OK... just saw this... and since DH is Egyptian, thought I'd add a little bit about the Copts. (Orthodox Christians in Egypt.... Coptic Church of Alexandria). It was established by Saint Mark in the 1st century... or so tradition goes. It's headed by a Pope.... who has this very snazzy title of Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of All Africa on the Holy See of Saint Mark.
They're known for having the oldest Catechetical school.... and basically, a lot of the early Christian scholars studied there... debated there... etc. The Copts are also the fathers of monasticism.
There is a difference in belief (or so I'm lead to believe) on Christology between the Copts and the Eastern Orthodox. The Copts believe (copying from Wiki):
|The Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria believes that Christ is perfect in His divinity, and He is perfect in His humanity, but His divinity and His humanity were united in one nature called "the nature of the incarnate word", which was reiterated by Saint Cyril of Alexandria.
Copts, thus, believe in two natures "human" and "divine" that are united in one hypostasis "without mingling, without confusion, and without alteration"
They follow the Julian calendar... and they fast a lot. 210 days per year! (Although it's not the same as Muslim fasting. When we fast, usually one wakes up prior to sunrise...eats breakfast...drinks a ton of water... and then has nothing until sunset. After sunset, people break their fast with water/milk and dates or soup (usually lentil)... then have a big meal. In Coptic Christian fasting, it's more like being vegan a lot. You can read more here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fasting..._of_Alexandria
Of course, if there are any Copts on the boards, I'm sure they can contribute more. I've learned a bit from Egyptians in this country who are Copts... .an Egyptian cookbook I have... and just curiosity.
On a side note..and a good step towards tolerance, the Grand Mufti of Egypt (head Muslim guy) a few years ago said that Muslims who do decide to convert to Christianity (which in Egypt, usually means Coptic) should not be punished. That may sound normal to you and me, but it's a big step in improving tolerance/freedom.