Coptic Church

The Coptic church is the ancient church of Egypt; the name Copt derives from the Greek Aiguptioi ("Egyptians"). According to tradition within the church, its founder and first patriarch was Mark the Evangelist, who first preached Christianity in Alexandria in the forties of the first century CE. For several centuries the new faith interacted in various ways with Judaism, traditional Egyptian religion, Hellenistic philosophy, and Gnosticism, amid sporadic waves of Roman persecution. The consummation of the persecutions came under Diocletian, from the beginning of whose reign in 284 CE the Copts began their own calendar "of the martyrs" (1 Anno Martyrum). This church calendar remains in use to the present day.

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