The Christian Conflict

In the 4th century, an Alexandrian presbyter named Arius began a theological dispute about the nature of Christ that spread throughout the Christian world and is  known as Arianism.  The Ecumenical Council of Nicea AD 325 was convened by Constantine under the presidency of Saint Hosius of Cordova and Saint Alexander of Alexandria to resolve the dispute and eventually led to the formulation of the Symbol of Faith, also known as the Nicene Creed. The Creed, which is now recited throughout the Christian world, was based largely on the teaching Saint Athanasius of Alexandria, the chief opponent of Arius.

In 391 Emperor Theodosius I outlawed paganism. Bishops started to have political and religious powers, Cyril governed Alexandria Christians population. In the fifth century the cities and lands were divided into episcopates each governed by a bishop.

The first sign that the fight between Arius and Athanathious will cause the greatest harm to the Copts is Constantinus worry of the growth of Athanathious sympathizers. He sent a garrison from Constantinople to exercise control of the Egyptian Province.

During that time there was many skirmishes between Jews and Christians which ended in Cyril time by expelling all the Jews from Alexandria under his leadership which caused the collapse of the city economy and angered the rulers in Rome.

 The refusal of the Egyptians to endorse the doctrinal decrees tabled at Chalcedon (451) partly on political and national grounds caused civil war by the imperial government of Constantinople against the religious hierarchy of Alexandria.

After several uprising by the Egyptian Christians against the Melkite dominated in Alexandria and severe treatment by the Byzantine rulers. In 570 as consequence of centuries of misuse, the Copts took a decisive step and appointed their own patriarch residing in Wadi El Natrun.