Ottawa, Ontario - September 11, 2018

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

“Today, Coptic Orthodox Christians in Canada and around the world will welcome the New Year and come together to celebrate the Feast of Nayrouz. Also known as the Feast of Rivers, this festival marks the first day of Thout, the first month of the Coptic year.

“Celebrations of Nayrouz can be traced back to ancient Egypt, when Coptic Christians were persecuted under Roman rule because of their faith. Nayrouz is a time to reflect on the deep history of the Copts, to worship, and to spend time with loved ones.

“Coptic Christians have carried their religion and traditions for generations, and today, their communities reflect on the past and celebrate the year to come. For all of us, Nayrouz is a time to honour the many contributions Coptic Christians make to our country, and celebrate the values that make us strong – from the freedom to worship in peace and safety, to openness, inclusion, and freedom of expression.

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