How long does it take to become coptic

How long does it take for someone to convert to Coptic Orthodox for marriage. Please discuss time differences for Eastern Orthodox, Catholic, Protestant, and pagan. Please don't give obvious and annoying answers like "it depends," or "people shouldn't convert for marriage" etc. Please just answer the question based on what you've seen.


  • people shouldn't convert for marriage
  • WHAT I HAVE SEEN is that 'it depends' on how close that person is already to church :-). I am sorry, the answer is 'annoying' as you say but it is the truth. 
  • edited April 2014

    OK - Here's your answer:

    1. For Protestants:

    They will enjoy the fact that we don't believe in purgatory, nor do we believe in the Immaculate Conception Dogma - however, if a protestant can understand, or get their heads around the following points, they will adapt better:

    a) We are apostolic and apostolic traditions are spiritual lessons and teachings that we adopted in our Church from the Apostles

    b) Orthodoxy isn't just being saved once, through faith - but its rather about being saved daily.

    c) The Holy Sacraments are Life Giving, and through them, we receive the Life Giving Graces to free us and medicate us from the illness of our sins.

    d) Praying to saints does not mean worship. We worship the Holy Trinity - ONLY. For us, saints are venerated. Saint Mary is highly esteemed as the mother of God. She is the ever-virgin Theotokos, who gave birth to God the Logos. Veneration of saints IS not required for your salvation, but we see them as members of the Church who are now in the Victorious Heavenly Church in Heaven. We do not separate the 2 Churches: the Militant, Struggling Church on earth, NOR the Victorious, Glorious Church that is in Heaven, of which we believe they are part of. Remembering /commemorating their lives, and praising God THROUGH them is an example of Apostolic Tradition.

    e) Christ's blood was shed for our sins. Hence, in baptism, there is forgiveness of sins because through baptism, we die and rise with Christ through baptism and accept His sacrifice on the cross as being our sacred sacrifice and He is our Salvation. However, Christ's death on the cross is for the price of our sins, it doesn't HEAL US from our sinful state. Therefore, if protestants could understand that Christ didn't just come to just pay the price for our sins or state of death, He came to remediate our state so we are constantly being healed from sin - this medication, this remediation, this healing is in the form of the Holy Eucharist. We partake therefore of His Holy Body/Blood in order for the remission of our sins. This is not just an apostolic teaching, but also a biblical one.


    If protestants could grasp the above points, their assimilation into the orthodox Church would be very quick.


    2. For Catholics.


    if Catholics could understand that being under the bishop of rome isn't a pre-requisite for salvation, they would be integrate very well as most orthodox Churches stem from one of the apostles (ours being St Mark).

    If they could understand that its not a label (i.e. being Catholic) that saves you, but rather a relationship with Christ that one achieves through allowing the Holy Spirit to abide in you, then they will be OK to be Orthodox.

    Their adherence to dogmas such as purgatory isn't of great importance, except they MUST understand that Christ accepts your repentance. Believing in purgatory means that no matter how much you repented, your repentance isn't good enough. That's a lie. The proof (or ONE of the proofs) is the Good Thief: Christ said to him: "Today you shall be with me in Paradise". He did not say "in 50 years from now, you'll be with me" - but the qualification into paradise was immediate - following his confession, his faith that Christ IS God, and his repentance.

    3. For Eastern Orthodox.

    These are our brothers. They must accept that we are MIAPHYSITE like them. If they keep on and on and on and on accusing us of being muslims, or that Christ has only 1 nature, then they will have a hard time being Coptic Orthodox. In the Coptic Church, we do not divide Christ's nature - as His Humanity and Divinity did not separate. If they did not separate, for a moment, NOR for a twinkle of an eye, then we do not see the point in separating them in our vocabulary. That does not mean that Christ has 1 nature, but it means that both natures were united to the point of absolute unity that they cannot be separated; nor were they EVER separated.

    I think EO's can understand this. I would say there's just a few trouble makers from Mt Athos who still refuse to accept this.


    4. For Pagans:

    You need to believe that Christ died for you. That sin separates you from God, and this is death. You are in a state of death. Being baptised makes you a member of the Coptic Church, but that's just the beginning. You need now to live in Holiness and to grow spiritually - the Church administers the sacraments of Confirmation, Confession, Communion in order to facilitate and nurture your spiritual growth and spiritual wellbeing.

  • So far no one has attempted to answer the question. They have just made impolite and sarcastic comments or showed of useless information. Please just tell me what youve seen. how long has a priest waited before allowing someone to convert. Based on examples of what you see.
  • Depends on the person. I can only example EO and that is usually a year. I remember seeing a thread on here about a former Muslim like myself and it took about 2yr plus for that guy. 

  • HowAreYouHoly?

    It took seven years for me to receive my bishop's permission for baptism. I don't believe that I had the arrogant, rude attitude that you display. I am still not Holy. How will you be a benefit to the Coptic Orthodox Church and to your local Coptic Church community? Will you be detrimental, divisive?
  • IamHoly,


    Ultimately, the Coptic Orthodox Church will NOT baptise anyone for the sake of marriage. Hence, they will have to be Coptic Orthodox for the sake of Orthodoxy.

    Therefore, the sooner they can grasp the above points I mentioned, the easier/faster it will be for them.

    Non baptised Christians are the fastest. I've seen a Coptic Priest baptise a non-baptised pagan woman in 6 months.

    I've seen a priest baptise a protestant woman for the sake of marriage - which was a HUGE mistake - and although she is orthodox by baptism, she is not orthodox at all!! She doesn't believe in sacraments, she doesn't respect the Orthodox traditions - she is still protestant in everything she does and her beliefs.

    The worst thing is to baptise someone out of marriage (i.e. a Coptic Christian marrying a pagan, catholic, protestant etc). its absolutely pointless.



  • I would also like to know how to join the Coptic Orthodox faith. I was not baptized into the Orthodox faith however I have begone a period of fasting and praying to ask the spirit to guide me as I feel I am being led to the Coptic church. I was raised nondenominational in the protestant vain, and was baptized as such.Throughout my youth (still 24) and during and even after college I followed the direction of my pastors (multiple due to the transient nature of being in college) yet I was repeatedly lead into a state of confusion. In the United States the current atmosphere and culture creates a dis-unified body. Each church would reinterpret the word in their on mini doctrines. (ex: some believe in the speaking of tongues(prayer in the holy spirit), some believe that that is of the devil, some believe and practice fasting, some never promote fasting,) All of this constant changing within my teaching coupled with the trials and struggles against a mind of flesh that operates within me as well, pains me spiritually and mentally. I had always looked to the origins of the church for an answer and I can even recall reading passages from the Desert Fathers back in High School at an orthodox run coffee shop in downtown Harrisburg. I had an Arabic instructor in college who was a practicing Coptic who gave me more details about the faith. I continued to do research into the lives of the Apostles and Early Church and was quite interested in the Monastic life and orders that started in Egypt. I've wished to find a church to begin my walk of faith with, a brotherhood that is not changed by the world but remains steadfast on the word of the God. Yet my life in college and currently is one that is not stable in one location I am currently in China as both a teacher and a foreign student. I wish to join the body of believers yet I am without a flock. What should I do in this situation?
  • +Christ is risen!

    Dear Micah,

    May the Lord continue to grant you discernment and hold your hand on the journey.

    I think China is under the care right now of the Diocese of Sydney. Would you like me to try and find contact info for the Coptic community in China? 

    Also, feel free to private message me anytime to talk off the public chat!

    pray for me, please

  • Dear MicahCook,


    Welcome to! Welcome to the Coptic Church.

    Your story sounds very very familiar to that of my wife; yet unfortunately, she had the same encounter and conclusion you have whilst being part of the Catholic Church. We both did actually.

    You need to find yourself a good Father of Confession in the Coptic Church. I would highly recommend Anba Angaelos (UK & Overseas), or Bishop Suriel (Australia).

    I think its pretty clear, from your text, that your heart has decided already on Orthodoxy, and you need now to simply be integrated.

    Having a church where there are many inconsistencies in advice, in doctrine, in teaching, is a clear failure on the part of the Church! This is awful. Its also very annoying that you, as well as many others, only found out about the Orthodox Church because you met someone who was Coptic. The Coptic Orthodox Church is the oldest Church in the world, yet protestants and catholics have their own agendas in subduing our history, our faith and our Church.

    The Catholics hardly talk about the apparition of St Mary in Zeitoun Egypt, despite her apparition there being the most televised, recorded and spectacular to date.

     How long are you in China for? What are your long term plans? Perhaps if your plans are to live in the USA again, it would be perhaps better to find an FoC in the States and correspond with him via Skype, or internet until you return. I think the priest that will baptise you in the Coptic Church should guide you in this.


    God bless & enlighten your path



  • @Zoxasi

    Are bishops normally FOCs for laymen? Aren't they almost always priests?
  • Bishops can be FoC's; but thanks for raising this point: indeed, I forgot to mention: most priests in UK are just awesome, as well as in Europe in general. I've heard great things about our priests in Australia also.


    I've just simply suggested Anba Angaelos because he's fluent in English, he already has many in his flock with this history, and I find him extremely wise and sympathetic towards those coming from other veins of the Church.

    Having said that, there's a priest who serves with him who is just remarkable also.

    Why not spend a spiritual retreat in the Coptic Centre in Stevenage, UK? Anba Angaelos would be more than happy to welcome you there, you can stay in a room, and just attend liturgy in the morning. A two week vacation there would help you spend time with the priests there and thoroughly enjoy what the Coptic Orthodox Church, especially during this joyful period.

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