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Archived - Minister Kenney issues statement to mark the celebration of Christmas by Orthodox Christians and Eastern Catholics
Ottawa, January 6, 2015 – Minister Jason Kenney issued the following statement to recognize Christmas on the old Calendar:
“Tomorrow, families and friends across Canada will join together to celebrate Christmas according to the old calendar, marking the “tidings of great joy” for peace on earth and the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem of Judaea, the city of David, two thousand years ago. Many communities across our great country celebrate Christmas according to the old Julian date, including Copts, Ethiopians, Russians, Ukrainians, Greeks, and other Eastern Orthodox and Catholics. This comes a day after the great feast of Epiphany in the Gregorian calendar on the 6th, which is an important celebration in many communities and the basis of the Armenian community’s observance of the Nativity of Christ.
“Christmas is a wonderful opportunity for all Canadians to spend time with family and friends, attend religious services, and reflect on the importance of faith and hope in Canadian society, especially for the least fortunate. As we give thanks for the blessings we have in our own lives, we are encouraged to act with generosity and compassion toward those in our communities who are in trouble, sorrow, need, sickness, or any other adversity during this holiday season.
“Christmas has been celebrated in Canada for centuries. Newer communities in Canada’s multicultural society, many of which mark Christmas in their own unique ways, have added to the modern vibrancy and diversity of Canada’s ancient Christian cultural patrimony. Such faith traditions have helped make our great nation even stronger in the 21st century. As Prime Minister Stephen Harper has said: ‘As Canadians we are blessed to live in a democratic country where we resolve our differences peacefully, can enjoy freedom of our religion, expression and beliefs, and always count on protection from a common rule of law.’
“On behalf of the Government of Canada, we extend our best wishes to all for a merry and blessed Christmas, and a happy New Year.”
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