The Coptic Orthodox Church and Heresies
In Egypt, two major heresies in succession gained considerable ground throughout the country; one was Gnosticism and the other was Arianism. The first one was refuted by Clement, Origen, and Athanasius. Arianism, which said that the Son was not of the same essence of the Father was condemned by 318 bishops at the first Ecumenical Council of Nicea in 325 AD, inaugurated by the Emperor Constantine. It was Saint Athanasius that defended the faith against Arius and instigated the Nicean Creed of Father that is proclaimed in all Christian churches today as a testimony of faith.

The Coptic Orthodox Church recognises three Ecumenical Councils in history; namely Nicea in 325, Constantinople in 381, and Ephesus in 431. The Coptic Orthodox Church has been unjustly labelled as being ‘Monophysite’ which means, only believing in one single nature of Christ and that being the divine nature. This is NOT the case. The Coptic Orthodox Church believes in ‘one incarnate nature of God the word’ as proclaimed by Saint Cyril of Alexandria during the Council of Ephesus; we believe in a union of the two natures in Christ; both fully human and fully divine at the same time without any separation. Accordingly, the Coptic Orthodox Church is in fact a ‘Miaphysite’ church, and together with the Syrian Orthodox, Armenian Othodox, Ethiopian Orthodox and Indian Orthodox, form the Oriental Orthodox Churches.