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Coptic Church

copts egypt ancient liturgy

Coptic Church, Christian church that derives from the church of Alexandria in pre-Muslim Egypt. The Copts were descended from ancient Egyptians, and spoke their own, now “dead,” language. Early in the history of the church doctrinal disputes arose between the Roman Church and Coptic-speaking Christians. Following the Council of Chalcedon in A.D. 451, which condemned the view held by the Copts about the nature of Christ, the Copts broke away from Rome. After the Arab conquest of Egypt in A.D. 640, many Copts became Muslims. The religious head of the church is the Coptic Patriarch of Alexandria, who lives in Cairo. The liturgy of the church is derived from the ancient Greek liturgy and church services are celebrated in Coptic and Arabic. The Coptic church is important in Ethiopia.

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