Lead: It was not easy, but in the years following the birth of Islam, Coptic Christianity was able to coexist in Egypt alongside its rival religion near the heart of Islamic culture.
Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.
Content: In the seventh century CE, not too many years after the hijira of Mohammed, Arabs invaded Egypt. For several centuries, Coptic Christians lived under various Muslim regimes, sometimes protected, sometimes persecuted, sometimes under onerous conditions, but able to survive and conduct worship. There were taxes and restrictions and the inevitable pressure to convert to Islam, but Muslim scholars respected Coptic erudition and permitted a certain flowering and preservation of this brand of Christianity.