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I am a convert. I did not convert for marriage. I became Orthodox Christian because I prayed and asked God to help me to find the Church, and He placed me here. I love God with my whole heart, and I am Christian. It is terribly lonely in the Coptic Church for people like me. I don't attend church regularly because I feel so alone when I go. I want to serve, but I am afraid. I want to attend this convention, but I am afraid that I will look odd and not fit in, and that I won't understand the conversations, so I will have no one to talk to. To others, this might seem foolish. But, if one can imagine being from Egypt and immigrating to China, and then on top of that going to church with Zulu people in China. That's how I feel. I am also from another country and I am here in America going to church with Egyptian people. The Christian faith is mine, but the Coptic/Egyptian culture is not mine. I cry a lot because I thought that church was supposed to feel like family, but when I go to church on Sundays, I get dressed and go to Egypt for Liturgy. It's uncomfortable and strange to me. I am crying even now because I did not imagine that becoming an Orthodox Christian would be this hard. We are all Christians and we all have the similar struggles, but I think that people who are not ethnically Coptic have a different set of struggles. Mine are as follows:
Feeling alienated because of language and culture
Having no particular social circle because of my age and marital status
Wanting to serve and feeling unqualified and afraid of rejection and failure
Dealing with what I perceive as disorganized almost random approach to planning activities, spiritual or otherwise
Having no spiritual support apart from my Father of Confession
Thinking about no longer being a Coptic Orthodox Christian because of all the above
Dreading the thought of going back to my old way of life because then I would no longer be a Christian
I am not complaining. I don't think it's anyone's fault. I just wish I knew how to change things. These are my real struggles. I pray for the courage to go to church and to serve. I read the Holy Bible. I fast. I just haven't gone to church in a long time or taken communion. I am only one soul, but I believe that my soul matters to God. Pray for me. I need help.
I am surprised at the use of the word "convert" to refer to someone changing from being Protestant to becoming Orthodox. Is it converting from Christianity to Christianity?
I was born into a Muslim family, but I never really felt any sort of connection to my parents' faith and I stopped practicing about eight years ago. I recently met a Coptic Egyptian man who introduced me to Christianity and started my newfound desire for spiritual enlightenment. I began to read a few books about Christianity written by Muslim converts and they changed the way that I view God. I am currently in the beginning phases of starting an Orthodox Study bible that I purchased online, but I still feel like there is a large part of the religion that I am missing because I do not belong to a Church. Hearing the amazing experiences that my friend has had having grown-up in the Coptic Church has really intrigued my interests. Having also been raised in an Arab home, I feel that I would feel the most comfortable in a community that also shares my cultural background. My question is how can I learn more about the teachings and rituals of the Church? I have tried to look online, but have not found much information. Further, how does one start the process of joining the Coptic Church?
I was raised a Protestant, but was not satisfied with that and felt a call of the Spirit to leave and seek out an Orthodox fellowship. Through study and prayer, God has shown me that I can find the fullness of Faith in the Orthodox Church, particularly the Coptic Orthodox Church. I was going to attend one of the churches in my area, but I had some questions.
What is the language of the Divine Liturgy?
Will someone be willing to walk me through the service?
What is the position of the Church on visitors and seekers?
What is the Catechumenate and what does it entail?
Thank you so much, Your Grace, for your time and help.
Must a protestant converting to Coptic Orthodoxy be baptized again even if he had been baptized in the proper manner? Can such a convert become a priest?
What are some books in English that are required to read before someone can be baptized in the Coptic Orthodox Church? I am from the Baptist Church. Is it OK to be baptized in any Orthodox Church or must it be Coptic only?
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