The Copts are the descendants of ancient Egyptians and direct heirs to the culture of Egyptian pharaohs. Today they account for about 9% of the country’s population. The exact number is unknown. Supposedly it’s about 6 million.
The number could be higher but the authorities of Egypt – a predominantly Muslim nation (after the Arab conquest in the VII century) – don’t care much about it. About half a million more Copts live in Ethiopia. The Coptic diaspora abroad is about 1 million strong, 100 thousand of them live in the USA and Canada.
The majority of Copts belongs to the Coptic Orthodox church, the remainder (about 100 thousand) - the Coptic Catholic church. The Copts have always distinguished themselves by remaining faithful to Christianity no matter under the tough pressure from the Muslim environment. They actually have no representation in upper strata of society. Boutros Ghali, the sixth UN Secretary General, was the only Copt by origin who made it to become a world wide known politician (Boutros is an Arabic version of Peter). Economically they are more prosperous what makes it one more reason to attack them. Especially taking into account that they occupy the positions “not decent enough” for the Muslims. Read More