"...On one hand, its theology is based on nothing outside the scriptures. On the other hand, the doctrines agree in all parts with those of the Early Church i.e. the tradition which has the proper interpretation and application of the teachings of our Lord and the Apostles as understood and practiced by the Christians and the leaders of the Church during the period of the One Universal Church until the division of 451 A.D."
Bishop Athanasius of Ben-Swef and Bahnassa (1977)
The Coptic Orthodox 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 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.
The Coptic Orthodox Church worships the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit in the Oneness of Nature. We believe in One God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit three equal Co-Essential and Co-Indwelling Hypostasis (Persons). The Blessed and Holy Trinity is our One God. We Believe that Lord Jesus Christ, the Only-Begotten of the Father and Who is One with Him in Essence is the only Savior of the world; we are Miaphysites; There is a difference between the Monophysites who believe in just One Single Nature (Divine) of Lord Jesus Christ and the Miaphysites who believe in One United Nature or One Composite Nature (Divine & Human) of Lord Jesus Christ. We do not believe in just a Single Nature but we do believe in the One Incarnate Nature of the Logos. Less changes have taken place in the Coptic Church than in any other church whether in the ritual or doctrine aspects and that the succession of the Coptic Patriarchs, Bishops, priests and Deacons has been continuous.
His Holiness Pope Tawadros II
His Holiness was born on 4 November 1952 in the City of Mansoura. He graduated from the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Alexandria in 1975 and worked as a manager at a pharmaceutical factory in Damanhur. He received the fellowship in world health from England in 1985.
In the same year he received a bachelor degree in theology from the Theological College in Alexandria. He joined St. Bishoy’ monastery in 1986 where he was tonsured a monk in 1988 with the name Theodor El-Anba Bishoy. He was ordained a priest in 1989 where he served in Damanhour from 1990 - 1997 with His Eminence Metropolitan Bakhomious of Al-Beheira. On 15 June 1997 he was ordained General Bishop and was assigned to serve as an Assistant Bishop to His Eminence Metropolitan Bakhomious.
It is noteworthy that His Holiness and His Grace Bishop Suriel of Melbourne were ordained general bishops together on the same date; also His Grace Bishop Suriel was one of the six bishops who nominated His Holiness for the papal elections. His Holiness is an author of 12 books on Christian Theology. On 4 November 2012 the Grace of God chose His Holiness through the Altar Ballot to be the 118th Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St. Mark. This date coincided with His Holiness’ 60th birthday. His Holiness enthroned on 18 November 2012.
The History Coptic Orthodox Church
FOUNDER OF THE CHURCH
The good news of Christianity arrived to Egypt through Saint Mark the apostle around 55 A.D.. Hence the Coptic Orthodox Church is one of the oldest churches in the world, spanning 20 centuries of history.
THE TERM COPT"
The word ‘‘Copt’’ basically means Egyptian. It is derived from the Greek word ‘‘Aigyptos.’’ By removing the first and last two letters in the Greek word we have, ‘‘gypt’’, which has thus become the words ‘‘Egypt’’ and ‘‘Copt.’’
Egyptian civilisation began more than three thousand years before Jesus Christ. God blessed Egypt from early times by saying, ‘‘Blessed is Egypt My people.’’ (Isaiah 19:25)