Sunday, September 13, 2009

Who are Copts??

Well, I just wanted to explain this. Mostly, I won't be using my own words.
Wikipedia says, quote "Copts are Egyptians whose ancestors embraced Christianity in the first century. The word "Coptic" was originally used in Classical Arabic to refer to Egyptians in general (see etymology section), but it has undergone semantic shift over the centuries to mean more specifically Egyptian Christian after the bulk of the Egyptian population converted to Islam." unqote. And thus, Copts (Egyptian Orthodox Christians) are indeed the only successors of the pharaohs whose roots are well established.

After the Arabic invasion of Egypt in the 7th century, again I quote from Wikipedia "The Arabs imposed a special tax, known as Jizya, on the Christians who acquired the status of dhimmis, and all native Egyptians were prohibited from joining the army. Egyptian converts to Islam in turn were relegated to the status of mawali. Heavy taxation was one of the reasons behind Egyptian organized resistance against the new occupying power, as well as the decline of the number of Christians in Egypt." unquote. Quote "The Arabs in the 7th century seldom used the term Egyptian, and used instead the term Copt to describe the people of Egypt. Thus, Egyptians became known as Copts, and the non-Chalcedonian Egyptian Church became known as the Coptic Church." unquote.

Coptic life kept deteriorating throughout the centuries until the rule of "Muhammad Ali" in the early 19th century, but that didn't last for long though.

Quote from Wikipedia "In 1952, Nasser led some army officers in a coup d'├ętat against King Farouk, which overthrew the Kingdom of Egypt and established a republic. Nasser's mainstream policy was pan-Arab nationalism and socialism. The Copts were severely affected by Nasser's nationalization policies because, although they represented about 20% of the population, they were so economically prosperous as to have held more than 50% of the country's wealth. In addition, Nasser's pan-Arab policies undermined the Copts' strong attachment to and sense of identity about their Egyptian pre-Arab, and certainly non-Arab, identity. As a result, many Copts left their country for Australia, North America or Europe."

I think this little history concludes somehow, Who are Copts?