BEING COPTIC CHRISTIAN IN AMERICA

Over the last 2000 years, the Orthodox Coptic Christian faith has increasingly spread from Egypt to other parts of the world. In many ways, the dispersal and growing acceptance of the Coptic Orthodox Christian faith highlight some significant lessons about the diffusion and acceptance of religions and cultures from one part of the world to other parts of the world. This follows after the express instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ in St. Mark’s gospel chapter 16 verse 15 which says – And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.”

In the United States, for instance, the Coptic Christian faith didn’t begin to gain ground and take shape until the late 1940s. The spread of the Christian faith to the United States has largely been influenced by the immigration of Coptic Christian faithful’s from Egypt and other parts of the world to the United States.

Currently, there are hundreds of Coptic Christian churches with hundreds of thousands of practicing Coptic Christians in present-day America, and these numbers are projected to increase significantly in the future, but right now, there are challenges that are limiting the church’s strength.

The Coptic church’s Orthodox practices are a central focus of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the United States as well as in additional parts of the world but these practices vary in many ways to the American culture.

The diversity in the American culture and the Coptic church’s Orthodox practices is a struggle for most Coptic Christians in America especially those who are originally from Egypt. The American culture is almost poles apart from the Coptic church’s Orthodox practices and this is why many Americans who do not originate from an Egyptian heritage do not feel at home in the Coptic church.

Currently, there are over 6000 members of the Coptic church in the United States, but to further grow this number, the Coptic church in America needs to discover a fine blend between the 2000 years old practices of the Coptic church and the American culture.

Many critics have tagged this move as the move to “Americanize the Coptic church”, and they argue that while it is good to preach the gospel, the Coptic church should not shift from her ancient landmarks (Proverbs 22:28).

Right now, whatever side of the divide you fall does not matter, what should matter is bringing more people to fellowship in the Coptic church and getting them to feel at home no matter their origin.

In essence, the Coptic church in America needs to be more welcoming to Americans and open to people from other cultures, but this should never lead to compromising on the core tenets of the faith.

To accommodate more people to the Coptic Church in America, many Coptic churches have begun to embrace ethnic diversity, evangelical style of preaching, English language, and other practices that are comfortable with Americans.



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