History of the Coptic Church in Egypt
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- The Coptic Church is based on the teachings of Saint Mark who brought Christianity to Egypt during the reign of the Roman emperor Nero in the first century, a dozen of years after the Lord's ascension. He was one of the four evangelists and the one who wrote the oldest canonical gospel.
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Coptic history is part of history of Egypt that begins with the introduction of Christianity in Egypt in the 1st century AD during the Roman period, and covers the history of the Copts to the present day.
Dec 18, 2014 · The Coptic Church of Egypt is the earliest Christian church in the world, going back to around 42 AD.
Apr 19, 2019 · According to Coptic tradition, the Christian church in Egypt was founded in Alexandria by St. Mark in the mid-first century A.D. Author of the second gospel in the New Testament, Mark became...
Coptic Catholic Church, Eastern Catholic church of the Alexandrian rite in Egypt, in communion with Rome since 1741, when Athanasius, a Miaphysite (acknowledging only one nature in the person of Christ) Coptic bishop, became a Roman Catholic.
Let us thank God for the history of our Coptic Church written in the blood of our Fathers who were martyred to preserve the faith they ardently confessed. The Origin of Egyptians The first to settle in the land of the River Nile’s Valley was “Egypt”, the son of Ham, the son of Noah.
History The history of the Coptic Church in Egypt is basically the history of Christianity in Egypt, for the current Coptic Church is a direct evolution from those earlier times. However, it traditionally begins with the visit of the Holy Family to Egypt.
- Coptic Christians Today
- The Dawn of Islam
- The Two Complications
- Where to Go from Here?
Today, little difference exists between Catholic and Coptic theology and practice. Copts venerate martyrs in Christian history and visit sites dedicated to saints. They channel prayers to Christ through these saints and martyrs, they sing to them, and for blessing, they touch relics from their lives that are still considered holy. Most Copts maintain that salvation is twofold: God has provided it through Jesus’s death and resurrection, and man takes hold of it through persistence in good works. Sins must be dealt with by confession to a priest and sacraments. Babies are baptized into the faith. Priests, called bapas(father), are trained to read and teach from the Arabic Bible, the only acceptable translation for the Coptic Church, which is unfortunately difficult for laypeople to understand. This introduces the first complication for the Coptic Church: identifying a faith that saves. More on that in a minute.
War changed everything, as it usually does. After six hundred years of fighting heresy and division—and flourishing in spite of it—Coptic Christians were caught in the middle of a physical battle between the Roman Empire and Arab Muslims. With the defeat of the Byzantine army in Egypt came the influence and rule of the Arab world. The new Arab rulers of Egypt were initially sympathetic or indifferent to Coptic Christians, but each dynasty brought new restrictions or forms of persecution. Copts were subject to taxation that Arabs were not. Coptic art was destroyed because Egypt’s Muslim majority found it to be blasphemous iconography. And in response to the Crusaders sweeping across the Middle East, Muslims responded in kind by rooting out Christians in Egypt and forcing them to convert to Islam or be killed. Most Copts chose the first option. Over time, Egypt became home for Arabs. They were no longer foreigners who had invaded a country but citizens with the right to fully inhabit...
Ben* is a Coptic Christian, ethnically Egyptian, and can help us understand the two complications Coptic Christians in Egypt are unknowingly up against. Let’s start with the first complication.
These two complications—faith and identity—pose the greatest contemporary obstacles for the Coptic Church. As the global church gains steam and strength, may God call the world’s Christians—many of us—to engage the Coptic Church with the gospel so Copts can evaluate their faith and either believe the gospel for the first time or pivot to theology many of us derive from Luther’s work in the Reformation. Then, as the full gospel is realized among them, pray that God will turn their fear and hatred toward their Muslim neighbors into deep concern for their salvation. Ask God to give them a missional spirit, one that doesn’t sequester the gospel to certain peoples but delivers it open-handedly to neighbors and enemies. May the church fully embody the spirit of Mark, who after running scared again and again, finally set out to boldly proclaim the true gospel. *Name changed