Coptic cross

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Coptic Orthodox cross with Coptic writing that reads Jesus Christ Son of God

The Coptic cross is a variety of the Christian cross used by the Coptic Christians. Old Coptic crosses often incorporate a circle which may vary in size depending on the representation. For the Coptic Church, the circle represents the eternal and everlasting love of God, as shown through Christ's crucifixion, Christ's halo and resurrection.[1]

History and use[edit]

The Coptic cross is widely used in the Coptic church and the Ethiopian and Eritrean churches. Many Copts have the cross tattooed on the inside of their right arm.[2] The Coptic cross in its modern and ancient forms is considered a sign of faith and pride to the Copts [3] The Ethiopians Christians wear it as a symbol of faith.[4]

In 1984, a Coptic Cross was given as a gift by the Coptic Orthodox Church and mounted on the top of the All Africa Conference of Churches building, since the Coptic Church is considered to be the mother church in Africa.[5]

One of the forms of the Coptic cross, which is referred to as the Ethiopian Coptic cross[6] was worn by Stevie Ray Vaughan.[7] Keith Richards [8] also wears an Ethiopian Coptic Cross.


Bertran de la Farge (in La Croix occitane) located the original Occitan cross somewhere in the marquisate of Provence, probably Venasque. He argued it could be a mixture of the Constantinople cross and the Coptic cross,[9] which was brought to Provence by monks and maybe also through Saint Maurice.

A "Coptic cross" according to Rudolf Koch, The Book of Signs

Another form was called a "Coptic" cross by Rudolf Koch in his The Book of Signs (Dover)Template:1955[page needed], though in this form it is not prominent in Coptic Christian symbolism. Sometimes the arms of the cross extend through the circle (dividing it into four quadrants).

Modern form[edit]

The form used in the Coptic Church and defined as the Coptic cross is made up of two bold lines of equal length that intersect at the middle at right angles. At each angle are three points, representing the Trinity of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. All together, the cross has 12 points symbolizing the Apostles whose mission it was to spread the Gospel message throughout the world.[10]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Coptic Cross". Retrieved 2011-01-02. [unreliable source?]
  2. ^ "Deep Thoughts: Coptic Orthodox Tattoo". 2005-01-19. Retrieved 2011-01-02. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ Ethnic craft
  5. ^ "Coptic Africa" (PDF). Retrieved 2011-01-02. 
  6. ^ "Alternative Religions". Retrieved 2011-01-02. 
  7. ^ "Stevie Cross". Retrieved 2011-01-02. 
  8. ^ "Keith Cross". ?. Retrieved 2012-01-21. 
  9. ^ [1] Archived December 2, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  10. ^ Goldman, Ari L. (1989-10-10). "Coptic Pope's Visit Cheers Faithful - The". New York Times. Retrieved 2011-01-02. 

External links[edit]