Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Who are the Copts ?

The word Copt is derived from the Greek word Aigyptos, which was, in turn, derived from "Hikaptah", one of the names for Memphis, the first capital of Ancient Egypt. The modern use of the term "Coptic" describes Egyptian Christians, as well as the last stage of the ancient Egyptian language script. Also, it describes the distinctive art and architecture that developed as an early expression of the new faith.


The Coptic people are the descendants of the ancient Egyptians.

The known history of the Copts or Egypt starts with King Mina or Menas the first King, who united the northern and southern kingdoms of Egypt circa 3050 B.C. The ancient Egyptian civilization under the rule of the Pharaohs lasted for approximately 3000 years. Many Copts accepted the teachings of Christianity, possibly because the ancient Egyptian religions believed in life after death. This is evidenced by their elaborate efforts to preserve the bodies of the dead by embalming or mummification. Like other early Christians throughout the Roman Empire, the Copts suffered from the persecution perpetrated against the new religion. Many Copts shed their blood in testimony for Jesus Christ. Saint Mina or Menas is one of the major Coptic saints. He was martyred 309 A.D. The Copts history continues through the present as Father Mina the Anchorite led the Coptic Orthodox Church, who was named as Pope Cyril the 6th 1971 A.D. He is considered to be a contemporary saint and among the great leaders of the Coptic Orthodox Church. The Coptic or Egyptian history continues from circa 3050 B.C. through the present. Many cotemporary Copts continue to carry ancient Egyptian names such as Mina, Ahmos, and Ramesses for men, Isis, Nofert, Nefertiti, and Nitocris for women. Two examples are noteworthy about the influence of the ancient Egyptian civilization on the western civilization. The first example is that the present western or Gregorian calendar has its roots in the solar ancient Egyptian calendar. The second is that the modern name of the science of Chemistry gets its name from the ancient name of Egypt, or "Chimie" in the Coptic language.



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