- Egypt, a majority Muslim country, is also home to two ancient Christian churches, the Coptic Orthodox Church and the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria and All Africa. Of approximately 9.5 million Christians in Egypt, more than 8.5 million are members of the Coptic Church.Anglicans initiated activity early in the 19th century, but substantial Protestant work did not begin until 1854, when American representatives of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church began proselytizing Coptic Christians. Their efforts resulted in the founding of the Coptic Evangelical Church, now known as the Evangelical Church-Synod of the Nile. As in other Middle Eastern countries, Protestant growth has been at the expense of Orthodox churches rather than the Muslim community. The Evangelical Church split in 1869, with one offshoot now associated with the Exclusive Plymouth Brethren.The Free Methodist Church began supporting missionaries in Egypt in 1899. Pentecostals made Egypt an early target; their work, now under the Assemblies of God, dates to 1907. For most of the 20th century, missionary success has been largely limited to the expatriate communities. The government expelled foreign missionaries after the 1956 and 1967 wars, causing disruption and a transfer of control to local leadership.The largest Protestant church by far is the Evangelical Church. The Assemblies of God is the only other group with more than 100,000 members. The Free Methodists and the Plymouth Brethren are also active. The Evangelical Church is a member of the World Council of CHURCHEs, and cooperates with Anglican, Catholic, and orthodox churches in the Middle East Council of Churches. several churches have united in the Fellowship of Evangelicals of Egypt, which is affiliated with the World Evangelical Alliance.Further reading:■ Jean-Jacques Bauswein and Lukas Vischer, eds., The Reformed Family Worldwide: A Survey of Reformed Churches, Theological Schools, and International Organizations (Grand Rapids, Mich.: William B. Eerdmans, 1999)■ O. F. A. Meinardus, Christian Egypt: Ancient and Modern (Cairo: American University in Cairo Press, 1977).
Encyclopedia of Protestantism. Gordon Melton. 2005.