The Coptic Orthodox Media Centre of the Bishopric of Tema in Sohag, some 460km south of Cairo, has launched a campaign titled “90 Days Coptic Words”, under the auspices of Pope Tawadros II and Anba Ishaq, Bishop of Tema.
The campaign is part of an awareness building project adopted by the Bishopric of Tema, aiming to instil in Copts a spirit of enlightenment and discernment regarding Coptic and Church heritage on one hand, and modern-day thought on the other.
The “90 Days Coptic Words” campaign aims at highlighting a significant component of the Coptic identity which have its roots in the culture and customs of the Egyptian people, through Coptic words that here survived to this day in Egyptian vernacular.
The Coptic Church is famous for having preserved the Coptic language, the last form of ancient EgyptIan language, in liturgical use. But apart from that, Coptic has gradually died out in Egypt. But churches have been recently awakening to reviving interest in the language on a broader level.
Tema is not the first bishopric to introduce its congregation to the use of Coptic in everyday life. In the Minya parish of Mallawi, some 315km south of Cairo, the Bishop Anba Demetrios holds an annual Day for Coptic Language and actively promotes its use through various activities. Many bishoprics, most recently that of 6 October City under Anba Dumadius, are also introducing their congregations to everyday Coptic through intensive courses in the language.
On the public level, there has been a recent surge in public interest in Coptic language and culture. Google has added the Coptic language to its search engine keyboard. In Egypt, the universities of Alexandria and Damanhour have established departments for graduate studies in Coptology, and the Bibliotheca Alexandrina has a centre for Coptic studies since 2013. During the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations championship held in Egypt, fans in Cairo stadium raised a banner inscribed with “Long Live Egypt” in Coptic. And news of developing sites trodden by the Holy Family (Baby Jesus, St Mary, and St Joseph) on their Biblical journey in Egypt gain wide interest and readership.
18 August 2019