Ottawa, January 6, 2013 — The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, issued the following statement to mark the celebration of Christmas by Christians observing the Julian calendar:
“As Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, I offer my very best wishes to Christians of the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches who are celebrating Christmas over the next few days.
“Every year, Christmas unites families, friends, communities and cultures in hope and prayer for peace on earth, and in celebration of the birth of a child whom the prophet Isaiah called the ‘Prince of Peace’.
“For Canadians of many backgrounds, and for Christians around the world – whether on December 25th or in early January – this celebration of the long-awaited birth of Jesus in Bethlehem is an occasion for religious services, family gatherings, music and singing, gifts and alms-giving, and many other diverse customs.
“For all Canadians, this cherished and deeply significant holiday provides an excellent opportunity to reflect on the importance of faith, hope and charity in our lives.
“As we begin this new year, I want to wish you and your family a merry and blessed Christmas, and I hope the new year ahead is a happy, healthy and prosperous one for all.”