Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Coptic Church in the US

"Out of Egypt"
Oklahoma's Coptic Christians worship at Bixby
By BILL SHERMAN World Religion Writer
Published: 2/9/2009

A short article in the Tulsa World, describing the background and the modern situation of the Coptic, or Egyptian, Church in the US and in Egypt. I have not seen very much information on these churches, perhaps because of their small numbers. This is another group of Christians who follow the ancient, cross-cultural, Christian tradition of women using a headcovering. Following are the introductory paragraphs:

BIXBY — A bluish haze and the aroma of incense impact the senses of visitors who walk into a service at Oklahoma's only Coptic church, which meets here in a small building on the south end of town.

The Copts are descendants of ancient Egyptians, the race of people who lived along the Nile River, built the pyramids, and, according to the Bible, enslaved the children of Israel and provided a safe haven for Joseph, Mary and the baby Jesus.

Egyptian Christians come from as far away as Oklahoma City and Arkansas for the services at Sts. Peter and Paul Coptic Orthodox Church, 17015 S. Memorial Drive.

The service is traditional Orthodox, largely unchanged for 2,000 years, with a liturgy that is overwhelmingly prayer and Scripture, all chanted.

Religious paintings called icons line the interior walls of the church building. Most of the women sit on the right, wearing white head coverings. Men sit on the left.
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