Instructions for religious organizations: Making holy books available at citizenship ceremonies

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada staff. It is posted on the Department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

Below are instructions for your religious organization to review before committing to make holy books available at citizenship ceremonies.

Note: Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) offices will monitor compliance with these instructions.

  • CIC is respectful of all religious beliefs and ensures that its ceremony and reception areas are open for religious and non-religious new Canadian citizens and guests.
  • The use of holy books while taking the oath of citizenship is a personal choice.
  • Holy books should be displayed where citizenship candidates can help themselves before the citizenship ceremony, should they wish. Holy books shall not be handed to clients.
  • Holy books must be offered free of charge and it is the responsibility of your organization to supply and house/store copies.
  • In order to reflect Canada’s two official languages, holy books should be offered in English, French or both.
  • CIC office staff can work with organizations to determine the best location to display these materials, where operationally feasible.
  • If a religious organization is present at the ceremony, they are to be discreet and not promote their beliefs.

We ask that you respect the variety of religious and non-religious beliefs represented at citizenship ceremonies, as well as these guidelines, when providing the local CIC offices with holy books.

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