Alexandria was the cultural capital of the world when St. Mark arrived there. Its famous School was the centre of science and philosophy with a library filled with hundreds of thousands of books. The population of Alexandria was estimated to be from half to three quarters of a million,(1) who were Egyptians, Greeks, Jews, Romans, Ethiopians, Nubians and other races.
The Coptic Orthodox Church is an Apostolic Church, not only because her founder is St. Mark the Apostle who ministered in Egypt, ordained a bishop, priests, and deacons to aid him in his ministry and was martyred in Alexandria, and not only because her first Patriarch is St. Mark's successor through an unbroken chain of popes since the apostolic age, but also because she preserves the apostolic thought in her life, spirituality, liturgies and dogmas. She is actually a living extension of the apostolic church without deviation.
The Coptic Church is sometimes accused of exaggerated conservatism and refusal of concessions. As a matter of fact she is not stagnant or stolid but faithful and conservative, preserving the apostolic life, and desiring to offer the gift of faith in all its aspects throughout the ages.