Egypt is an ancient and powerful Muslim-majority country, but it’s also a secular democracy.
Its Christians are the second largest religious group in the Middle East, with around 2.5 million adherents.
But they have long struggled to be recognized by the authorities.
This has caused them to suffer from religious persecution.
A new law that passed in June enshrines their fundamental right to proselytise, which has drawn international condemnation and sparked protests from the United States.
In the past, Christians have faced severe restrictions on their religious freedom, including being forcibly evicted from their homes.
They have also faced threats, including attacks by religious groups.
Egypt’s Christian minority is estimated at more than 20% of the population.
In recent years, Christians were also forced to flee their homes in Egypt’s south-east following the 2013 military coup that toppled the democratically-elected Islamist president Mohammed Morsi.
Many Christians who fled fled were killed.
The country’s Christian community has since re-emerged, albeit with a limited degree of success, as Christians make up just 3% of Egypt’s population.
The Christian minority has grown as Egypt’s economic prosperity has led to rising expectations for Christian growth, particularly in its diaspora.
Egypt was recently awarded the 2017 Humanitarian of the Year by the United Nations.
Al Jazeera’s Jonathan Beale reports from Cairo.