The country has an area of 370,308 square miles and a population of 83 million, of whom almost 90 percent are Sunni Muslims. Shi'a Muslims constitute significantly less than 1 percent of the population. Estimates of the percentage of Christians ranged from 8 to 12 percent (6 to 10 million), the majority of whom belonged to the Coptic Orthodox Church. The country's Jewish community numbers approximately 125, mostly senior citizens.
Other Christian communities include the Armenian Apostolic, Catholic (Armenian, Chaldean, Greek, Melkite, Roman, and Syrian Catholic), Maronite, and Orthodox (Greek and Syrian) churches that range in size from several thousand to hundreds of thousands. A Protestant (known in Arabic as "ingili" or evangelical) community, established in the middle of the 19th century, includes 16 Protestant denominations (Presbyterian, Episcopal (Anglican), Baptist, Brethren, Open Brethren, Revival of Holiness (Nahdat al-Qadaasa), Faith (Al-Eyman), Church of God, Christian Model Church (Al-Mithaal Al-Masihi), Apostolic, Grace (An-Ni'ma), Pentecostal, Apostolic Grace, Church of Christ, Gospel Missionary (Al-Kiraaza bil Ingil), and the Message Church of Holland (Ar-Risaala)). There are also followers of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, which was granted legal status in the 1960s. There are 800 to 1,200 Jehovah's Witnesses and small numbers of Mormons, but the Government does not recognize either group. The number of Baha'is is estimated at 2,000 persons.
Christians are dispersed throughout the country, although the percentage of Christians is higher in Upper Egypt (the southern part of the country) and some sections of Cairo and Alexandria.
There are many foreign religious groups, especially Roman Catholics and Protestants, who have had a presence in the country for almost a century. These groups engaged in education, social, and development work.