AP Explains: Who are Egypt's Coptic Christians?

Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Church is enduring a dark chapter in its history with the community increasingly victimized by attacks from Islamic militants, including Friday’s attack by gunmen on a bus transporting Copts to a monastery south of Cairo, leaving 29 dead.


The church traces its roots back to St. Mark, an apostle of Jesus and a Gospel author. Tradition holds that Mark established the Coptic church just a decade or two after Jesus’ death and resurrection.

Today, the Copts make up around 10 percent of Egypt’s 92 million people.

Here’s a look at Egypt’s Coptic community, its traditions and challenges in the Middle East:

WHAT COPTS BELIEVE

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