Perhaps the most amazing, strong, and devout followers of Christ on the earth.
Just as the Waldensians are the most persecuted of all protestant denominations, the Coptic Christians of Egypt are the most persecuted of ALL Christian denominations, period.
Claims apostles Bartholomew and Thaddeus as its founders (not St. St Gregory The Illuminator evangelized Armenia in 301 AD – 1 The word “Catholic” simply means “worldwide” and indeed the first organized group of Christian churches were worldwide. Over the course of nearly 600 years, a small crack would slowly divide this single unified church into two branches: The Roman Catholic branch and the Orthodox branch.
During the early years of Christianity, there weren’t denominations and therefore no need to refer to a church by a particular tag: Lutheran, Catholic, etc. Both branches would claim to be the "true church" and would accuse the other of apostasy even up to the twentieth century.
Nothing could be further from the truth as their own creed of faith clearly states that they hold to one Divine nature and one Human nature in perfect unity without mix which is essentially the orthodox position for all of historic biblical Christianity.
It began as simple a geo-political region of the existing worldwide church (latin term "catholic" not to be confused with "Roman Catholic"). Non-Chalcedonians – Egypt, Syria, Armenia, Mesopotamia a.Augustine believed a strong Church government was necessary for survival and ultimately defeating heresy.Unfortunately, this introduced abuse by the hierarchy of the governing church against those that would question the unbiblical doctrines introduced by various church leaders. immaculate conception and assumption of Mary, prayer to the saints as intermediaries, etc.The term “Pope” which was derived from the Greek word “Papa” or “Pappas” was not used until the late 2nd and early 3rd centuries to denote the premier Bishop or “Father” over all Bishops.The idea of an emerging, strong, and centrally governed church was taken even further by Augustine, a Bishop of Hippo.
At the council of Chalcedon, when the Western "Roman" church began to over reach its authority.