of traditional Chinese and indigenous religions. There is a very small Jewish community in Rangoon.

There is significant correlation between ethnicity and religion. Theravada Buddhism is the dominant religion among the majority Bamar ethnic group and also among the Shan, Rakhine, and Mon ethnic groups. Christianity is dominant among the Kachin, Chin, and Naga ethnic groups. Christianity also is practiced widely among the Karen and Karenni ethnic groups, although many Karen and Karenni are Buddhist and some Karen are Muslim. People of South Asian ancestry, who are concentrated in major cities and in the south central region, are predominantly Hindu or Muslim, although some are Christian. Islam is practiced widely in Rakhine State and in Rangoon, Irrawaddy, Magwe, and Mandalay Divisions by some Bamar and ethnic Indians as well as ethnic Kaman Muslims and Rohingya. Chinese ethnic minorities generally practice traditional Chinese religions and to a lesser extent Islam and Christianity. Traditional indigenous beliefs are practiced widely among smaller ethnic groups in the highland regions.

Canada

Section I. Religious Demography

The U.S. government estimates the total population at 35.4 million (July 2016 estimate). According to the 2011 census (the latest data available), approximately 67 percent of the population is Christian. Roman Catholics constitute the largest group (38 percent of the total population), followed by the United Church of Canada (6 percent), Anglican (5 percent), Baptist (1.9 percent), and Christian Orthodox (1.7 percent). Presbyterian, Lutheran, and Pentecostal groups each constitute less than 2 percent of the population. Approximately 3 percent of the population is Muslim and 1 percent Jewish. Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs, Scientologists, Bahais, and adherents of Shintoism, Taoism, and aboriginal spirituality together constitute less than 4 percent of the population. Approximately 24 percent of the population claims no religious affiliation.

According to the 2011 census, 56 percent of immigrants who arrived in Canada from 2006-2011 were of Asian origin and 12 percent were of African origin; these groups generally adhere to religious beliefs that differ from the majority of native-born citizens. According to the 2011 census, non-Caucasian, non-Aboriginal ethnic minorities constitute 19.1 percent of the overall population and adhere to a diverse range of religious practices.

China (Includes Tibet, Hong Kong, and Macau) – Hong Kong

Section I. Religious Demography

The U.S. government estimates the total population at 7.2 million (July 2016 estimate). The Hong Kong government’s Information Services Department data states that approximately 43 percent of the population practices some form of religion. The two most prevalent religions are Buddhism and Taoism, which are often observed in the same temple. According to SAR government statistics, there are approximately two million Buddhists and Taoists; 480,000 Protestants; 379,000 Roman Catholics; 100,000 Hindus; 20,000 members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons); 12,000 Sikhs, and 5,000-6,000 Jews. Local Muslim groups estimate the SAR has approximately 300,000 Muslims. Small communities of Bahai and Zoroastrians also reside in the SAR. Confucianism is widespread, and in some cases elements of Confucianism are practiced in conjunction with other belief systems. Human rights organizations estimate there are between 500 and 1,000 practitioners of Falun Gong.

There are approximately 50 Protestant denominations, including Anglican, Baptist, Christian and Missionary Alliance, the Church of Christ in China, Lutheran, Methodist, Pentecostal, and Seventh-day Adventists. The Catholic Diocese of Hong Kong recognizes the pope and maintains links to the Vatican; the Bishop of Hong Kong and his retired predecessor are the only Catholic cardinals in greater China.

International Religious Freedom Reports
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