RELIGION OF CANADA Religion in Canada encompasses a wide range of groups and beliefs. The preamble to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms refers to "God", and the monarch carries the title of "Defender of the Faith". However, Canada has no official religion, and support for religious pluralism (Freedom of religion in Canada) is an important part of Canada's political culture. The 2011 Canadian census reported that 67% of Canadians claim adherence to Christianity, followed by no religion at 24%,but rates of religious adherence have been steadily decreasing. Pre-colonization Aboriginal religion was largely animistic. This included an intense reverence for spirits and nature. French settlement beginning in the 17th century established a Roman Catholic francophone population in Acadia, now Nova Scotia and Lower Canada, now Quebec, followed by English settlementthat brought Anglicans and other Protestants to Upper Canada, now Ontario. The religious, cultural, and political antagonism between Canadian Protestants and Catholics remains a central theme of Canadian history. It has been recently suggested that with Christianity on decline, having once been central and integral to Canadian culture and daily life; Canada has come to enter a post-Christian period in a secular state, with irreligion in Canada on the rise. The practice of religion is now generally considered a private matter throughout society and within the state. Additionally a majority of Canadians consider religion to be unimportant, but still believe in God.