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The Coptic Orthodox Church

About the Coptic Orthodox Church

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The Coptic Church is experiencing this century quite a significant revival in many aspects of its life: in its ministry both at home and abroad, in education, and in ecumenism. Institutions have been erected in Egypt to present to the world facilities for research in the Science of Coptology. Youth movement and Sunday Schools have been working with great zeal to help both children and their parents to live in the world but not to be of the world. Two new bishoprics were established for these ministries, one for the youth, the other for religious and theological education. The number of the theological seminaries has increased tremendously all over Egypt and the curricula has been highly developed to reflect the advancement of research in the fields of Patristics, Religious Education, etc. and to discuss the new trends in today's theology. St. Didymus Institute for the Blind prepares chanters who constitute an important ministry in the celebration of the Liturgy. Moreover, other Coptic Orthodox theological seminaries were established in the USA and Australia. New ministries such as the "Diaconia" project have been introduced to cater to the needs of people in rural areas.

The Coptic Church's missionaries were sent in the past few decades to many African countries and a bishop was ordained to look after this ministry. It is noticeable that, with the fall of colonialism, the Africans look to Egypt for religious leadership and spiritual guidance, since it is the only indigenous African Church. Other churches are established in Kuwait, Libya, Lebanon, Europe, England, North and South America, the Caribbean Islands and Australia. At home new churches have been built and new monasteries and convents have been established. The number of monks and nuns has been on the increase in the past fifty years. The Church has come out of isolation to meet with other churches, both Catholic and Protestant in Ecumenical Councils. Dialogues between the Coptic Church and other Churches have been initiated and carried out by the Coptic Patriarch himself in brotherly love to work towards the achievement of the oneness of faith.

In conclusion, it is gratifying to note that many of the greatest universities of Europe and the USA have undertaken the study of many aspects of Coptic Civilization.

By Fr. Marcos Marcos at St. Mark Coptic Orthodox Church - Toronto, Canada

 

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