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Church of Alexandria (Coptic)

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The current Coptic Orthodox Patriarch of Alexandria is Pope [[Shenouda III (Gayyid) of Alexandria|Shenouda III]]. There is a small [[Coptic Catholic Church]] ([[Eastern Rite Catholic]]) established in the 19th century and headed by a Patriarch of Alexandria in communion with the Pope of Rome. The [[Melkite Greek Catholic Church]] has little presence in Egypt, but is headed by a Patriarch of Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem.
By some accounts there are about 60 million Coptic Orthodox Christians in the world: they are found primarily in Egypt (roughly 15 million), Ethiopia (roughly 38 million [http://www2.wcc-coe.org/pressreleasesen.nsf/index/pr-05-55.html]), and Eritrea (roughly 2 million), but there are significant numbers in North America, Europe, Australia, Sudan and Israel, and in diaspora throughout the world making approximately another 3 to 4 million. However, as applied to the [[Church of Ethiopia|Tewahedo Church of Ethiopia]], which in 1959 was granted her first own Patriarch by Coptic Pope [[Cyril VI (Atta) of Alexandria|Cyril VI of Alexandria]], the word ''Coptic'' can be considered a misnomer because it means ''Egyptian''. The [[Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church of Eritrea|Eritrean Orthodox Church]] similarly became independent of the Tewahedo Church during the 1990s. These three churches remain in [[full communion]] with each other and with the other [[Oriental Orthodoxy|Oriental Orthodox]] churches.
Since the 1980s theologians from the the Oriental Orthodox and Chalcedonian Orthodox churches have been meeting in a bid to resolve the theological differences, and have concluded that many of the differences are caused by the two groups using different terminology to describe the same thing (see [[Agreed Official Statements on Christology with the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches]]). In the summer of 2001, the Coptic Orthodox and Greek Orthodox Patriarchates of Alexandria [[Pastoral Agreement between the Coptic Orthodox and Greek Orthodox Patriarchates of Alexandria (2001)|agreed]] to mutually recognize baptisms performed in each other's churches, making rebaptisms unnecessary, and to recognize the sacrament of marriage as celebrated by the other. Previously, if a Coptic and Greek wanted to marry, the marriage had to be performed twice, once in each church, for it to be recognized by both. Now it can be done in only one church and be recognized by both.
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