Saint Mark the Apostle and Evangelist, one of the seventy apostles and writer of the oldest gospel, established the Church of Alexandria in about 55 AD. In Alexandria, St. Mark structured the church worship; ordained one bishop and seven deacons; established the famous School of Alexandria; and was martyred there by the Romans in 68 AD.
It was at the house of Saint Mark that the Lord met with His Apostles and celebrated the Passover, where the Lord appeared to them after His Resurrection, and where the Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles on the Day of Pentecost. Thus, it is well known by all the Apostolic Churches as the first church in the world. Hence, the Coptic Church is one of the oldest churches in the world, spanning 20 centuries of history.
The Coptic Orthodox Church is one of the five most ancient churches in the world and is called the “See of Saint Mark.” The other four ancient sees are the Church of Jerusalem, the Church of Antioch (Antiochian Orthodox Church), the Church of Rome (Roman Catholic Church) and the Church of Athens (Greek Orthodox Church).
The church adheres to the Nicene Creed. St. Athanasius (296-373 A.D.), the twentieth Pope of the Coptic Church effectively defended the Doctrine of the Lord Jesus Christ's Divinity at the Council of Nicea in 325 A.D. His affirmation of the doctrine earned him the title; "Father of Orthodoxy" and St. Athanasius "the Apostolic".
The term "Coptic" is derived from the Greek "Aigyptos" meaning "Egyptian". When the Arabs arrived in Egypt in the seventh century, they called the Egyptians "qibt". Thus the Arabic word "qibt" came to mean both "Egyptians" and "Christians". The term "Orthodoxy" here refers to the preservation of the "Original Faith" by the Copts who, throughout the ages, defended the Old Creed against the numerous attacks aimed at it.
The Orthodox Creed