The Coptic Church in Peril

The Coptic Church in Peril September 23, 2013

It was been a bad week of persecution for Christians in the global church. The massacre of Aramaic-speaking Christians in Syria, the bombing outside a Catholic church in Pakistani, and the terrorist attack in Nairobi which specifically targeted Christians. We should not forget, however, the continuing plight of Christian, esp. Copts, in Egypt.

Over at ABC Religion and Ethics is an excellent article by Samuel Tadros on The Coptic Church in Peril and narrates the recent history of the  Copts in Egypt since the 1970s. Makes for a riveting read. It looks like the Coptic church may well go the route of the Assyrian church which was also expelled from the middle east by persecution:

The Coptic exodus from Egypt will pose a colossal challenge to the Coptic Church. Today the Coptic Church has more than 550 churches outside of Egypt. At a moment in the not so distant future, the centre of gravity of the Coptic Church will no longer be inside Egypt’s borders. The nature of this challenge is one the church has never faced before and is currently ill-equipped to address: How to become a truly universal church and open up the Coptic Church to the rest of Christendom while maintaining its uniqueness? How to keep both the Christian faith of the new immigrants who will move to Western countries and the specific Coptic identity in face of an open market competition between Christian denominations? What does being Coptic actually mean for those living outside of Egypt’s borders? How to provide for the material needs of the new immigrants who cling to the church not only seeking spiritual guidance? And how to cater to the ones who remain and whose lives will be increasingly difficult. These are all open questions that await history’s judgment.

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