BEHIND THE PROJECT
Mina was born and raised in Egypt and received a law degree from Ain Shams University in Egypt. He worked as a legal researcher for the Egyptian Union of Liberal Youth (EULY), a Cairo-based, non-profit organization, which promotes classical liberalism among Egyptian youth. He supervised a program within EULY on the status of Coptic Christians in Egypt.
As a fellow for The Philos Project, Mina spearheads all activities focused on the Coptic people. He has a special initiative, St. Mark's Project, which is a leadership-building program for young Coptic adults.
FAQ's on Coptic Christians
Since the majority of Christians in the United States and other western countries belong to western churches, knowledge and understanding of churches of Eastern traditions is often limited.
Curious how the Coptic Church differs not just from the Western Church, but from other Eastern traditions as well? Wondering how long the church and the people have been around for? Toggle the chart to find out!
After you have finished reading through the FAQs, go deeper by exploring the interactive timeline, found below.
How are Copts different from other Egyptians?
Coptic Christians have a distinct ethnoreligious identity. Copts are also indigenous to Egypt and inhabited the land, with their own language and culture, as a majority for hundreds of years until the Arab conquest in the seventh century. After the Arab conquest, many Copts were either killed or forced to convert to Islam. There has not been a Christian majority in Egypt since. Although it is an ongoing debate within the Coptic community itself, many Copts do not identify as Arab. Historically, they existed as a separate people and were only assimilated into Arab culture in Egypt after the seventh century conquest.
How are Copts different from other Christians?
All Copts are Christians, but they vary in which denomination they belong to. Copts are most commonly members of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, but many others are Catholic, Protestant and Evangelical.
How large is the Coptic Church?
Estimates of the Coptic population in Egypt vary from around 10-20 million. According to World Atlas, there are 18 million Copts in Egypt and 1,243,000 in the diaspora. The largest number of Copts in the diaspora reside in the US, Kuwait, and Canada.
How old is the Coptic Church?
Tradition holds that Mark the Apostle brought Christianity to Alexandria, Egypt sometime between 42 and 62 AD.
Who is in charge of the Coptic Church?
The leader of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria is the Pope of Alexandria. Currently, Pope Tawadros II holds this position. He was selected as the 118th pope on November 18, 2012.
How can I learn more about the teachings and theology of the Coptic Church?
Explore our resources including the Coptic one pager, timeline, heroes profiles and other content related to the Coptic Leadership Initiative! Check out our map of Coptic churches in the US and stop by the nearest one near you to engage with the local Coptic community in your own neighborhood!
Ready to learn more? Explore the resources provided below to dive even deeper.
Learn even more about Copts from expert Samuel Tadros.
Head over to our Events page to view upcoming events centered on Coptic Christians.
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