When discussing the topic of Copts, it is difficult even to choose a clear definition for the very term “Copt”. On the one hand, the Copts are the non-Arab population of Egypt, direct descendants of the ancient Egyptians. On the other hand, Egyptian Christians who belong to the Coptic Orthodox Church are usually called this way, thereby replacing the national identification of the Copts with a religious identification. So who are the Copts and what is their role in modern Egypt?
The word Copt itself entered into Egyptian usage after the conquest of Egypt by the Muslim Arabs in the 7th century AD. The Arab conquerors were reluctant to use the term «Egyptian» in relation to the indigenous population, since they themselves lived in the Egyptian Emirate and considered themselves Egyptians. Therefore, in relation to the descendants of the ancient Egyptians, the name «Copts», derived from the ancient Greek «aykuptos», began to be used. For many centuries, Coptic Christians were persecuted by Arab conquerors, but now Copts have practically equal rights with the Muslim population of Egypt, the only difference between neighboring peoples is that a Coptic Christian (however, like any non-Muslim) cannot become president. … It should be noted that in modern Egypt they have a sharply negative attitude towards any manifestation of radical religiosity, therefore, persecution against any religious group is sharply suppressed. Copts make up approximately 10% of the total population of Egypt, that is, about 10 million people.
The history of Coptic Christians is represented by many beautiful and unusual Coptic temples and cathedrals, both ancient (carefully guarded and restored) and modern. The interior decoration of Coptic churches is much simpler than in Orthodox churches in other countries, in this Copts are closer to the Catholic Church. Another difference between Coptic Orthodox churches and churches in other countries is the presence of benches, which are also more typical for Catholic churches. Since ancient times, Alexandria has been considered the center of church life for the Copts, it is there that most of the ancient patriarchs are buried, starting with the founder of the church, the Apostle Mark (the author of one of the first four Gospels). Now the main Coptic cathedral is located in Cairo.
The Coptic language in our time is used only during divine services, however, it also carries an interesting history — it was the language of the Copts, which is the result of the development of the ancient Egyptian language, was used by Francois Champollion to decipher the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs.
The Coptic culture is very interesting to study — during the entire existence of the indigenous Egyptians, it developed and now represents an elegant intricacies of Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Christian and Arab legends and myths. Unraveling this tangle, you can make many interesting discoveries, finding non-obvious parallels between different cultures and religions.
Copts live mainly in communities — you can easily recognize Coptic areas in Egyptian cities by the abundance of Orthodox churches. The whole area in Cairo, populated mainly by Copts, is very interesting — the “City of Scavengers”, almost the entire population of which is engaged in the collection and disposal of waste.
For any questions regarding the PURCHASE and selection of real estate in Hurghada, you can always consult with our specialists who have up-to-date information and will help you make the right choice
+20 106 930 3640 Contact us
Skype: Hurghada RedSeaLine