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Coptic Canadians

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Coptic Canadians
Total population
estimated 50,000 (by ancestry, 2011 Census)[1]
Regions with significant populations
Ontario: Mississauga, Toronto (North York, Scarborough, Etobicoke), Hamilton, Kitchener; Quebec: Montreal, Laval, Quebec City; etc.
Canadian English · Canadian French
Mainly older people: Arabic (Egyptian Arabic, Sudanese Arabic, Libyan Arabic)
Liturgical: Coptic language.
Coptic Orthodoxy, Coptic Catholicism, Coptic Evangelical.

Copts in Canada are Canadian citizens of Coptic descent or persons of Coptic descent residing in Canada.

YouTube Encyclopedic

  • 1/2
    2 910
  • ✪ Defining Sainthood: Conversations in Orthodox Theology with Dr. George Bebawi
  • ✪ Women in the Church: Conversations in Orthodox Theology with Dr. George Bebawi


I have followed this carefully in my journey as a Christian, that you are a saint if you have performed miracles. Saint Athanasius did not perform one single miracle and he's called the apostolic because of his defense of the Christian Faith. Saint Cyril is called the pillar of orthodoxy and the seal of the fathers, not one single miracle. Why miracles started to assume a prominent place because of three drastic reasons. Each one of them is horrible and disgusting. Number one is the loss of our own humanity. Saint Irenaeus said, "The glory of God is a living human being," because as a human being I have been made in His image. I moved from ... in the old age we used to write on stones and we used to write on papyrus. Now the email, you can send one message that goes round the world in minutes, maybe seconds. I'm not expert on that but I know for sure that if I send a letter to Egypt by mail it will take five days. If I send a letter to Egypt by email it takes less than five minutes, unless it is a hacker that took it. Instead of riding a donkey or a bike or a motor bike, I ride a car, I ride a jet. We went to Florida, if we did it by car we could have taken 18 hours. We do in two hours by aeroplane, by flying. Our progress has been great and while everything moving around us in the glory of humanity, to prove that we are the masters of the universe in chapter ... in Psalm 8 in the Old Testament. We want to get out of our own humanity and look for something external and forget about ourselves. It's the loss of our glory as you and me. Number two. Because of our confused knowledge, we're looking for miracle, something divine to break into our confusion to prove something to us. Well the only confusion is our lack of self knowledge. People say that even among homosexuals and lesbians it's a mistaken identity. I don't know if in our churches you will ever read Erich Fromm's Identity. Is that a book that is known? It's a good book. Identity, there is even now a comedy called Identity Theft. A nice comedy to watch actually. Very very nice. Very nice to watch, but it's nice if you are the victim of identity theft. My identity. My identity is in me. Look at this strange way of saying, "What is sin?" "Missing the mark" but what is the mark? The mark is outside you? Wrong, the mark is inside you. It's the image of God. I am the image of God and I am able to develop myself as God's image. To miss the mark is to miss my identity as the image of God, and if I don't catch that, miracles will not make the image of God. Miracles will be take me outside myself. Then I have missed myself, completely cruising into something external. That doesn't say anything about my ... my own humanity. That is very sad and very depressing. Third reason is disasterous. I'm talking as a Christian. As a Christian I am a new creation and the great miracle is to be a new creation, is to move from being a slave to sin to the freedom of the children of God. To free myself through grace and through the work of Christ in me to become Christ like. The miracle that takes place in my heart; for the kingdom of God is in you. The Kingdom of God is not something outside you. It's not in the sky or on the Earth, it is in the human heart where God is reigning as a king. What a pity if I will miss that and cruise into something else. I need to prove that the Bible is true. Well, try the new creation and you see how Augustine, Moses the Black, Anthony of Egypt, Maccarius of Egypt, Pachomius, Augustine, all these people tried the Gospel and discovered that it is a new way of life. And by living that miracle daily, they become transformed. The transformation of my humanity is a miracle. I cannot in any sense look for an external miracle. I was petrified on my last visit to Egypt in 1988. I was visiting churches and I saw churches oversaturated with the relics of the saints. Give you a good example. When we had the 1,600 years of the anniversary of the death of Saint Athanasius, this is something makes you shiver, we went through and they told us that we have the bones of Saint Athanasius. I was there. It's documented on the DVD, they gave us a bone about that size. What is it? it's from the tibia, they told us, "Okay." For the first time I make that confession in order to get rid of a big burden. They took the little bone and put it in a box that size, carried by two bishops. It is the body of Saint Assanasis and buried that in the cathedral. And I said, "We don't need the body of Saint Athanasius, we need his writings, his theology. The way he explained Christian faith to us", the miracle of Saint Athanasius is his defense of the Christian faith, not his relics. I know the whole celebration was about the relics; people passing by to kiss that box. If they knew that it is only the tiny and not the whole body and he was buried down in the basement of the new Cathedral in Anba Rueiss. I watched that with great sadness, but I was comforted when few weeks, maybe few months later, Abouna Matta Meskeen [Fr. Matthew the Poor] published a volume of Saint Athanasius and I said, "Now Athanasius became alive!" because now his theology and his teaching will get into our life and bring a new life, but that body cannot bring a new life. It's a blessing? yes. We honor it? yes, but that's it. It will not go beyond that. The man never performed a miracle, but the miracle is he witnessed to Christ, in the writings. And you may accuse me of being a protestant or evangelical, but I am not. Athanasius is a landmark for both East and West, but you know, unlike the Celebration of the life of Saint Cyril the Sixth, the book that was published a few days ago. I read reviews on internet. Hilarious. These are George Bebawi's own ideas. Well how do you know? when I was living with him you were not even born. You're talking about a man you never met. You heard of him because you heard of him from so and so and so but actually never met. No, no, no, no, he wanted to make his ideas spread, so attribute him to Anba Kyrillos. No, I don't want to do that, but I read and I kept saying, "Oh, one day, one day... Yeah, someone will discover the truth, the man is a great teacher in the church." He could not have said that. How do you know? Oh, only the miracles... but the teaching ... and this material was on Coptology for more than three years now. When they put in one book, suddenly people became aware that there is a new material. It's very funny. Well, this book is not documented. The man never left a document behind him. Okay, the sayings of the Desert Fathers. We all read the book. Documented by who? Who were the writers? The fathers themselves? Did Saint Anthony really sit down and write his own life? Because Athanasius wrote it, so it must be true. Fine, but if George Bebawi wrote it then it is wrong. I must be a liar, but read and see if the theology in these memoirs are correct or not. They are memoirs, I wrote even. Personal memoirs of a man I lived with ... We bypass the miracle of being a human being and by doing that we enter into mythology. It's no longer theology.


Population and distribution

According to the 2011 Census there were 3,570 Canadians who claimed Coptic ancestry (this figure combines single and multiple ethnic origin responses).[2] An additional 73,250 Canadians claimed Egyptian ancestry, and some of these are believed to be Copts.[2]

The Canadian Coptic Association estimates that there are 35,000 Copts living in Canada; according to CBC News, "if other sects with strong ties to the Coptic community are included, the figure is possibly higher still."[3] (Note: There is likely a typo in the CBC article where an extra zero was added, thereby erroneous stating that there are 350,000 Copts in Canada).

Toronto and the surrounding metropolitan region have the largest concentration of Copts in Canada.[3]

Immigration history

St. George & St. Rueiss Coptic Orthodox Church in Toronto, Ontario.
St. George & St. Rueiss Coptic Orthodox Church in Toronto, Ontario.
St. Mina and St. Kyrillos Coptic Orthodox Church in Mississauga, Ontario.
St. Mina and St. Kyrillos Coptic Orthodox Church in Mississauga, Ontario.

The immigration of the Copts to Canada might have started as early as the late 1950s. Due to an increasing amount of discrimination towards Copts in Egypt in the 1970s, many decided to emigrate in order to escape the rising racial tensions. Canada has been receiving a greater number of these immigrants, and the number of Coptic immigrants into Canada has been growing ever since.[4]

Coptic Orthodox Church in Canada

In 1964, St. Mark Coptic Orthodox Church was established in Toronto; this was the first Coptic church established in the Coptic diaspora.[5]

In 2002, a survey showed 22 Coptic Orthodox parishes in Canada, indicating growth.[6]

In 2011, there were five Coptic Orthodox churches in Montreal.[7]

Notable Coptic Canadians

See also


  1. ^ Statistics Canada. "2011 National Household Survey: Data tables". Retrieved 11 February 2014.
  2. ^ a b Statistics Canada. "2011 National Household Survey: Data tables". Retrieved 11 February 2014.
  3. ^ a b Coptic Christians in Canada, CBC News (January 3, 2011).
  4. ^
  5. ^ Saad Michael Saad, "Coptic Civilization in the Diaspora" in Coptic Civilization: Two Thousand Years of Christianity in Egypt (ed. Gawdat Gabra: American University in Cairo Press, 2014), p. 291.
  6. ^ Charles D. Smith, "The Egyptian Copts: Nationalism, Ethnicity, and Definition of Identity for a Religious Minority" in Nationalism and Minority Identities in Islamic Societies (ed. Maya Shatzmiller: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2005), p. 60.
  7. ^ Coptic churches in Canada on alert, CBC News (January 4, 2011).
This page was last edited on 4 January 2019, at 15:50
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