Coptic Orthodox Church in the United States - Wikipedia

Coptic Orthodox Church in the United States

Copts, many of whom are adherents of the Coptic Orthodox Church, have begun migrating to the United States of America as early as the late 1940s. After 1952, the rate of Coptic immigration from Egypt to the United States increased. The first Coptic church in the United States, St. Mark's Coptic Orthodox Church, was established in the late 1960s in Jersey City.

There are many Coptic Orthodox churches and congregations in the United States. Estimated numbers of adherents, based on church membership, was between 350,000 and 420,000.[1] Based on the estimates of certain Coptic organizations, the number was between 700,000 and one million in 2002.[1] Currently, there are over 200 parishes in the United States that serve the expanding Coptic Orthodox population.[2][3] The Church does have a large population when compared to other smaller Christian bodies, yet is one of the least known Christian Churches and the least known of large Orthodox bodies.

Bishops and DiocesesEdit

There are twelve Coptic Orthodox Metropolitans/Bishops serving in the United States as of June 2020:

  • Serapion (b. 1951), Metropolitan of the Holy Diocese of Los Angeles, Southern California & Hawaii & Abbot of the Monastery of St. Anthony in California (1995).[4]
  • Youssef, Bishop of the Southern Diocese & Abbot of the Monastery of Most Holy Virgin Mary & Saint Moses the Strong in Corpus Christi, Texas.
  • David, Bishop of the Holy Diocese of New York and New England.
  • Michael, Suffragan Bishop of the Holy Suffragan Diocese of Alexandria and all Virginia, United States, assistant to the Pope.
  • Karas, Bishop of the Holy Diocese of Pennsylvania And Affiliated Regions
  • Peter, Bishop of the Holy Diocese of South Carolina, North Carolina, and Kentucky
  • Saraphim, Bishop of the Holy Diocese of Ohio, Michigan and Indiana
  • Kyrillos, General Bishop & assistant to HE Metropolitan Serapion in the Holy Diocese of Los Angeles, Southern California, & Hawaii.
  • Abraham, General Bishop & assistant to HE Metropolitan Serapion in the Holy Diocese of Los Angeles, Southern California, & Hawaii.
  • Suriel, Former Bishop of the Diocese of Melbourne, currently serving as auxiliary to HE Metropolitan Serapion in the Holy Diocese of Los Angeles, Southern California, & Hawaii.
  • Basil, General Bishop in Florida & assistant to HG Bishop Youssef in the Holy Diocese of the Southern United States.
  • Gregory, General Bishop in Texas & assistant to HG Bishop Youssef in the Holy Diocese of the Southern United States.

For the Eritrean Orthodox Church congregation, Macarius, Bishop of the Eritrean Church in the USA. Member of the Eritrean Holy Synod.

Extended Service AreasEdit

The Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria has Churches and congregations in the following regions[5]

 
Map of the Dioceses of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the USA.

Archdiocese of North AmericaEdit

Before the establishment of any dioceses in the US and Canada, all churches were part of the Archdiocese of North America under the direct care of the Patriarchate of Alexandria, led by the Pope of Alexandria, with the headquarters at Cedar Grove, New Jersey.[6] Throughout the years, the archdiocese was served by papal exarchs or vicars, representing the Pope, some of which were:

  • Bishop David as General Bishop for New Jersey and an enthroned bishop for New York and New England.[7]
  • Heg. Fr. Saraphim El-Souriani as a monk-hegumen who was then ordained and enthroned to be the Bishop of the Diocese of Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana[8]
  • Bishop Karas as a General Bishop who was then enthroned to be the Bishop of Pennsylvania And Affiliated Regions[9]
  • Bishop Angelos as a General Bishop who is currently the General Bishop for the Churches of Northern Shoubra, Cairo
  • Bishop Michael as a General Bishop for the Churches established by His Grace in Virginia

All churches that are not under the jurisdiction of an established diocese are part of the Archdiocese. As of November 11, 2017, these following areas are part of the Archdiocese:

  • Archdiocese of North America - New Jersey
  • Archdiocese of North America - Chicago & Midwest (Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska)
  • Archdiocese of North America - Virginia
  • Archdiocese of Northern California and Western US
  • Archdiocese of Central Canada

Diocese of Los Angeles, Southern California and HawaiiEdit

The Diocese was established by the enthronement of Metropolitan Serapion (a General Bishop at the time) by the hands of Pope Shenouda III in November 1995.

This Diocese is served by one metropolitan and three general/auxiliary bishops:

The Diocese has around 41 churches, a theological school (seminary) and a charity organization called Saint Verena Charity, named after the Coptic Saint Verena).[10] The Diocese has 17 Hegumen and 40 Presbyters. The Diocese of Los Angeles is based at 3803 W. Mission Blvd. Pomona, California 91766 USA.

Also located in California is the Coptic Orthodox Monastery of Saint Anthony the Great in Barstow and the St. Paul Brotherhood in Murrieta. Both monasteries are under the jurisdiction of Metropolitan Serapion.

Diocese of the Southern United StatesEdit

The Diocese was established by the enthronement of Bishop Youssef by the hands of Pope Shenouda III in November 1995.

Bishop Youssef (Joseph) is the Bishop of the Diocese of Southern United States and also is the Abbot of the Monastery of Most Holy Virgin Mary & Saint Moses the Strong in Corpus Christi, Texas. As of May 2016 there were 39 Churches and 29 Communities in this diocese along with a convent in Dawsonville, Georgia, three theological schools (one located in the monastery discussed above, one in Nashville and one in the retreat center discussed next) and retreat center in Titusville. The diocese is headquartered in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex suburb of Colleyville, Texas.

 
Archangel Raphael Coptic Orthodox Church -- Houston, Clear Lake City, Texas

In November 2018, Pope Tawadros II ordained two auxiliary bishops to serve alongside H.G. Bishop Youssef.

  • H.G. Bishop Basil, General Bishop for the state of Florida, USA.
  • H.G. Bishop Gregory, General Bishop for the states of Arizona and Texas, USA.

The territories covered under this diocese are in the following states (a number in parentheses indicates more than one Church in a city):

Diocese of New York and New EnglandEdit

The Diocese was established by the enthronement of Bishop David by the hands of Pope Tawadros II in November 25, 2013.

Bishop David is the Bishop of the Diocese of New York and New England.

As of March, 2017 the Diocese serves about 33 churches and has 19 Hegumen and 31 Presbyters. The territories covered under this diocese are in the following states:

The diocese has formally established a Monastery in The Boston Region, under the name of Virgin Mary & Pope Kyrillos VI in Charlton, Massachusetts. This is the first monastery to be established in the Diocese, and the third in North America. It is also the first monastery in the Coptic Orthodox Church to be named after Saint Pope Kyrillos VI.

Diocese of South Carolina, North Carolina, and KentuckyEdit

The Diocese was established by the enthronement of Bishop Peter by the hands of Pope Tawadros II on June 11, 2016.

Bishop Peter is the Bishop of the Holy Diocese of South Carolina, North Carolina, and Kentucky.

This diocese currently serves approximately 12 churches and has 8 Presbyters. The diocese is headquartered in St. Mary's Coptic Orthodox Church of Raleigh, NC. The territories covered in this diocese are in the following states:

Diocese of Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana[8]Edit

The Diocese was established by the enthronement of Bishop Saraphim by the hands of Pope Tawadros II on November 11, 2017.

Bishop Saraphim is the Bishop of the Diocese of Ohio, Michigan and Indiana. There are currently 11 churches in the diocese area, several Coptic communities, as well as St. Mary and St John the Beloved convent in Warren, Ohio. The number of churches by state in this Diocese is below:

Diocese of Pennsylvania And Affiliated Regions[9]Edit

The Diocese was established by the enthronement of Bishop Karas by the hands of Pope Tawadros II on November 11, 2017.

Bishop Karas is the Bishop of the Diocese of Pennsylvania And Affiliated Regions to currently include the states of Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, and West Virginia. There are currently 17 churches in the diocese area, several Coptic establishments, as well as St John the Beloved Coptic Orthodox Monastery in Canadensis, Pennsylvania. The number of churches by state in this Diocese is below:

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Why CCU?". Coptic Credit Union. Retrieved June 21, 2009.
  2. ^ "Coptic Church Urges Thorough Investigation In Murder of Jersey City Family". Coptic Church Network, January 20, 2005. Accessed August 11, 2008.
  3. ^ "CNEWA: The Coptic Orthodox Church". Archived from the original on 2009-08-13. Retrieved 2008-04-29.
  4. ^ "Coptic Church in U.S. Receives a Bishop". The New York Times. 3 January 1996. Retrieved 18 November 2010.
  5. ^ "Directory of Coptic Orthodox Churches in the United States and Canada :: All Churches". Retrieved 3 January 2011.
  6. ^ "Archdiocese Of North America of Cedar Grove, New Jersey, USA | Coptic Orthodox Directory". directory.nihov.org. Retrieved 2020-02-06.
  7. ^ "H. G. Bishop David". Coptic Orthodox Diocese of New York & New England. Retrieved 2020-02-06.
  8. ^ a b "Coptic Orthodox Church Diocese Of Ohio Michigan And Indiana". (IRS Official Records).
  9. ^ a b "COPTIC ORTHODOX DIOCESE OF PENNSYLVANIA AND AFFILIATED REGIONS". IRS Official Record.
  10. ^ "LACopts.org | Parish Directory". Retrieved 3 January 2011.

Saad Michael Saad, “The Contemporary Life of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the United States,” Studies in World Christianity, Volume 16, pp. 207–225, December 2010. Edinburgh University Press, in hard copy and online PDF: