Egypt was one of the world’s first civilizations, and one of its most enduring. To this day, the Pyramids of Giza stand as a testament to the greatness of ancient Egyptian civilization. But there is more to Egypt than just the pyramids. Deep in the desert you can find the monastery of Saint Anthony, the oldest continuously operating monastery in world, built in year 356 AD. Egypt is the most populous country in the Middle East, with a population of about 80 million people. About 90% of Egyptians are Sunni Muslim. The remaining 10% are mostly Coptic Orthodox Christians.
Egypt has a hot and arid climate everywhere except on the Mediterranean coast in the north. The southernmost cities of Egypt tend to be hotter because they are further into the desert. Climate information for Egypt’s capital, Cairo, can be found here.
The Coptic Church had its founding in the apostolic teachings of St Mark the Evangelist. Since his time, Christianity has grown considerably in Egypt. The Coptic Church constitutes the largest religious minority in the Middle East and North Africa. The church maintains a Trinitarian doctrine and is part of a larger group of churches called the Oriental Orthodox Churches. Christianity in Egypt has expressed itself through a rich monastic history. Several ancient churches and monasteries are scattered throughout the Egyptian desert where monks found solitude and separation from the world around them. To this day, monks carry on this monastic tradition in monasteries that have been operational for over 1500 years.
The first CMANA mission trip was to Egypt in November 2010. It was done through collaboration with multiple organizations across the world. It included 20 physicians from different specialties. The team did visit three main sites including Upper Egypt, Cairo, and Alexandria. It was a very fruitful trip and was hoped to be followed my many trips. However due to the revolution of 2011 a hold was placed on trips to Egypt until December 2012 where a small mission group from CMANA was sent to Egypt primarily to Cairo and Alexandria. It was a successful trip by all means.