5 Things You Should Know about Coptic Christians

5 Things You Should Know about Coptic Christians

Coptic Christians have been in the news a lot recently. Many of us likely read or heard about the horrific Palm Sunday bombings at two Coptic Christian churches in Egypt in which nearly 50 people died and many others were injured. Those who follow news updates from ChristianHeadlines.com will also probably be familiar with the name Coptic Christians as we often report on the discrimination and persecution they suffer. However, though many of us have heard the name "Coptic Christian," this sect of Christianity likely remains less familiar than Catholic Christians or the many denominations of Protestant Christians. Here are five things you should know about this part of the Body of Christ.

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  • 1. What does "Coptic" mean?

    1. What does "Coptic" mean?


    "Coptic" simply means "Egyptian," which makes sense since Coptic Christians make their home in Egypt. 

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  • 2. What is their history?

    2. What is their history?


    The Coptic Church originated in the northern Egyptian city of Alexandria. The Apostle John Mark, who wrote one of the Gospels, is thought to have founded the Coptic Church on a missionary journey to Egypt in the Early Church period sometime between A.D. 42- A.D. 62. The Coptic Church split with the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches in A.D. 451 over the belief that Christ embodies one nature from two natures, while the other churches hold that Christ is one person who shares two separate natures.

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  • 3. How many Egyptian Christians are Copts?

    3. How many Egyptian Christians are Copts?


    Most Christians in Egypt belong to the Coptic Church. Christians make up around 10 percent of Egypt's population. In addition, in their founding city of Alexandria, 95 percent of Christians belong to the Coptic Church.

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  • 4. Have Copts endured persecution throughout their history?

    4. Have Copts endured persecution throughout their history?


    In modern times, Coptic Christians in Egypt have been the victims of bombing attacks as well as discrimination within a Muslim-dominated society, but this is nothing new for these followers of Christ. Under the Roman Empire, as well as the Arab conquest that followed, Copts also suffered persecution. Many even died for refusing to deny Christ. 

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  • 5. How many Copts are there today?

    5. How many Copts are there today?


    Although Egypt is the home of Coptic Christianity, there are Copts elsewhere around the world. it is estimated that there are between 10 to 60 million Coptic Christians worldwide. 

    Let us remember to pray for these Christian brothers and sisters!

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    Information on Copts and Coptic Christianity is taken from the articles "What is Coptic Christianity and What do Coptic Christians Believe?" and "Who are Egypt's Coptic Christians and What Do They Believe?"

    Publication date: April 11, 2017