Could you please give me a brief account on the Oriental Orthodox Churches?
The Coptic (Egyptian) Orthodox Church of Alexandria is one of the Oriental Orthodox Churches. This group also includes the Armenian, Syrian, Ethiopian, Eritrean, and the Malankara Indian Churches. The common factor among these churches is their non-acceptance of the Council of Chalcedon of 451 AD.
The Chalcedonian Churches (which accept the stipulations of the Council of Chalcedon) are mainly the Catholic, Greek and Russian Orthodox Churches.
The Chalcedonian Council was a very "political" council held in the City of Chalcedon in Asia Minor and dealt with the Heresy of Eutechus, an archimandrite of a large monastery at Constantinople. This archimandrites' opposition to Nestorianism led to the heresy of confounding the two natures of the Lord Jesus Christ, denying that the humanity of the Lord Jesus Christ existed but that it melted into or became part of His Divinity (two natures). This Oriental Churches' view (believing in the single nature, monophysitism), renders the redemptive act of Christ for humanity impossible. On the other hand, the Oriental Churches did not accept the two separate natures of Jesus Christ advocated at the Council of Chalcedon;but accepted the formula of faith declared by St. Cyril "One nature for the incarnated God the Word" (Miaphysis). Unfortunately, the Oriental churches were wrongly accused of believing in monophysis (a sngle nature of Christ), which is not the case at all. Our belief statement is: Jesus Christ is perfectly divine and perfectly Human and these two natures are united together without confusion, without mingling, and without alteration (miaphysis).
The Coptic Orthodox Church looks forward to the unity of all Orthodox Churches. Within recent years common faith has been examined and efforts toward unity progressed.
In September 1990 the two Orthodox denominations signed an agreement on Christology and recommendations were presented to the different Orthodox Churches to advance the restoration of communion between the two churches. For further information on this subject, please visit the Southern Diocese Website at http://www.suscopts.org/literature/orthodoxfaith.html.
The Oriental Orthodox Church holds fast to the belief that the Lord Jesus Christ is One Prosopon and One Hypostasis in Oneness and not mere conjunction of natures; He is the True Incarnate Logos of God.