Coptic Canadians

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Coptic Canadians
Total population
estimated 50,000-100,000 (by ancestry, 2011 Census)[1]
Regions with significant populations
Ontario: Mississauga, Toronto (North York, Scarborough, Etobicoke), Hamilton, Kitchener; Quebec: Montreal, Laval, Quebec City; etc.
Canadian English · Canadian French
Mainly older people: Arabic (Egyptian Arabic, Sudanese Arabic, Libyan Arabic)
Liturgical: Coptic language.
Coptic Orthodoxy, Coptic Catholicism, Coptic Evangelical and Coptic Atheism

Copts in Canada are Canadian citizens of Coptic descent or people of Coptic descent residing in Canada.

Population and distribution[edit]

According to the 2011 Census there were 3,570 Canadians who claimed Coptic ancestry (this figure combines single and multiple ethnic origin responses).[2] An additional 73,250 Canadians claimed Egyptian ancestry, and some of these are believed to be Copts.[2]

The Canadian Coptic Association estimates that there are 35,000 Copts living in Canada; according to CBC News, "if other sects with strong ties to the Coptic community are included, the figure is possibly higher still."[3] (Note: There is likely a typo in the CBC article where an extra zero was added, thereby erroneous stating that there are 350,000 Copts in Canada).

Toronto and the surrounding metropolitan region have the largest concentration of Copts in Canada.[3]

Immigration history[edit]

St. George & St. Rueiss Coptic Orthodox Church in Toronto, Ontario.
St. Mina and St. Kyrillos Coptic Orthodox Church in Mississauga, Ontario.

The immigration of the Copts to Canada might have started as early as the late 1950s. Due to an increasing amount of discrimination towards Copts in Egypt in the 1970s, many decided to emigrate in order to escape the rising racial tensions. Canada has been receiving a greater number of these immigrants, and the number of Coptic immigrants into Canada has been growing ever since.[4]

Coptic Orthodox Church in Canada[edit]

In 1964, St. Mark Coptic Orthodox Church was established in Toronto; this was the first Coptic church established in the Coptic diaspora.[5]

In 2002, a survey showed 22 Coptic Orthodox parishes in Canada, indicating growth.[6]

In 2011, there were five Coptic Orthodox churches in Montreal.[7]

Notable Coptic Canadians[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Statistics Canada. "2011 National Household Survey: Data tables". Retrieved 11 February 2014.
  2. ^ a b Statistics Canada. "2011 National Household Survey: Data tables". Retrieved 11 February 2014.
  3. ^ a b Coptic Christians in Canada, CBC News (January 3, 2011).
  4. ^
  5. ^ Saad Michael Saad, "Coptic Civilization in the Diaspora" in Coptic Civilization: Two Thousand Years of Christianity in Egypt (ed. Gawdat Gabra: American University in Cairo Press, 2014), p. 291.
  6. ^ Charles D. Smith, "The Egyptian Copts: Nationalism, Ethnicity, and Definition of Identity for a Religious Minority" in Nationalism and Minority Identities in Islamic Societies (ed. Maya Shatzmiller: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2005), p. 60.
  7. ^ Coptic churches in Canada on alert, CBC News (January 4, 2011).