edited December 1969 in Coptic Orthodox Church
Hello all. This is my first post here.

I have a question regarding conversion. I currently attend an Anglican church (I'm not Coptic). I have been considering the possibility of converting to Orthodoxy, and the closest Orthodox church to me is a Coptic one.
My question relates to the fact that I am married, and there is little chance that my wife will be converting with me. She is quite happy in the Anglican church.

So, what would be the position of the Coptic church regarding me converting, but not my wife?


  • Hello all. This is my first post here.


    Welcome! I hope you enjoy this forum very much.
  • first welcome...

    now for me, I would convert... but the thing you should do is talk to the priest of that church.... more than half of my family in Egypt are of the Anglican church, and some of which are ministers of the church.... so I know exactly what you are talking about, when I was in Egypt I never talked about religion with them... lol.... but you need to talk to that priest... MAY GOD'S WILL BE DONE.
  • If you have read up on church history etc. and you do appreciate the traditions and teachings of the Orthodox church then welcome to that path. As a member of the Orthodox church, you might wanna get used to going to the fathers of the church for advice, as they are our spiritual advisors. Tell them about your thoughts on conversion and your wife, etc. I don't think they will have anything against baptizing you... Does your wife mind you converting to Orthodoxy?
  • No, my wife does not mind at all, and in fact she has encouraged me to think seriously about it as she knows I'm not happy in the Anglican church, and she wants what is best for me.

    Of course this would bring up some interesting dynamics, as she is thinking about becoming an Anglican priest!

    But we have a very strong relationship and have been through much hardship together, and come out the other side with our love stronger than ever, so I'm sure that we can live with any differences in our Christian beliefs.
  • if one house has two masters... the house will fall... all I have to say is go to the priest in the church nearby, and make sure with him. and for sure he will tell you all you need to know.
  • yes shawn welcome
    i'm very happy your considering converting
    but theres a problem in the orthordox ways both husband and wife has to
    be orthodox.....i heaRD MY PRIEST SAY ONCE NOO MIX AND MATCHES....SO if your sure you want to do this talk with your wife and priest
  • Hello Shawn,


    This is an issue that really needs to be discussed with a priest, it may even need a Bishops ruling. There is no standard answer for issues such as this, its really a "case-by-case" kind of thing - many other issues to consider, for example, whether or not you have kids, or are planning to, and how you would deal with such a situation etc etc. Sorry we cant help much online, but we as mere laymen have no authority to really say anything about it. Best of luck, God bless and be with you and your wife, His will be done.

  • Thankyou all for your kind replys.

    As a point of interest, no, my wife and I do not as yet have children, but we have discussed this, and she is happy, when we do have kids, for them to be brought up Orthodox.
  • then there wont be a huge problem, but still the Priest will tell you whats right.
  • Asking a priest is definitely the best you can do..sorry I couldn't help
  • I'm not Anglican or Orthodox - but consider this carefully. While your wife may be happy now to have her children raise in the Orthodox church, when they are actually born, it is likely she will do a complete change of heart. She will want to attend church with her children (as will you), and since that should be the way it is, you are bound to struggle when/if that day comes. It's easy to commit to something (like letting your future children attend a different church) before you are actually faced with the decision. Think and PRAY so carefully about this.
  • clawence may i ask wut religion are you
  • clawence may i ask wut religion are you

    I was raised in the Lutheran church, and attend a Baptist church now. Have been a part of several Protestant denominations in between.

  • CLawrence,

    with all due respect I think your assumptions about my wife are incorrect.
  • with all due respect I think your assumptions about my wife are incorrect.

    It's true he doesnt know your wife personally but his words were still sound, undoubtably originating from years of personal experience.Since you dont have children yet you cannot say with absolute certainty what will happen in the future.We never know what tommorrow holds or what the day will bring.Our convictions are apt to change with the passing wind.
  • Dear ShawnH,

    Whilst CLawrence's comments are valid only in a general sense, for obviously he does not know your wife nor the details of the situation; I do not believe that any risk of possible disturbances or troubles this may cause you in the future, should ever deter your progression to the ultimate truth of God, for this would be compromising Christ for the comfort of your eathly life. Have faith in Christ, pray, and God-willing, I am sure all stumbling blocks will be removed, and the Holy Spirit will pave a smooth path for your future family.

    I hope you have seriously considered discussing this with the church priest as I said, so that he may advise you as to how to best handle this very delicate situation of yours, by the power of the Holy Spirit who has lead you to the ultimate truth.

    I will be praying for you and your wife, and may the prayers of the saints be with you also. God Bless.
  • with all due respect I think your assumptions about my wife are incorrect.

    Shawn, I understand how you would believe my assumptions about your wife are wrong - however, I wasn't really making any assumptions about your wife in particular. The assumption is about all mothers, and fathers for that matter. If a person believes he/she is worshiping God in truth, it is only natural that they would want to teach their children that same truth. A parent does not easily give their children over to teaching they do not believe to be fully true. Would you?

    Let me also make it clear that you ought not compromise your own conscience regarding faith and worship for any reason. If you truly believe that God is calling you to convert, then to refuse to do so is to continue in what is for you, sin. But if it is a matter of preference, appreciation, etc., then perhaps it would be better to maintain family unity at this time.

    Either way, this is not a matter to be entered into lightly, and you ought to prayerfully consider all possibilities before making your decision.


    P.S. For what it's worth, I'm a "she" not a "he" - and a mother of 2.
  • P.S. For what it's worth, I'm a "she" not a "he" - and a mother of 2.

    Sorry about ;D
  • This is such a touch subject, and conciedering none of are prists or even bishops (of course we may have one among us..and i am not aware...:)) we can't really tell you what the better thing to do is, because we dont have that wisdom! but i am sure a priest would be able to help you out..they will be able to tell you waht to do. and although it may seem that clawrance is judging your wife or assuming without knowing i understand where she is coming from, i personaly want my children growing up in my faith, if a house has two faiths then there will unarguably be confilict! (i have seen it with alot of friends). Not only will the confilict be between you and your wife, but the children will be uncertain about which path they want to follow! get my drift??

    However you shouldent let this stop you from converting if you turly believe in the way of orthodoxy! nothing should stop you, and i am sure that through prayer! God will grant you what you need God never leaves his children when they are in need and always helps them on the road towards his light and love! its like when u fall he pics you up and carries you how could he not help you when you stummble upon a rock in your journey towards his truth and his light!!

    okay i am done...i think that the spelling errors are little this time, i hope!

    May God help you on your journey towards his truth :)

  • hi shawn

    wel first of all im so pleased that you astually happy about converting to our cotptic orthodox church.
    its so wonderful.
    im telling you now from experience that you will feel what someone may not describe in words. just that strong essence of love and hope. its beautiful.

    regarding what you said in your fisrt post. you should as they said talk to the preist of the church and see what he says and if all is well, your plans wil go ahead. you will feel everything working its way as you wanted. just remeber to always pray and never ever doubt that god truly loves you

  • Again, thank you all for your advice. As it is I have been thinking about this for some time, and will no doubt give it serious consideration for some time to come. I had of course fully intended to discuss these issues with a priest.

    To CLawrence,

    I did not take your advice as judgement in any way, and in and of itself its good advice. Its just that I know my wife, and we have talked about this a great deal.

    Keep in mind that she is Anglican, and the particular Anglican church she goes to is what they call Anglo-Catholic, or High Church, which is very similar to Roman Catholic and not all that different to Orthodox, so she does not see Orthodox churches as very different to her own. Its hard to explain, but traditional Anglicans see themselves as part of the same universal church as Roman Catholics and Orthodox. In that sense, she believes that Catholics and Orthodox and Anglicans as all worshipping "in truth" So for that reason, she has no problem with our children being brought up Orthodox.

    Now if she were Baptist or Evangelical there might be a problem along the lines of what your concerned about, as they are, unlike traditional Anglicans, very very different to the Orthodox.
  • In the name of The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit, ONE GOD AMEN!

    after reading much of your discussion, I came up with a solution that may perhaps ease the situation somewhat. However, I still strongly suggest the consultation of a Coptic clergy member, as they would be much wiser on this specific subject.

    Being a member of a Christian church in general means to spread the good word of Christ. It is no different in the Coptic Orthodox faith, and I would suggest that you would try to talk with your wife about her points of views on this subject. No final decision has to be reached immediately, mind you, but it could change the tides of this debate. One must also remember that any Christian faith, whether Anglican or Orthodox, preaches the wise and beautiful teachings of Christ. True, there may be some differences on some accounts, but after all it is still the same essence that you are talking about: that Jesus has come to save us from sin!

    No one will force you or your wife to do anything against your will. We are only here to give suggestions to a fellow Christian in a time when it is needed. I still strongly suggest the advice of a Coptic priest on this subject, but perhaps you could mention some of the ideas brought up in this discussion. Being a member of the Coptic Orthodox faith is a wonderful blessing. You should be grateful you live near a Coptic Orthodox church. As for me, I'm MILES AWAY from the nearest one...which is actually pretty saddening!

    God Bless...and good luck!

    Coptic Servant
  • Hey Shawn,

    As far as the Church's position goes, HG Bishop David said for those who are in your situation, it is ok for you to convert while your wife remains Anglican:

    But to the rest I, not the Lord, say: If any brother has a wife who does not believe, and she is willing to live with him, let him not divorce her...For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband...
    I Cor 7:12, 14

    But of course you should visit the Church and talk to one of the fathers there, because a lot of times they look at things at many aspects we do not consider. They may also be able to recommend good books to help you with your decision.

    Pray for me

    PS regarding "mixing and matching"

    [quote author=thebrain link=board=4;threadid=1187;start=0#msg20170 date=1107892688]

    This only applies to Copts who want to marry outside of the faith (which is not allowed)
  • it is allowed but the person in question must be babtized into the coptic church this i am pretty sure of!
  • Are u sure that verse applies ? his wife is a believer in Christ.
    And as u all probably know it only applys after they are married not before... which Shawn is.
  • I think the church doesn't oppose to this...

    I mean, our church PRAYS for the union of all christians, so why would this be wrong? i'm still not sure, but i think it's alright...
  • Long time no post,

    Just happen to see this and had to answer.

    ShawnH, let me assure you that you will be very unhappy in the long run if you wish to become a Copt and your wife wishes to be an Anglican priest. The Coptic Church (along with Eastern Orthodox and Catholic) do not accept women priests, in fact would be offended by her actions, if she chose to do so. Although your wife enjoys the traditional Liturgy, she is not a Traditional Anglican because Traditional Anglicans are against women's ordination, homosexual unions, gay bishops, women bishops, etc.

    Another concern is, if you raise you children as Orthodox (or Catholic), what will you tell them their mother is doing? In the Traditional view, she is playing priest; this is not meant to be offensive but to let you know what you will encounter. How will she deal with she not allowed to recieve Communion in the Orthodox (or Catholic) Church? How will she deal with you and your children not being allowed to recieve in hers?
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