But Egypt is home to the Copts, one of the world's oldest Christian communities, with roots dating back to the time of Christ himself. But after the advent of Islam, it came to mean the Christians of Egypt, and the name has stuck. As we first reported last December, they've been persecuted and discriminated against by the Muslim majority for centuries.They'd hoped the Egyptian revolution would change that, but it hasn't.Theologically, Coptic Christianity is very similar to Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy. What is the Eastern Orthodox Church and what are the beliefs of Orthodox Christians?
1054, the Coptics were separated from the rest by the Council of Chalcedon in A. This became standard orthodoxy for Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Protestant churches from then on.
The council met to discuss the Incarnation of Christ and declared that Christ was "one hypostasis in two natures" (i.e., one person who shares two distinct natures).
In the case of adult baptism, the person undresses, enters the baptismal font up to their neck, and their head is dipped three times by the priest.
The priest stands behind a curtain while immersing the head of a woman.
Fasting means contrition and repentance, mixed with spiritual joy and consolation.
Worship Service - Coptic Orthodox Churches celebrate the mass, which includes traditional liturgical prayers from a lectionary, readings from the Bible, singing or chanting, almsgiving, a sermon, consecration of the bread and wine, and communion.
The societal strength and control of the Arabs caused the Coptics to endure a major language and culture change as well as confront the Islamic faith.
Unfortunately, over the centuries, Christianity lost foothold and most Coptics converted to Islam.
The Coptic Christians were originally well founded in theology, and other churches in cities throughout the Roman Empire looked up to them with great admiration and respect, willingly following their lead in doctrinal like-mindedness and unity. 641, yet another tribulation began when the Arab conquest took place, overthrowing the Romans’ rule in Egypt and, at first, relieving the Coptic Church from persecution.
It is interesting to note that when the Coptics were under the rule of the Roman Empire, they suffered severe persecution and death for their steadfast faith and beliefs in Christ while refusing to worship emperors. What appeared to be their liberty and freedom became yet again bondage.
Founded in the first century in Egypt, the Coptic Christian Church shares many beliefs and practices with the Roman Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodox Church. The church is steeped in ritual and tradition and places a heavy emphasis on asceticism, or denying the self.