ORIGINATION

 The Coptic Church was established in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ by St. Mark the Evangelist in the city of Alexandria around 43 A.D. The church adheres to the Nicene Creed. St. Athanasius (296-373 A.D.), the twentieth Pope of the Coptic Church effectively defended the Doctrine of the Lord Jesus Christ's Divinity at the Council of Nicea in 325 A.D. His affirmation of the doctrine earned him the title; "Father of Orthodoxy" and St. Athanasius "the Apostolic".The term "Coptic" is derived from the Greek "Aigyptos" meaning "Egyptian". When the Arabs arrived in Egypt in the seventh century, they called the Egyptians "qibt". Thus the Arabic word "qibt" came to mean both "Egyptians" and "Christians". The term "Orthodoxy" here refers to the preservation of the "Original Faith" by the Copts who, throughout the ages, defended the Old Creed against the numerous attacks aimed at it.The Coptic Orthodox Church is an Apostolic Church, not only because her founder is St. Mark the Apostle who ministered in Egypt, ordained a bishop, priests, and deacons to aid him in his ministry and was martyred in Alexandria, and not only because her first Patriarch is St. Mark's successor through an unbroken chain of popes since the apostolic age, but also because she preserves the apostolic thought in her life, spirituality, liturgies and dogmas. She is actually a living extension of the apostolic church without deviation.The Coptic Church is sometimes accused of exaggerated conservatism and refusal of concessions. As a matter of fact she is not stagnant or solid but faithful and conservative, preserving the apostolic life, and desiring to offer the gift of faith in all its aspects throughout the ages. St Mark was one of the seventy apostles and was the apostle whom was appointed by the Lord Jesus Christ to eat the Passover meal at his home. His home which was known as Zion’s room was also the place where the apostles gathered together following the Holy Crucifixion, the place where the Holy Spirit came upon the apostles as tongues of fire on the Pentecost, and also it is also considered the first Church in the entire world.The Gospel recorded the following about our first pope, the apostle, St Mark:

  1. 1. Matthew 26:18, Mark 14:13, & Luke 12:10-12 - The Lord Jesus Christ celebrated the Passover with His holy disciples in St Mark’s home.

  2. John 20:19 & Luke 24:33 - Appearance of the Lord after His Glorious Resurrection to the apostles happened in St Mark’s home.

  3. Acts 1:13 & 2:1 - The coming upon the disciples of the Holy Spirit happened in St Mark’s home

  4. Acts 11:27-30 - St Mark was with St Barnabas and St Paul 47 AD

  5. Acts 13:1-13 - From 47 AD to 49 AD, the first preaching trip involving the apostles Paul, Barnabas, Mark, Seleucia, Salamis, Paphos and Perga in Pamphyli

  6. Acts 15:39 - 50-52 AD St Mark departed with St Barnabas to Cyprus

  7. Colossians 4:10 - St Mark was with St Paul in Colossy in 61 AD

  8. Timothy 2 4:11 - 64 AD-66 AD St Mark departed to Rome for St Paul

  9. When the first Council was held in Jerusalem under the leadership of St James the Bishop of Jerusalem, to discuss the acceptance of the Gentiles without circumcision, St Mark attended

  10. After St Mark’s preaching with St Barnabas and St Paul, the Holy Spirit led him to preach on his own which brought the saint to Egypt

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