The Australian Coptic Movement Association (ACM) would like to wish all its supporters a very happy and Holy Christmas and a blessed New Year.
We are deeply thankful for your support and prayers throughout 2013.
This year has been a difficult year for Christians in the Middle East, particularly for Coptic Christians in Egypt, who continue to be targeted and attacked because of their Christian faith.
We are deeply grateful for the protection and the freedom that we enjoy here in Australia to practice our faith without fear of discrimination or persecution. We take this opportunity to ask you to continue to remember those who do not enjoy such freedom this Christmas.
Particularly, please pray for Christian families whose homes, businesses, schools and churches have been destroyed. Pray for widows who are left with no one to provide for them, because the sole provider of their family has been murdered. Pray for the countless children who have been kidnapped from their families, tortured, abused and raped.
Whilst many of us celebrate Christmas on 25 December, we note that a sizeable population of Christians in the world (including Coptic Christians) will be celebrating the holy day on the 7th of January. The majority of Orthodox Christians use the Julian calendar, created under the reign of Julius Caesar in 45 BC, and have not adopted the Gregorian calendar, proposed by Latin Pope Gregory of Rome in 1582. There are 13 days in difference between the two calendars. December 25 on the Julian calendar actually falls on January 7 on the Gregorian calendar. So strictly speaking, Christmas is still kept on December 25, which just happens to fall 13 days later on the Julian calendar.
Whatever date you may celebrate Christmas, let us all remember that the birth of Christ brings a message of love, charity, hope and compassion on others.
May we never lose sight of that message. May we never lose sight of our persecuted brothers and sisters.
From all the team at the ACM, THANK YOU for your support throughout the year.
God bless you,
The ACM team.