Le miracle copte : Comment l’église chrétienne historique d’Égypte a survécu et prospéré

Relatives of the 20 Coptic migrant workers murdered by Daesh in Libya in 2015 pray over their remains at their funeral in 2018 at the Church of the Martyrs in Al-Aour. (Ibrahim Ezzat/AFP)

Les Coptes, dont la lignée remonte à l’Égypte ancienne et dont la religion est antérieure à la naissance de l’islam et à son arrivée au pays du Nil, sont au cœur de l’histoire égyptienne depuis deux millénaires.

Christianity arrived in Egypt early in the first chapters of the Christian story. According to scripture, Mary and Joseph fled to Egypt with the infant Jesus after Herod the Great, King of Judea, ordered the Massacre of the Innocents, the slaying of all male children aged 2 or under in Bethlehem.

An 18th-century French painting depicts the massacre of children in Bethlehem that drove Mary and Joseph to seek sanctuary for the infant Jesus in Egypt. (Getty Images)

During the reign of the Emperor Nero (A.D. 54 to 68), Mark the Evangelist, believed to have been born in the ancient Greek city of Cyrene, near present-day Shahhat in Libya, brought the teachings of Christ to Africa.

There, he founded the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, which would become one of the five episcopal sees, or areas of ecclesiastical jurisdiction, of Christendom, alongside Constantinople, Antioch, Jerusalem and Rome.