The Coptic Orthodox Church is an Oriental Orthodox Christian Church, predominantly based in Egypt, some countries in Africa and the Middle East. The Coptic Church was founded by St. Mark the Apostle and Evangelist in Alexandria, around the middle of the 1st century (c. 42 AD). St. Mark became the first Pope of Alexandria and began to preach the teachings of Our Lord Jesus Christ. This later became known as the Holy See of St. Mark. Historians have given the title of ‘Church of the Martyrs’ to the Coptic Church. This is a direct result of the Coptic Christian’s perfect love for Christ, their firm hope and unashamed open practice of worship, in the midst of waves of religious persecution.