Coptic Church has been involved in creating an independent ecclesiastical structure in Eritrea, in opposition to the Ethiopian Church which no longer has a Copt at its head.50


The Coptic Church in Egypt has experienced a profound change during the modern era. From a church seeking only to survive, it now experiences something which echoes its past revival, renewal and evangelisation. However, because in Egypt Islam dominates the public sphere, it has often been forced to internalise this renewal within monastic space, which is, however, accessible to the entire community But owing to emigration the Coptic community now also has an existence as a diaspora church. And more than this, as an ancient church of Africa it is attempting to be part of the continent's future beyond the influence of Islam, not only in its most recent sphere of ecclesial influence in Ethiopia and now Eritrea, but also as a dynamic and evangelising church across east, west and southern Africa.

50 E. C. Suttner, 'Eritreas Eigenstaatlichkeit und die Kirchen', UnaSancta49 (1994), 106-24; R. Voigt, 'Die erythraisch orthodoxe Kirche', Oriens Christianus 88 (1999), 187-92. See above p. 486.

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