Ottawa, Ontario
September 11, 2017

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today issued the following statement on Nayrouz:

“Today, Coptic Christians in Canada and around the world will celebrate the Feast of Nayrouz, also known as the Feast of Rivers, and welcome the Coptic New Year.

“Nayrouz commemorates those who were persecuted because of their faith in Egypt under Roman rule and also marks the beginning of Thout – the first month of the Coptic calendar. It is a time of renewal for Coptic Christians, who come together to exchange gifts and pray as a community.

“Tracing their ancestry to the ancient Egyptians, Coptic Christians have successfully preserved their rich faith and traditions, including Nayrouz, throughout the centuries. Today, Coptic Christian communities are found around the world.

“As we celebrate the 150th anniversary of Confederation this year, I invite Canadians to reflect on the diverse faiths and cultural communities that have chosen to make this country home. Openness to different cultures, together with freedom of worship, has allowed Canada to become as diverse as it is strong.

“On behalf of the Government of Canada, Sophie and I wish all those celebrating a happy Nayrouz!”