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St Mary Coptic Orthodox Church In Delaware - The Coptic Church Today

The Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria today

There are about 15 million Coptic Orthodox Christians in the world: they are found primarily in Egypt under the jurisdiction of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria (roughly 11 million).

 

There are also significant numbers in the diaspora in countries such as the United States of America, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, and Sudan. The number of Coptic Orthodox Christians in the diaspora is roughly 4 million. In addition, there are between 350,000 and 400,000 native African adherents in East, Central and South Africa.

 

 

Although under the jurisdiction of the Coptic Orthodox Church, these adherents are not considered Copts, since they are not ethnic Egyptians. Some accounts regard members of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church (roughly 45 million),the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church (roughly 2.5 million), as members of the Coptic Orthodox Church.

 

This is however a misnomer, since both the Ethiopian and the Eritrean Churches, although daughter churches of the Church of Alexandria, they are currently autocephalous churches.

 

In 1959, the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church was granted its first own Patriarch by Pope Cyril VI of Alexandria. Furthermore, the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahdo Church similarly became independent of the Ethiopian Tewahedo Church in 1994,Cathedral of Abbasiya, Cairo, Egypt when four bishops were consecrated by Pope Shenouda III of Alexandria to form the basis of a local Holy Synod of the Eritrean Church. In 1998, the Eritrean Church gained its autocephelacy from the Coptic Orthodox Church when its first Patriarch was enthroned by Pope Shenouda III of Alexandria.

These three churches remain in full communion with each other and with the other Oriental Orthodox churches. The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church and the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church do acknowledge the Honorary Supremacy of the Coptic Orthodox Patriarch of Alexandria, since the Church of Alexandria is technically their Mother Church.

 

Upon their selection, both Patriarchs (Ethiopian & Eritrean) must receive the approval and communion from the Holy Synod of the Apostolic See of Alexandria before their enthronement.

 

In addition to the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria whose adherents make between 92 and 93 % of Egypt's total Christians population of 11.8 to 12 million adherents. The country also includes Christian minorities that belong other Christian denominations,

 

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