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copts of egypt
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A man walks along the pathway leading to the historical churches located in the "Old Cairo" district. Christianity predates Islam in Egypt, and today about 10 percent of Egyptians follow the traditions of the Orthodox Church. 
An Orthodox Christian man prays during Palm Sunday Mass at the Virgin Mary and St. Simon the Tanner Cathedral in Cairo.
Coptic pilgrims visit a small cave at the Chuch of the Holy Virgin. Tradition holds that the Holy Family stayed in this cave for four days during their flight into Egypt. The church, believed to date from the 4th century, was partially hewn from rock and was once a monastery. Now, it serves as a village church and is an important Coptic  pilgrimage site. Gebel el Teir  means "Mountain of the Birds". 
Father Beniameen Morgan baptizes Diana Boeke at a Coptic orthodox church in Egypt. Boeke, an American living in Cairo, converted to Egypt's orthodox Christian faith after months of study and consultation with Morgan. 
Father Youssef sits inside a 6th century cave church in the mountains above the village of Deir Abu Hinnis. Dozens of hermit caves exist in these mountains, the church believes at one point in history the community of monks here numbered more than a thousand. This church is said to still be in use for weekly mass. 
 
The congregation at Mar Morqos Church in Giza prostrate themselves saying "Lord have Mercy", 100 times each facing four sides of the church, during the Good Friday service. 
Young girls await the arrival of Coptic bishops and other dignitaries during a festival marking the Holy Family's flight into Egypt. The colorful celebration, a relatively new tradition for this Christian village in upper Egypt, is held each January to commemorate the slaying of the children of Bethlehem, and again in June to mark the actual entry of the Holy Family into Egypt. 
Santa Claus waves to local villagers and pilgrims during a pageant during a festival marking the Holy Family's flight into Egypt. While Santa Claus is not part of Coptic tradition, the Western symbol of Christmas has been co-opted into Egyptian society. 
A man weaves palm fans in preparation for Palm Sunday services in the Mansheyit Nasser district of Cairo near the Monastery of St. Simon the Tanner.
A baby receives a cross tattoo before Palm Sunday Mass at the Monastery of St. Simon the Tanner in the Moqattam hills in Cairo. Orthodox Christians in Egypt often have a small tattoo on their wrist or hand to indicate their faith. 
Children fidget as His Holiness Pope Shenouda III celebrates Christmas Eve mass at the Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Cairo. The mass runs several hours-- well past midnight.                               
His Holiness Pope Shenouda III adjusts his mitre during Christmas Eve mass at the Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Cairo.                               
A woman prays during Christmas Eve mass at the Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Cairo.                               
A faith healer at an evangelical orthodox Christian church in Cairo removes evil spirits from a woman. Hundreds of people of all faiths, Muslim and Christian, crowd this church after regular services in order to seek spiritual healing. 
Christian pilgrims pray on relics kept at the Monastery of the Syrians (Deir el-Sourian) in Wadi Natrun. The valley, which lies northwest of Cairo, has been sacred since pharaonic times, and a flourishing monastic system grew after 330 AD when St. Macarius the Great retreated in the area. 
With a child resting in her lap, a woman holds a prayer book printed in traditional Coptic language and transliterated into Arabic. 
A ironing shop in Moqattam displays religious imagery including a photograph of Pope Kyrlos, a favorite former patriarchs of the Coptic Orthodox Church in Egypt. 
A man takes a glass of sugar-cane juice at a shop in Moqattam. The neighborhood has a high number of Christians living there, and is near the  Monastery of St. Simon in the Moqattam Hills of Cairo. 
Members of the congregation reach to touch icons carried by the priests and deacons during a Good Friday mass at Mar Morqos Church in Giza.
copts of egypt
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copts of egypt

A look at the Coptic Christian community in Egypt.
18
1.1k
1
Published: