Islamic History Podcast 2-8: Copts And Egypt

In 451, 115 years before Prophet Muhammad, several men representing various facets of Christianity met in Chalcedon in modern Turkey.
They were discussing how to define the true nature of Christ. They believed he was divine, yet he lived and died like a man.
3 weeks later, they decided Jesus Christ had two natures in one: he was both God and man.
Any Christians who deviated from this belief were declared heretics which immediately led to a schism in the Church.
While most Catholics and Eastern Orthodox Christians accepted the Chalcedon decree, Armenian, Ethiopian, and Coptic Christians did not.
They stuck with the idea that Jesus had only one nature which was fully divine and fully human all at once.
Those who attended Chalcedon said Jesus had two natures in one body; those that disagreed said he had one nature which perfectly represented both.
One hundred years later, this small detail would lead to much suffering
By the time Prophet Muhammad died, Egypt was firmly under Eastern Roman control
Emperor Heraclius was determined to stamp out the heretical beliefs of the Egyptian Copts.
He sent his archbishop, Cyrus, with soldiers to convince the Copts of the true nature of Christ
Cyrus spent the next 10 years doing everything he could to force the Copts to accept the decree of Chalcedon
This eventually led to persecution, prison, and torture. This period is known as the Great Persecution to Coptics Christians
Coptic bishops and clergy who did not change their view were removed from their position and replaced with Roman clergy
Those same coptic bishops were then either executed or fled for their lives.
Regular Copts had to either accept the Roman belief or at least pretend to accept it.
Those that didn’t were beaten, imprisoned, and had their belonging confiscated

Show Notes

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Islamic History Podcast 2-8: Copts And Egypt

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