Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Citizenship and Immigration Canada

January 06, 2011 14:02 ET

Minister Kenney Issues Statement Marking the Celebration of Christmas by Orthodox Christians and Oriental Catholics

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Jan. 6, 2011) - The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, issued the following statement to mark the celebration of Christmas by those Christians observing the Julian calendar:

"Having completed the anticipatory fast, nine months following the Annunciation to the Theotokos, Christians of the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches now begin their celebration of the Nativity of Jesus Christ and his long-awaited Advent.

"As will be sung in the Kontakion of the Nativity, 'Today the Virgin gives birth to the Transcendent One; and the earth offers a cave to the Unapproachable One; angels with shepherds glorify Him; the wise men journey with a star; since for our sake the Eternal God was born as a Little Child.'

"For all Canadians, this important holiday provides an excellent opportunity to reflect on the importance of faith and hope, and the tremendous example of unity in diversity that Orthodox Christians and Catholics of the varied Eastern rites have contributed to our country's rich heritage.

"Sadly, this year's celebration of Christmas comes at a time of mourning for many Eastern Christians, who are living through an increase in violence and persecution in their lands of origin. Last week's vicious terrorist attack at a Coptic Church in Alexandria, and the terrible violence inflicted on the Christians of Iraq, makes the Christmas celebration of peace and joy especially poignant.

"During this season of joy and goodwill, as Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, I want to wish you and your family a merry and blessed Christmas."

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