[[Image:ChristCopticArt.jpg|frame|Coptic icon of Christ]]
The '''Coptic Orthodox Church''' is the portion of the [[Church of Alexandria]] which broke from the Byzantine churches in the wake of the [[Fourth Ecumenical Council]] in [[Chalcedon]] in 451. Sharing a common heritage before with the Chalcedonian Church of Alexandria, it traces its origins to the [[Apostle Mark]]. The church is one of the [[Oriental Orthodoxy|Oriental Orthodox]] churches. Its leader is the Coptic Pope of Alexandria, currently [[Shenouda III (Gayyid) of Alexandria|Pope Shenouda III]]. The Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria cares for about 18 million Coptic Orthodox Christians in Egypt and abroad, besides being the Mother Church of both the Ethiopian and [[Church of Eritrea|Eritrean]] Orthodox Churches. More than 95% of the Christians of Egypt are Coptic Orthodox, but other "Patriarchates/Patriarchs of Alexandria" also exist (Coptic Catholic, Greek/Latin Catholic and Greek Orthodox - see 'Coptic Christianity Today' below), as well as small Protestant and Anglican denominations.
The Church of Alexandria is one of the autocephalous Orthodox Churches. Its primate is the Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa, the successor to the Apostle Mark the Evangelist, who founded the Church of Alexandria in the 1st century. It is one of the five ancient patriarchates of the early Church, called the Pentarchy.
The Coptic Church regards itself as having never believed in [[monophysitism]] the way it was portrayed in the Council of Chalcedon, but rather as having always believed in [[miaphysitism]] (a doctrine that [[Oriental Orthodox]] Churches regard as correct and orthodox). In that council, monophysitism meant believing in one nature of Jesus Christ. Copts believe that the Lord is perfect in his divinity, and he is perfect in his humanity, but his divinity and His humanity were united in one nature called "the nature of the incarnate Word," which was articulated by St. [[Cyril of Alexandria]]. Copts thus believe in two natures "human" and "divine" that are united in one "without mingling, without confusion, and without alteration" (from the declaration of faith at the end of the Coptic divine liturgy). These two natures "did not separate for a moment or the twinkling of an eye" (also from the declaration of faith at the end of the Coptic divine liturgy).
* [http://www.CopticPope.org Official Website of the Coptic Pope]
* '''Video - Christianity in Egypt and the History of Coptic Monasticism:'''
**[http://www.copticchurch.org/Video/CopticHistory/Christianity%20in%20Egypt.avi Christianity in Egypt];
* [http://online.mq.edu.au/pub/AHPG856/coptic_mq.html The MA Program in Coptic Studies at Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia]
* [http://www.france-copte.net France-copte.net Coptic Website in France, Autor Mikhail David]