Minister Kenney Congratulates Chaldean Canadians on their New Eparchy

June 23, 2011

Ottawa, June 23, 2011 – The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, today issued the following statement congratulating Chaldean Canadians on the creation of the Eparchy of Mar Addai:

“On June 10th, the Chaldean Patriarchal Synod, with the approval of Pope Benedict XVI, effected the canonical institution of the first new Eparchy for Chaldean Christians in Canada. The establishment of this new ecclesiastical jurisdiction, the Eparchy of Mar Addai, recognizes the presence of the Chaldean faithful in this country and will contribute to the community’s strength, cohesiveness and self-determination.

“The Chaldean Church is heir to the ancient East Syrian Rite tradition, dating back to the Church of the East, and shares this heritage with the present Assyrian Church of the East. Some 38,000 Chaldeans in Canada use Chaldean Aramaic in their liturgy to this day.

“This development is also a response to the increasing number of Iraqi refugees who have prayed for religious freedom and found it here in Canada. Through the Government of Canada’s refugee resettlement program, which draws on referrals made by the UNHCR and the Private Sponsorship of Refugees (PSR) program, over 10,000 Iraqi men, women and children have begun new lives here in safety. However, there are more who need our protection, so Canadians are encouraged to continue to get involved in the PSR program to help.

“Canada has been a land of refuge for those seeking peace and freedom for hundreds of years, going back to the black refugees of American slavery seeking freedom in the British Empire, and before that to the Loyalists fleeing the oppression of the American Revolution. Since Confederation, Canada has continued to provide religious and political freedom for persecuted people from around the world, including the escapees of Soviet oppression and the communist regimes during the Cold War, and the countless others running from extremist terror in the Middle East today.

“In response to the great welcome Canadians have extended to newcomers from Iraq, the Pope and the Patriarchate of Babylon have established the Chaldean Church here for their support, nourishment and continued growth. As a Catholic Church with a distinctive Eastern patrimony, it gives beautiful expression to diversity in unity, a principle of Canada’s pluralism.

“I am delighted to offer my congratulations to the members of the new Eparchy, to the Eparch, Archbishop Hanna Zora in Toronto, and to all Canadians of Iraqi and Chaldean origin.”

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For further information (media only), please contact:


Candice Malcolm                    Minister’s Office                    

Citizenship and Immigration Canada                   

Media Relations  Communications BranchCitizenship and Immigration Canada



© 2011