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Prime Minister Stephen Harper today visited the newly-built St. Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Markham with His Holiness Pope Tawadros II, Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St. Mark.
The visit consisted of a tour of the Cathedral, as well as a presentation of the unveiling of a cornerstone inscribed with Prime Minister Harper’s name. Members of the Coptic community observed the presentation from the cathedral pews.
This was the first meeting of Prime Minister Harper and His Holiness Pope Tawadros II. During their meeting, the two leaders discussed the importance of religious freedom and pluralism, as well as the threats currently being faced by many religious minority communities throughout the Middle East.
St. Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Church, North America’s first Coptic Orthodox Church, recently hosted its annual Coptic Festival (September 4 to 7, 2014) to showcase the larger Coptic community and its contributions to Canadian society. This year’s festivities were especially noteworthy as they also commemorated the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Coptic Orthodox community in North America. Earlier this week, His Holiness Pope Tawadros II, who is visiting with Toronto’s Coptic Orthodox community as part of his Canadian tour, consecrated the new St. Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral.
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