Coptic Egypt

Copts who form the majority of Egyptian Christians are followers of the Coptic Orthodox Church and considered to be part of the descendants of Ancient Egyptians and one of the first peoples to convert to Christianity. In fact, the word “Copt” derives from the Arabic word “Qibt” – or “Gibt” – which derives from the Greek word “Egyptos” meaning “Egypt.” The Ancient Egyptian root of the word was “Hikaptah” (Ha-Ka-Ptah), the name Memphis was known by in 3100 BC at the time when it was the first capital of Ancient Egypt.

The Coptic Church traces its spiritual history back to St. Mark, the traditional author of the Gospel of Mark, and considers him to be the founding father of the Coptic Orthodox Church.

The history of the Coptic Church is tied to the history of Christian monasticism. The ancient tradition of monasticism continues to be practiced in Egypt and offers a great opportunity to visit Coptic monasteries, such as the monastery of St Simeon in Aswan, St Anthony and St Paul Monasteries in the Red Sea mountains, and Deir Al-Kashef Monastery, an early Coptic monastery in the Western Desert. Some of Egypt’s churches also rank among the oldest Christian landmarks in the world, such as the church of the virgin in Asyut and the Coptic Cathedral of St. Mark in Alexandria.
Several churches and monasteries also mark the Holy Family Journey trail as described in the Bible. Take an angle’s advice and “Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt.”

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