History of Copts
The Coptic Orthodox Church has its origins in Egypt. It
leads back to the saint evangelist and matyr Mark, who
was born in the 1
century BC, lived and worked
in Egypt and has founded the church.
The Coptic church is one of the oldest churches in the
world. The word copt goes back to the Greek word
and referred to the Egyptian inhabitants of the capital city
of Alexandria as well as the inhabitants of Egypt in Greek-Roman times in general. The copts understand themselves as Christian
descendants of the ancient Egyptians.
Beginning of the Coptic era (after Gregorian calendar, the „era of the matyr“)
First Egyptians monasteries originated in Egyptian deserts. St. Anthony (251 - 356) is considered the founding
father of monasticism
Monasteries develop into economically independent and cultural centers, literary places and educational insti-
Roman (Byzantine) rule is replaced by Islamic-Arabic rule
Coptic language is banned and replaced by the Arabic language
Coptic riots flame up throughout Egypt
from 9th cent.
Christians become a minority in Egypt
Mamelucke rule - mass conversion to Islam
middle 19th cent.
Reform and revival under Pope Kyrillos IV. (1854-1861), especially in the field of education
Great revival movement under Pope Kyrillos VI. (1959-1971)
Ecumenical opening of the churches, membership in the ecumenical council of churches
Inthronization of Pope Shenouda III., who continues reforms and furthers the achievements of the 19
Pope Tawadros II., 118th successor of the throne of the Holy Apostle Mark and head of the Coptic Orthodox Church
Today 11 -18 million Copts live in Egypt, an additional 2 million Copts in the Diaspora. The largest foreign communities are in Australia,
Canada and the USA.
Copts in Germany
First church founding in Frankfurt/ M. by Father Salib Surial
Fondation of the Coptic Orthodox Center with the
Monastery of St. Anthony in Kröffelbach
as the spiritual center
of the Coptic churches in West Germany and as a European center
Inauguration of St. Anthony‘s Church in Berlin
Acquisition of a second
Monastery in Höxter-Brenkhausen
under direction of Anba Damian
Geschichte der Kopten
Geschichte des Kirchengebäudes