Christianity in Egypt

About Ancient Egypt

Ancient Coptic Christian Fabrics by Jimmy Dunn

As early as the Pharaonic period of Egypt's New Kingdom, and because of increasing contact with the Near East, a fashion developed in Egypt of wearing ornate garments decorated with colorful decorations. This fashion disappeared during the Late Pharaonic Period only to reappear during Roman times, with the spread of the use of wool. Flax (linen), which was used almost exclusively until the Greek period was very difficult to dye, but in contrast, wool allowed colors to be applied that have lasted into our own time. There also evolved silk garments with shimmering colors that obviously had their origins in the east, consisting of caftans, leggings and tunics, for example. As in the pharaonic period, Coptic fabrics remained well known for a long time and even in distant lands.



Christmas In Egypt by Nermin Sami and Jimmy Dunn


For those of you who may think this article comes a little late, Egyptian Orthodox Christians (or Coptic Christians) celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ on January 7th, a date equivalent to the 29th day of the Coptic month of "kiohk, or Khiahk". Of course, in many other countries Christmas is celebrated on December 25th, though celebrating Christmas on this date is not unique to the Coptics. For example, the Russian Orthodox Church also celebrates Christmas on January 7th. The difference in the dates comes from the difference between the Coptic and Gregorian calendars. However, because of the time the Holy Family spent in Egypt with the infant Jesus, Christmas is a very special celebration in Egypt.



Coptic Christian Paintings (Including Icons) by Jimmy Dunn

With the creation of Alexandria in 332 BC, Hellenization came to Egypt, together with first the art of the Greeks, and then that of the Romans, which began to overlay that of the more ancient Egyptian styles. It was in this setting that Christianity arrived in Egypt and it was here that the rich flavor of Coptic (Egyptian Christian) art evolved. In Coptic, as well as other Christian art or for that matter, the scenes depicting battles and other notable events on pagan temple walls, were not in themselves art for arts sake.



Early Traditions of the Holy Familyby Andrew Makkin


As part of a continuing series, today we examine some of the very earliest traditions related to the Flight of the Holy Family in Egypt.



Origins of the Holy Family Flightby Andrew Makkin


The first local traditions associated with the Flight of the Holy Family in Egypt seem to have originated in the city of Hermopolis.



A History of Christianity in Egypt by Tour Egypt Staff


Learn how Egypt proved to be fertile ground for the young religion.


The Holy Family's Egyptian Journey by the Egyptian Government


Some people in the outside world may not be aware of the special significance all Egyptians attribute to the fact that the Holy Family, when Christ was an infant, found haven in Egypt for nearly four years after their flight out of fear from the persecution of King Herod



Nag Hammadi Documents by Jimmy Dunn

Recently, controversy has swirled around the DaVinci Code, a book by Dan Brown. This of course is a fictional book, though its author makes a number of claims about the authenticity of facts upon which it is based. Central to the plot in this book are the Nag Hammadi Gnostic Gospels which originated in Egypt. In order to deliver on his conspiratorial plot, Brown has to lay the groundwork by having his main characters deny the inspiration and authority of the biblical text and replace Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John with the Gnostic gospels found just after World War II at Nag Hammadi.



An Introduction to the Flight of the Holy Familyby Jimmy Dunn


The Holy Family is believed by the Coptic Christians to have done a whole lot of traveling while they were in Egypt.



The Sources of Egypt's Traditions Related to The Flight of the Holy Family by Jimmy Dunn

One very important development that has received considerable attention both by the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and the Coptic Christian Church is the Route of the Holy Family through Egypt. Much cultural and tourism development effort have been put into this project, which opens up new tourist destinations in Egypt. Yet at the same time, many Christian sites on the Route are also convenient to more ancient antiquities, so one need not limit oneself to only Christian monuments when taking this type of tour.



Typology of Ancient Egyptian Christian Churches by Jimmy Dunn

At about the beginning of the fourth century, AD, Christianity finally overcame the former pagan religions in Egypt. Therefore, from that time onward, we see a sustained architectural effort aimed at the building of Christian churches. During the Christian period, these churches represent the only type of edifice to be constructed in monumental proportions. The typology of Egyptian churches varied considerably depending on their location (for example, those built on the Mediterranean coast as opposed to the Nile Valley), whether they were built in urban or rural settings and whether or not they were connected to a monastery.

Last Updated: June 14th, 2011