Egypt is a religious country to the core.
Islam is the main religion; Moslems represent about 90% of the total
population, while Coptic Christians, and other Christian denominations,
form the remaining 10%.
Mosque, center of Islamic learning of the world
During your tour in Egypt, you won't miss the great number of mosques
spread all over the country. Cairo itself was once described as
the city of thousand minarets.
The number of mosques now is far more than a thousand. You'll find
mosques in every area you go.
This indicates what kind of religion-sticking people the Egyptians
Among Moslems worldwide, Cairo is their religious capital. This
fact is based on the amount of religious studies a Moslem can obtain
in the metropolitan city, particularly at Al-Azhar University, the
oldest jurisprudential Islamic University in the whole world. Moslems
flow from all over the world to Al-Azhar to study more about their
religion. If you went to Al-Azhar university, you'll find a diversity
of nationalities; the most notable are southeast Asians.
Religious words are uttered by Egyptians so naturally as they talk.
Before they intend to do something they say Insha' Allah (God willing).
They also say Alhamdulellah; (Thanks to God) in reply to the question
(How are you?) (see Useful Phrases for more information).
Therefore, if you wanted to deal with Egyptian and interact with
their society, you have to start learning such words as gestures
There is a religious month called Ramadan, during which Moslems
must fast. In that month, people abstain from eating in that month
in public places, even the non-Moslem denominations. You also have
to follow this as much as possible. However, still many restaurants
are open to cater non-Moslems, especially in tourist places, like
around the pyramids in Giza.
Mark who brought Christianity to Egypt
Egypt's second faith is Coptic Christianity. Copts are heirs of
an ancient Christian rite.
Coptic Christianity was the predominant religion in Egypt until
the 10th century when a lot of Christians diverted to Islam. Christianity
itself was brought in Egypt by St. Mark in the middle of the first
Copts are so proud of their faith, as they believe they didn't deviate
from the orthodox faith as introduced to the country by early saints.
They got evidences of such claim; Egypt was the cradle of monasticism.
It was introduced by Saints Anthony and Pachomius. Other figures
also contributed to early Christianity in Egypt like ecclesiastical
writers Clement and Origen, and the great Fathers of the Church
such as Athanasius and Cyril.
Egypt's role in the Christian world emerges from its steadfastness
facing discrimination of heretics.
Today a number of monasteries enrich Egypt's Christian heritage
and dot deserts and valleys. A visit to these monasteries will give
you an idea about early Christianity in Egypt and the incredible
stories of martyrdom of Egyptian saints.