Emigration and Diaspora
As an indigenous people of one of the world’s oldest urban civilizations, Copts for centuries avoided the large-scale emigration of populations throughout Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Political and social developments in the second half of the twentieth century prompted the first waves of Coptic emigration.
Today, threatened by increasing human and civil rights abuses in their native Egypt, more Copts are choosing emigration to countries throughout the world. Although the Coptic Diaspora is today heavily concentrated in Europe, the United States, Canada, and Australia, Copts have formed communities in a variety of countries, from South Africa to Brazil.
U.S. Copts and the United States Diaspora
U.S. Copts Association and other organizations represent between 700,000 and one million Coptic-Americans of all denominations in the United States. The recently and rapidly increasing Coptic-American community has several main population centers, including California, Texas, Illinois, Florida, and New Jersey. Copts have established themselves as one of the most highly educated and successful immigrant populations in North America. Copts especially value higher education; many Coptic-Americans are employed in professions such as medicine, dentistry, engineering and law.
Some issues of interest to Copts in the U.S. are immigration and asylum, educational opportunities, and democratic development both in Egypt and throughout the world. As a fairly recent immigrant community (past forty years or so), Coptic-Americans are interested in learning more about and working with other immigrant and minority communities in the U.S.