In 567, the Byzantine emperor recognized two claimants to the patriarchate of Alexandria: the Coptic, to whom the majority of Egypt’s Christians owed allegiance, and the Melkite (or imperialist), who led the Greek- speaking minority. Today, Coptic Orthodox Pope and Patriarch Shenouda III is the 117th Coptic occupant of the see of St. Mark.
Greek Orthodox Pope and Patriarch Theodoros II of Alexandria shepherds some 250,000 Orthodox believers on the African continent. In addition to immigrants from traditionally Orthodox countries, such as Greece and Cyprus, the majority are natives of Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.
Patriarch Antonios of Alexandria of the Copts leads some 163,000 Coptic Catholics, whose numbers have grown considerably since Vatican II. Much of this may be attributed to the administration of Catholic clinics, dispensaries, orphanages and schools.