My boyfriend is Coptic. I was raised non-denominational Christian and I find his religion fascinating. However, I am a bit confused as most of the information that I find about orthodox doctrine is from Eastern Orthodox and not Coptic/Oriental specifically.
1. It appears that Coptics don't want intermarriage at all? I fear that I would never be embraced as a Coptic convert since I don't speak the languages and I am not Egyptian. If I convert to Greek Eastern Orthodoxy or American Eastern Orthodoxy, would Coptic priests marry us/recognize the union? I know this may be priest specific, but I mean more generally what is the view? It seems from online that even marriages to Catholics and non-oriental Orthodoxy is frowned upon. I know even if I converted to Coptic Orthodoxy, my boyfriend is concerned that his church and family may not fully accept me as he says Coptic Orthodoxy in his experience (he is Egyptian and now in US for a few years) because it is religious first, but in essence a culture second, he doesn't know what problems may arise. Does anyone have experience with this? He is concerned as I was not raised Orthodox or even Catholic (although I was baptised by immersion in the name of the Trinity and did attend Catholic school most of my life) that I won't be embraced by his church community.
2. He has mentioned certain things that I haven't seen in the literature and when I spoke with Eastern Orthodox Church they said were not true for them. He said that if a Priest found out that two people who were dating had sex before marriage that even if they confessed and moving forward did not do so, that the church would not marry them because they had sinned together.
I am NOT arguing for premarital sex. I understand and agree it is a sin. I am specifically asking why they would be barred from marriage afterwards when other views of the church don't seem to align with it he said this is true even if they had a child outside of wedlock that they could not be married by a Coptic Priest. This does not make sense to me as Saint John Chrysostom has said, even heathen marriages are holy and pure when true love is present and the couples are eternally given to one another in unending fidelity and mutual devotion. For where such love is present, there is the presence of God... And you would think that we would want to promote the marrying of those that had a child together whenever possible.
3. What other large things would you say are different between Eastern Orthodoxy and Oriental Orthodoxy?
So far this is definitely the best site I have found with Coptic specific views. I appreciate links and citations. It helps since I am learning about Orthodoxy for the first time and gives me context for things.