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Religious Tolerance logo

The Coptic Orthodox Church

 and homosexuality

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About 94% of the population of Egypt are Muslim. The largest minority religious group are Coptic Christians - members of The Christian Coptic Orthodox Church of Egypt.  The Copts are heavily persecuted. Even worse off are the Coptic Christians who are also gay or lesbian.

Fr. M. Mikhail of St. Mark Coptic Orthodox Church in Seven Hills OH has written an essay on his church's beliefs concerning homosexuality. Some of his points are listed below:

bulletAbout homosexuality itself:
bulletNo society in history has accepted homosexuality as normal.
bulletGays and lesbians have never been comfortable about revealing their sexual orientation. 
bulletNobody is born homosexual.
bulletA homosexual orientation can be controlled.
bulletOne's genes do not determine their sexual "preference."
bulletSome people become homosexual because of a hostile parent.
bulletOthers become homosexual by thinking positively about gay/lesbian activity, and experimenting with it.
bulletThe church and homosexuality:
bulletHomosexuality is a sin, according to the Bible, Coptic tradition and church creed.
bulletIt is condemned by God.
bulletSex is only proper between a man and woman who are married to each other.
bulletLeviticus 18:22: This passage condemns homosexuality.
bulletLeviticus 20:13: This verse goes further and condemns them to death.
bulletGenesis 19:1-29: God destroyed Sodom because of homosexuality.
bulletRomans 1:24-28: Homosexuality is a depraved passion
bullet1 Corinthians 6:9-10: Homosexuals will not go to heaven.
bullet1 Timothy 1:9-10: Agrees.
bulletJude 7: Sodom's sin was homosexuality; Homosexuals will undergo a "punishment of eternal fire." -- presumably eternally in Hell.
bulletSt. Athanasius stated that homosexual behavior abolish the purpose of the creation of the world, and of Christ's mission.
bulletHomosexuals will not repent of their sins.
bulletActive homosexuals are not saved.
bulletThe "Gay church" is a shame to Christianity.
bulletChurch tradition states that homosexual acts "are always objectively grave evil and intrinsically disordered...Homosexuality was regarded as a sin against nature and as such abhorrent."
bulletWithin marriage, the husband is the leader and head; the wife must "demand, encourage and enable" her husband's leadership. This balance of power cannot work in a homosexual partnership.
bulletHomosexuals are "foolish, faithless, heartless and ruthless."
bulletHow homosexuals can become heterosexual:
bulletHomosexuality is a learned behavior and thus can be changed.
bulletThree preconditions to becoming heterosexual again are: to have a strong desire to become straight, to seek and accept God's power and to accept support from others.
bulletStudying the Bible helps; in particular, dwell on the anti-gay verses.
bulletStudy homosexuality in history.
bulletLearn why God created a man and women.
bulletGain self control and self respect.
bullet"Homosexuality is a sin, and a homosexual who wants to recover should see it as such and repent."

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Related essays:

Fr. Mikhail's essay describes the conventional conservative Christian belief system about homosexuality. Although he is Eastern Orthodox, the beliefs of Southern Baptists and other conservative Protestants differ little. 

We have a number of essays which describe homosexuality from all sides in (we think) a balanced manner:

bulletAn essay on the nature of sexual orientation
bulletAn essay on homosexuality in the Bible
bulletThe effectiveness and safety of reparative therapy

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  1. Fr. M. Mikhail, "The Coptic Orthodox Church's view on homosexuality," at: http://pharos.bu.edu/cn/articles/OnHomosexuality.txt 

Copyright date: 1999-JUL-12
Latest update: 1999-JUL-12
Author: B.A. Robinson

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