The following is a statement from Ontario PC Leader Patrick Brown to mark Orthodox Christmas:
“Today our Orthodox Christian friends across Ontario will gather in homes and churches to celebrate Christmas—one of the most important and joyous times of the year.
“This is a time to celebrate the birth of Christ and to reflect on the blessings of family and friendship.
“While much of the celebrations remain the same for Eastern and Western Christians alike, Orthodox Christmas contains a few distinct characteristics—like the forty-day Nativity Fast in preparation for Christ’s birth and the celebratory feast that follows.
“Ontario’s Orthodox Christian community can trace its roots to places as diverse as Ukraine and Greece, to Egypt, Syria and Iraq. Many are celebrating in nations where Christians and other religious minorities are persecuted because of their faith.
“In the spirit of the season, let us remember those celebrating in areas of conflict throughout the world—that they may enjoy Christmas with family and friends in peace and safety.
“May God bless you and your families. Merry Christmas and best wishes in 2017!”