“Marijuana and only Marijuana,” Dan Rather concluded, “is what the Coptics are about.” The leaders of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Egypt in Canada and the United States were not impressed. A quick and definitive response followed the program’s airing.
I named the podcast Copt Cast because I happen to be Coptic and episodes focus on issues important to Coptic youth. I welcome listeners of other denominations as well and feel that many of the topics are relatable to most people, Christian or otherwise. In all, I sought to be inclusive.
We, as a Church and community, lose greatly when women are valued for their virginity, motherhood, and subservience in marriage. They are told to be quiet and stripped of their inherent value as human beings and as children of God.
Writing from a Toronto suburb, this as an account of what I have seen. I ask for critical reflection on the world we are perpetually in the process of creating and I beg contemplation as to how we wish to be remembered by future generations.
The Coptic Church has survived through centuries of difficulty in great part because of its ability to adapt. Should its clerical leadership devise alternate means of administering the Eucharist, its own rich past shows how this rite has changed over time and how different approaches might protect the health of clergy, parishioners, and community without compromising its core beliefs.
A dear teacher, Maged Atiya was reposed to the Lord on March 1st, 2020. It was our sincere and heartfelt pleasure to know you, to hear you speak and to read your thoughtful prose as you recounted with nuance the social history of a Coptic people in diaspora. You will be missed.
At the heart of such debates, past and present, is the tremendous influence of Pope Shenouda and the many meanings of belonging to the Coptic Orthodox Church of Egypt. In order to chart this history and offer insights on its contemporary significance, we begin with the challenges faced by early Copts in North America and then outline the changing nature of Coptic diasporic communities as a consequence of rising immigration from Upper Egypt, following the 2011 revolution.
In this recorded public history lecture, Michael Akladios speaks of Copts in Egypt and contrasts the democratic promise of the early twentieth century with the rise of discrimination and harassment, leading eventually to persistent persecution of numerical, linguistic, racial, and/or religious minorities by a dominant majority that is institutionalized by the state.
I think the Coptic identity is a dynamic and transforming concept, and that it is our job—as historians—to show how it has changed in response to different events, challenges, and opportunities.
During the Sadat era, he lost many of his friends to Salafi organizations. He recalls vividly being called “kafir” by an old friend while the friend’s mother pled with him: “Yousief, Yousief, forgive him—he makes our life miserable too.” Baba kept walking, and between that and the metal factory and no college degree, it was time to move on.