[[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 Catechetical School of Alexandria ===
The [[Catechetical School of Alexandria]] is the oldest catechetical school in the world. Founded around 190 by the scholar Pantanaeus, the school of Alexandria became an important institution of religious learning, where students were taught by scholars such as [[Athenagoras of Athens|Athenagoras]], [[Clement of Alexandria|Clement]], [[Didymus the Blind|Didymus]], and the great [[Origen]], who was considered the father of theology and who was also active in the field of commentary and comparative Biblical studies. Origen wrote over 6,000 commentaries of the [[Bible]] in addition to his famous ''[[Hexapla]]''. Many scholars such as St. [[Jerome]] visited the school of Alexandria to exchange ideas and to communicate directly with its scholars. The scope of this school was not limited to theological subjects; science, mathematics and humanities were also taught there. The question and answer method of commentary began there, and 15 centuries before Braille, wood-carving techniques were in use there by blind scholars to read and write.
The Theological college of the catechetical school of Alexandria was re-established in 1893. The new school currently has campuses in Alexandria, Cairo, New Jersey, and Los Angeles, where Coptic priests-to-be and other qualified men and women are taught among other subjects Christian theology, history, Coptic language and art—including chanting, music, [[iconography]], and tapestry.
* [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]
copticmidlanddiocese. co.uk Official Website of Coptic Orthodox Diocese in the Midlands & Affiliated Regions U.K.]
* [http://groups.yahoo.com/group/arbible/message/25832 Selected Bibliography about Coptic Christianity]
Jurisdictions| Alexandria ( Coptic)]]