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On 18 July , Camellia Shehata Zakher, a Coptic Orthodox schoolteacher and wife of a parish priest, mysteriously disappeared after a reported quarrel with her husband. In the days that followed, Egyptian police launched a massive search for the year-old woman. Media outlets across the country grabbed hold of the story and ran it around the clock, covering the events as they unfolded.
Rumors surfaced she had fled an abusive marriage and willfully converted to Islam. In response, church leaders accused Muslims of kidnapping and forcing her to convert.
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Coptic language , an Afro-Asiatic language that was spoken in Egypt from about the 2nd century ce and that represents the final stage of the ancient Egyptian language. In contrast to earlier stages of Egyptian, which used hieroglyphic writing , hieratic script , or demotic script , Coptic was written in the Greek alphabet , supplemented by seven letters borrowed from demotic writing. Coptic also replaced the religious terms and expressions of earlier Egyptian with words borrowed from Greek.
Coptic is usually divided by scholars into six dialects , four of which were spoken in Upper Egypt and two in Lower Egypt; these differ from one another chiefly in their sound systems. In it are preserved a text of the Gospel According to John and of the Acts of the Apostles, as well as a number of Gnostic documents.
It is one of the best-documented and well-known dialects.
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Coptic Christians in Egypt have been attacked while traveling on pilgrimages and bombed while praying on Palm Sunday , amid an accelerating series of attacks over the last decade. The interrelated challenges of violence, economics and discrimination have led to the increasing departure of Christians from the Middle East.
For centuries they have been part of the rich religious diversity of the region. Since I first visited Egypt in the s, I have been interested in this community and its contribution to pluralism. Copts are the indigenous Christian population of Egypt, who date back to the first decades following the life of Jesus Christ. Many of these Egyptians took the message of Christianity back to their own country. Christian tradition holds that St.
Mark, one of the early disciples of Jesus, became the first bishop of Egypt. By the fourth century , the majority of Egyptians had embraced the Christian faith. Even after the Muslim conquest in the seventh century, the majority of Egyptians were still Christians. It was only during the Middle Ages that greater and greater numbers embraced Islam, and the Christian population dwindled. Today, Egyptian Christians make up approximately 5 to 10 percent of the Egyptian population.
Copts are fiercely proud of their Egyptian heritage that dates back to the age of the pyramids as early as B.
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Andrew George explores the potential conflict that an Australian of Egyptian-Coptic descent is exposed to when courting. One of the most challenging aspects of life as the son of an Egyptian immigrant living in a Western country is the ongoing difficulty attempting to traverse the difficult terrain caused by exposure to different cultures that are at times incompatible with one another.
The Egyptian culture is a culture that, to use a classification from a prominent text on morality — the Righteous Mind by Jonathan Haidt, has a moral code based on the ethics of community and divinity. This is in contrast to Western culture that is based on individualism; that is, a value-based system built on the ethics of autonomy.
The conflict that an Australian of Egyptian descent is exposed to emerges where practices and attitudes in Western society, which are acceptable and inevitable in a society that seeks only to restrict autonomy to the extent that it could cause undue harm to others, is incompatible with a culture that has conservative values that emanate from an understanding of what is right and proper because of community tradition and divine instruction.
RAMI REFAT (Guide): This is the icon dating back to the 18th century, showing Jesus Christ having the red dress and he’s sitting on (unintelligible).
Liane Hansen. Egyptian Christians have developed a rich culture since Saint Mark brought the new faith to Egypt in Roman times. Today, Egypt is 90 percent Muslim, but the Copts are a powerful minority, says Father Mark Gruber, professor of anthropology and sociology at St. Vincent College in LaTrobe, Pa. When the followers of Jesus Christ began to spread their faith after the crucifixion in Roman times, St. Mark visited the city of Alexandria, Egypt.
Egyptian Christians or Coptic Christians have since developed a rich culture. Today, they are only about 10 percent of the country’s population but they remain a powerful and privileged minority, sometimes clashing with the overwhelming Muslim population. In the antiquities room of the Alexandria Library, guide Rami Refat ph showed us a vivid painting of Jesus on a throne.
The Coptic calendar , also called the Alexandrian calendar , is a liturgical calendar used by the Coptic Orthodox Church and also used by the farming populace in Egypt. This calendar is based on the ancient Egyptian calendar. To avoid the calendar creep of the latter which contained only days each year, year after year, so that the seasons shifted about one day every four years , a reform of the ancient Egyptian calendar was introduced at the time of Ptolemy III Decree of Canopus , in BC which consisted of the intercalation of a sixth epagomenal day every fourth year.
However, this reform was opposed by the Egyptian priests, and the reform was not adopted until 25 BC, when the Roman Emperor Augustus imposed the Decree upon Egypt as its official calendar although it was unsynchronized with the newly introduced Julian calendar which had erroneously been intercalating leap days every third year due to a misinterpration of the leap year rule so as to apply inclusive counting [ clarification needed ] [ citation needed ]. To distinguish it from the Ancient Egyptian calendar, which remained in use by some astronomers until medieval times, this reformed calendar is known as the Coptic calendar.
Its years and months coincide with those of the Ethiopian calendar but have different numbers and names.
Dating can be a tough scene for us Orthodox Christians–let’s be honest: there are not that many of us, and there can be a lot of pressure from family to make.
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