What is Coptic Christianity, and what do Coptic Christians believe? As a denomination they originated in the city of Alexandria, one of the most faithful, respected, and fruitful cities during the Apostolic Period. Proudly, the Coptic Christians acknowledge and herald John Mark, author of the Gospel of Markas their founder and first bishop sometime between A.
The liturgy is chanted using the Coptic language, alongside the language of the land in which Coptic orthodox christian Church is based, utilising a musical composition that in part dates back to the Pharaonic era.
Leadership Parish communities and churches are served by married priests who are nominated from within that parish for its service. Once nominated, their names would be presented to the bishop who would approve and then ordain them for that ministry. Bishops on the other hand, including the Pope, are celibate and are selected from within monastic communities.
Monasticism was founded by Saint Anthony the Great towards the end of the third century and thrives in the Church up to the present day. Those living the monastic life in any church or denomination anywhere in the world can trace their roots back to the deserts of Egypt.
Although monks did not record their own history, many came from all over the world to benefit from their words, seeking spiritual guidance and documenting their teachings. Western monastic fathers, such as Saints Benedict and John Cassian, came to the deserts of Egypt to experience this way of solitary life and subsequently introduce this to the West, where it was then embraced and became the foundation of monasticism in those parts of the world.
Those living the monastic life became tangible sermons, faithfully embodying the life of prayer, contemplation, solitude, worship and purity of heart and ascetism. Fasting Stemming from these monastic principles is a deeply rooted ascetic life that is expressed in the practice of fasting.
Fasting is another principal foundation in the life of the Church, and of the days of the year, Copts fast for over These periods are considered to be times of spiritual growth and reflection based on prayer and Scripture, during which people observe a period of abstinence at the beginning of the day, followed by a vegan diet.
The major fasts in the Coptic calendar are Lent, leading to the Feast of the Resurrection, and Advent, leading to the Feast of the Nativity.
Prayer Prayer is a fundamental foundation in the life of the Church, and the Agpeya is the book containing the seven prayers observed daily. Arranged to commemorate various events in the life of Christ and the Church, they help to guide the faithful in daily reflection, and are labelled as the firstthirdsixthnintheleventhtwelfth and midnight hour.
The veil is a separate daily prayer only observed by those in monastic life. Within the context of non-ritual gatherings and prayer meetings, contemporary forms of prayer and worship are also used. Seeking the intercession of saints is a valued component in Orthodox practice, although it is sometimes misunderstood as the worship of those saints.
The understanding behind intercession is that strength and encouragement can be found in commemorating the life of those who lived faithfully, including the martyrs who died for their faith, and that there is value in asking for their prayers.
Another wave of persecution came when Islam entered Egypt in the 7th Century, bringing a new set of challenges for Christians and the Church. Those who could not pay were faced with the choice of either converting to Islam or losing their civil right for that protection, which generally resulted in many losing their lives.
By the beginning of the second millennium AD, in addition to Gezya, Christians suffered from specific limitations, such as restrictions on repairing old churches and building new ones, testifying in court, public conduct, adoption, inheritance, public religious activities, and dress codes.
Slowly but steadily, by the end of the 12th century, the face of Egypt changed from being a predominantly Christian to a predominantly Muslim country. Despite persecution, however, the Coptic Church has never been controlled, or allowed itself to control the governments of Egypt.
Growth Today, the Coptic Orthodox Church has the largest Christian presence in the Middle East, with approximately million members in Egypt, representing about 15 per cent of the population. They vibrantly, actively and faithfully fill their churches and monasteries, living as productive and faithful members of their communities.
The Coptic Orthodox Church has also experienced rapid growth in the lands of immigration over the past 30 years, in the United Kingdom, Europe, North America and Australasia. There are now over 15 dioceses and parishes outside Egypt, and the Church continues to flourish by the grace of God.
It is worth mentioning at this point that we do not consider our communities living abroad as a diaspora, as 90 per cent of Coptic Christians still live in their native Egypt. Besides its focus on Christian education, there is also a deep-seated and historical focus on mission.
The mission work of the Church has not been limited to the early centuries, but extends to its active and vibrant ministry today. In being alive in the world as the Body of Christ, the Church provides a source of hope for all.The Coptic Church is a member of the all African Council of Churches (AACC) and the Middle East Council of Churches (MECC).
The Church plays an important role in the Christian movement by conducting dialogues aiming at resolving the theological differences with the Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Presbyterian, and Evangelical Churches. The Bible - The Coptic Christian Church considers the Bible "an encounter with God and an interaction with Him in a spirit of worship and piety." Creed - Athanasius ( A.D.), a Coptic bishop in Alexandria, Egypt, was a staunch opponent of Arianism.
To this day, 95 percent of Christians in Alexandria are members of the Coptic Orthodox Church. The tradition says that when John Mark arrived on a missionary journey to Egypt, the Coptic form of religion of that day was god-centered worship, but focused upon the pyramids.
Most Copts adhere to the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, an Oriental Orthodox church.    The Coptic Catholic Church is an Eastern Catholic church in full communion with the Catholic Church.
The Coptic Orthodox Church is one of the most ancient Churches in the world, founded in the first century in Egypt by Saint Mark the Apostle and writer of the second Gospel of the New Testament.
A conservative Church, it has carefully preserved the Orthodox Christian faith in its earliest form, handing it down through generations, remaining true to the Apostolic doctrines and patterns of worship. The Bible - The Coptic Christian Church considers the Bible "an encounter with God and an interaction with Him in a spirit of worship and piety." Creed - Athanasius ( A.D.), a Coptic bishop in Alexandria, Egypt, was a staunch opponent of Arianism.