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The Coptic Church of Egypt and Ethiopia is The World’s Oldest Christian Church

The Coptic Church of Egypt and Ethiopia was founded in 42 CE (AD) and is the oldest Christian Denomination in the World. It’s founder was Saint Mark who was one the first Apostles of Jesus. He went back to his home country in Africa to spread the “Good News” (the Gospel). The church he founded is under siege in Egypt but still stands strong in Ethiopia to this day with over 50 million adherents. Here is his history and one of the first images of him from an ancient church in Egypt.

St. Mark The Apostle, Evangelist

Preacher of The Christian Faith in Africa, founder of the Coptic Church was a Black African.
St. Mark was a native of the North Africa county of Libya. He was born in the city of Cyrene in Pentapolis, The western part of Libya, west of the border of Egypt.

St. Mark was born of Jewish parents three years after the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. His original name was John and his surname was Mark : “And when he {peter} came to himself he {Peter} came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark, where many gathered together praying” (acts 12:11-12); and ” Barnabas determined to take with them John, whose surname was Mark” (acts 15:37); “And Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem, when they had fulfilled their ministry, and took with them John, whose surname was Mark” (acts 12:25).

St. marks parents, Aristopolos his father and Mary his mother, migrated to Palestine shortly after the birth of St. Mark because of the Berber attacks on their town and property. They settled in Cana of Galilee not far from Jerusalem A few years later St. Mark’s father died and Peter Simon {St. Peter}, who was married to a relative of St. Mark’s father took care of St. Mark and considered him a son: “The Church that is in Babylon, elected together with you, salutes you and so does Marcus {Mark} my son”; (1 Peter 5:13).


Peter Simon saw to it that St. Mark got a good education. St. Mark studied law and the classics .Church Traditions state that Mary, St. Mark’s mother, was admirer of Jesus Christ and followed Him everywhere and that St. Mark was one of the attendants who served at the feast in Cana of Galilee at which Jesus Christ turned the water into wine He was born in the Pentapolis or Qairawan (Now Tunisia or Libya according to other sources) approximately 15 years after our Lord was born. He witnessed the preaching of our Lord in Palestine as well as his passion. He is the author of the earliest Gospel to be written (it was written in Greek). He was the founder of Christianity in Egypt and Ethiopia. He came to Alexandria approximately 48 AD.

Foot Note: According to some sources, St. Peter preached in Egypt about the same time St. Mark was in Alexandria; however he focused on the Jews of Baby near Memphis, Cairo now. He was martyred in 68 AD when pagans of Serapis (the Serapion-Abbis Greek Egyptian god) tied him to a horse’s tail and dragged him through the streets of Alexandria’s district of Bokalia for two days until his body was torn to pieces.

The Church celebrates his martyrdom on the 8th of May each year. His head is in a church named after him in Alexandria, and parts of his relics are in St. Mark’s Cairo’s Cathedral. The rest of his relics are in the San Marco Cathedral in Venice, Italy. Of his titles are: The Evangelist, the Apostle, the Witness and the Martyr. UIHistorian.

The Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria is the official name for the largest Christian church in Egypt and the Middle East According to tradition, the church was established by Saint Mark, an apostle and evangelist, in the middle of the 1st century (approximately AD 42).[2] The head of the church and the See of Alexandria is the Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of All Africa on the Holy See of Saint Mark. The See of Alexandria is titular and nowadays the Coptic Pope seat is Saint Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in the Abbassia District in Cairo. As of 2012, about 10% of Egyptians belonged to the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria. The picture in this posting is one off the oldest depictions of Saint Mark from the Coptic Church.


Written by How Africa News

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