I am a Nigerian who desperately wants to get into orthodoxy, but it seems that there is not really a path for me to do so. Many of the Coptic churches in the United States present a serious language barrier for me as I do not understand Arabic and do not plan on learning Arabic. All of the churches seem ethnically exclusive, which is far different from what I am accustomed to seeing in churches since Catholic churches commonly have people of many nations in a single congregation. Although there may be a small amount of Coptic Orthodox people in Nigeria, they are all expatriates from Egypt and there presence is almost nonexistent, so it is virtually impossible for someone who is living in Nigeria to become Coptic Orthodox. Although there is very little Orthodox Christian presence in Nigeria, it seems there is more of a Greek Orthodox presence in Nigeria than Coptic. If I was to convert to Coptic Orthodox here in the United States, then I would not be able go to church at all during times when I am in Nigeria, and if I ever were to find an orthodox church, it would most definitely be Greek Orthodox. Would it make sense for me to convert to Coptic Orthodox then go to only Greek Orthodox churches while in Nigeria? Or would it make more sense for me to convert to Greek Orthodox?
Well it makes sense to me. Im norwegian and there is no Coptic churches here. Only Ethiopian as far as I know. I found the Coptic Church to be the the one I really can become closer to God with. I dont want to dive into the topic of which Church is the most true one, but the Coptic Church is very close to the full truth of Christ. Im converting from a kind of unspecific christianity, I will be baptised in Egypt this summer. I plan to live some different places, and some I know have churches, but when Im in Norway i will have to go to the Ethiopian one for communion. As for fellowship I find it with any christian if they truly love and seek God through Jesus Christ. We may disagree and misunderstand eachother, but we can learn the good faith together. I recently spent a lot of time with two american girls who are best friends, one is protestant and one is catholic and they love God so much and I learned a lot from them and I hope to bring them to a Holy Liturgy in a Coptic church sometime when i will visit them in America.
in my church we have people from many backgrounds, including south asia and africa. in fact I brought some friends (european+south american origins) 2 visit one day after liturgy and they met people from several countries and only 2 from egyptian backgrounds!
obviously there will be more ethnic groups in big cities.
i am a white british lady, my friends are indian british, ghanaian british, danish, eritrean and egyptian/sudanese egyptian and others. we are all coptic orthodox :)
I understand how StudyandLearn will being going to an Ethiopian church for communion, but that is a little different from my situation. The Ethiopian church is in communion with the Coptic church. In Nigeria, you go to the church that's in your village, and there's only Catholic and Protestant churches in almost all villages. Looking online shows me that there are Greek Orthodox churches here and there in Nigeria, but very few of them. So on average, it will mean I will be going to a Catholic Church, and in rare occasions, I may visit a Greek Orthodox Church. None of these churches are in communion with the coptic church, so is this fine?
speak to orthodox Christians and pray. take your time deciding to become orthodox because you won't want to go back :)
may God guide you to the fullness of the Christian faith. i was protestant for about 30 years (from early childhood) before I joined the orthodox church 9 years ago.
i use the name 'mabsoota' as it describes how i am when i am in the orthodox church (means 'happy' in arabic)
and no, u don't have to learn arabic!
But I suppose if the church will remove Arabic it will take away our necessity to learn it and help many who won't learn it
In conclusion ideally the church would still make everything English yet maybe encourage learning Arabic. Unless they make sure to translate every video in Arabic to English. But learning will still add a benefit but if they do this you could survive