Immigration has brought people from many parts of the world to Canada, and multiculturalism is a defining characteristic of Canadian society. The indigenous people of Canada, called the "First Nations", have successfully lobbied for increased autonomy and the settlement of their claim to their traditional lands. They have also obtained reparation for abuses suffered in the "Native Residential Schools", which were operated by the Anglican, Catholic, Presbyterian and United churches as official agents of the government's policy of assimilation. This has been a test, also financially, for the churches, which have acknowledged and lamented their past with a remarkable sense of responsibility. Ecumenism has been a strong dimension of the Canadian churches. The United Church of Canada is one of the oldest organic unions in the ecumenical movement. In the 1980s the so-called "coalition model" marked the cooperation between the Canadian churches and ecumenical groups dealing with issues such as social justice, peace, etc. The Canadian Council of Churches, which includes the Catholic and Orthodox churches, has evolved into a "forum". Working relationships with the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, an affiliated body of the WEA, are good. Evangelicals and Pentecostals represent about 29 percent of the Protestants, and seven percent of the total number of Christians.

United Church of Canada youth. Photo: Lauren King, 2015