Rona Ambrose, Interim Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada and Leader of the Official Opposition, issued the following statement to mark The Coptic New Year, also known as the Feast of Nayrouz: “On behalf of the Conservative Caucus, I would like to extend my warmest wishes to all Coptic Christians in Canada and around the world celebrating the Coptic New Year. “The Coptic New Year, also known as the Feast of Nayrouz, is an occasion for members of the Coptic Orthodox Church to come together, celebrate their faith, and commemorate those who were persecuted for their faith during the Roman Emperor Diocletan (beginning in 284AD). Unfortunately, members of the Coptic faith continue to face persecution in the Middle East. “In June, I was proud to introduce a motion in the House of Commons, which called for the Government of Canada to condemn ISIS’ atrocities and declare them to be genocide. ISIS is committing crimes against humanity, and targeting religious minorities like the Coptic Christians in the Middle East. The Conservative Party of Canada will continue to speak out to promote religious freedom on behalf of those who wish to practice their faith in peace and security. “I encourage all Canadians to learn more about Nayrouz, and about our friends of the Coptic faith. Once again, I wish everybody celebrating a Happy Nayrouz.”