Converting and impact of having an Islamic Name

Dear Ones ,

I am currently in the process of learning the Coptic Orthodox religion and am in love with the Church and the peace i get in the prayers , sermons and all the rituals.

I am just not sure how open the Church is to converts ?

My Name is Arabic ( but as well as very Islamic ) What will be the impact of this at the society level and Church level ?

What happens when i get married ?


  • Just change your name. I know a coptic convert from Islam, and he legally changed his name.
  • You'd have to be baptised to become a Christian. You might as well ask the priest to baptise you in another name.

    If you keep your same name, I'm not sure it's a problem. The main thing is to be baptised.

    How do Copts treat Muslims? Well the majority of Copts I know wouldn't care if you are muslim - they would treat you very well, except they would obviously think you are muslim and wonder what are you doing in the church?

    so if people think you are Muslim , I'm sure they would treat you with the utmost respect, but they'd probably not invite you to spiritual activities thinking that you are Muslim; out of respect because they think you are Muslim.

    I hope in any case that you are welcomed and enjoy yourself in the church and the peace you have is always there.

    good luck to you!!

  • edited March 2015
    I want to preface this by making sure you are not in a Muslim-dominated country because frankly, I rarely hear of any priest, Coptic or otherwise, who would be brave enough to baptize a Muslim.  Only in countries where there is an open freedom of religion can you easily approach a priest.  But in, for example Egypt, the mind of the priest will wander into the idea that he is receiving a spy that is willing to take down the priest by coming in the guise of wanting to convert.  It is a sad reality that I find, and I have ambiguous feelings about it as well.

    In the US, speaking from experience, we are very open for converts of all origins, including Islam.  I know of many personally who are converts in the Coptic church.
  • I'd even like to add to what Mina was saying:

    When a muslim, even in the west, comes to ask to be baptised, the priest won't jump at the opportunity. He has to know why - what reason, and if its for marriage, that's a show-stopper. 

    Of course your reason sounds sincere. You sound as if you've already chosen the Christian faith and are at peace in the Orthodox Church. But the priest will probably even want to know why you chose the Orthodox faith anyway.
  • Thank you all for the kind and honest replies . God bless you
  • You are always welcome in the family, many converts choose to change their name. It may even signify a new beginning, you can choose to be baptised and named after your favourite saint. 

    May God bless your journey, it is a great marker of faith to choose a path than be born in it. 
  • I don't think you should worry. The only names you should probably stay away from are those that have anything to do with Satan. 
    There are "evil" names that have been taken by good people/saints (Judas/Jude)
    And there are "saintly" names taken by not-so-good people (George). 
    It is your decision what you do with your name. 
    In Christianity you can do both. The good in changing a name is that it signifies a new beginning in Christ (Simon to Peter, Saul to Paul etc.). Names like Apollo, Hermes etc. are pagan god names that were held by people who are revered as saints. 
    You don't define your life by your name. You define it by your attainment of salvation/resurrection.
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