The Coptic Church
The Coptic Church was established in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ by St. Mark the Evangelist in the city of Alexandria around 43 A.D. The Church adheres to the Nicene Creed. St. Athanasius (296-373 A.D.), the twentieth Pope of the Coptic Church, effectively defended the Doctrine of the Lord Jesus Christ’s Divinity at the Council of Nicea in 325 A.D. His affirmation of the doctrine earned him the title; “Father of Orthodoxy” and St. Athanasius “the Apostolic”.
The Coptic People
The term “Coptic” is derived from the Greek “Aigyptos” meaning “Egyptian”. When the Arabs arrived in Egypt in the seventh century, they called the Egyptians “qibt”. Thus the Arabic word “qibt” came to mean both “Egyptians” and “Christians”.
The term “Orthodoxy” here refers to the preservation of the “Original Faith” by the Copts who, throughout the ages, defended the Old Creed against the numerous attacks aimed at it..
Coptic Church Faith
The Coptic Orthodox Church worships the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit in the Oneness of Nature. We believe in the Nicene Creed: “We believe in One God, God the Father, the Pantocrator, Creator of Heaven and Earth, and all things seen and unseen. We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the Only-Begotten Son of God, Begotten of the Father before all ages. Light of Light, True God of True God, begotten not created; of One Essence with the Father; by Whom all things were made; Who for us men and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and of the Virgin Mary, and became Man. And He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate; suffered and was buried; and on the third day He rose from the dead, according to the Scriptures; ascended to the heavens; He sits at the right hand of His Father; and He is coming again in His glory to judge the living and the dead; Whose Kingdom shall have no end. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Giver of Life, Who proceeds from the Father, Who, with the Father and the Son, is worshiped and glorified; Who spoke by the prophets. Yes, we believe in One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, we confess one baptism for the remission of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the coming age. Amen.”
The Holy Family’s Visit to Egypt
“Blessed is Egypt my people” (Isa 19:25)
God’s promise to His people is always fulfilled; He foretold that He would ride on a light and upon a swift cloud and come to Egypt (Isa 19:1); and in that day there will be an altar to the Lord in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar to the Lord at its border (Isa 19:19). This promise was fulfilled by the flight of the Holy Family from the face of the tyrant Herod to find refuge among the Gentiles. Thus our Lord Jesus Christ came during His childhood to Egypt to lay by Himself the foundation stone of His Church in Egypt which has become one of the four primary “Sees” in the world, among the churches of Jerusalem, Antioch and Rome, and joined later by the “See” of Constantinople
School of Alexandria
The star of the Egyptian Church shone through the School of Alexandria which taught Christendom the spiritual methods in interpreting the Holy Scripture and was the leader in defending the Christian faith on an ecumenical level.
The Christian monastic movement in all its forms started in Egypt, attracting the heart of the Church towards the desert, to practice the angelic inner life.
St. Antony, the father of monks, was the first Christian to live a life of consecrated solitude. As a hermit in the desert, he lived a long and saintly life that influenced countless people both in his time and for generations thereafter, even to this day.
The Coptic monasticism is considered the most profound spiritual revival that ever happened in all the history of the Church. It attracted people from all over the world to practice the angelic life in Egypt.
The Egyptian Church carried our Lord Jesus Christ’s cross throughout generations. She continued to offer a countless number of martyrs and confessors throughout ages.
Our Coptic Church lives by the work of the Holy Spirit inside of her. Her page of martyrdom comes from the fruits of the Spirit. We are amazed how our fathers and our martyrs withstood their sufferings; how they were unshaken, how they conquered, and how their honored blood, which was shed, destroyed the weapons of the evil kings and rulers..
The Church is well known for her numerous saints: ascetics, clergymen and laymen. She offered many saints throughout ages and is still offering the same today.
Our early fathers spoke clearly and in detail about our relationship with Saints. The Saints in Paradise are the triumphant members of the same one Church in which we are militant members. We, the triumphant and militants, are members of the Church, which is the one Body of our Lord Jesus Christ. The triumphant become invisible members because of the death of their bodies, and then militants are the visible ones. This is man’s point of view, but in God’s sight, we are all a visible holy family
We venerate the icons of saints and put them on the iconostasis. Church walls and doors are hung with icons, also our homes, etc., as a sign of our communion with them in the Lord Jesus Christ.
How This Ministry Helps the Community
Families have received monthly food supplies
Copts with disabilities have received medical equipment and other necessities
Children have received Bibles and school supplies
Families have started their own small businesses
Families have received financial and other needed assistance