Religious belonging and (forced) migration: A Study on migrant Coptic families in Italy

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Despite the data available on Christian diaspora in the world, little scholarly attention has been paid to Middle Eastern Christians’ migration to Europe, and especially to the Coptic diaspora. The present study explored how Coptic Orthodox families immigrated to Italy from Egypt define and negotiate their identity within the resettlement society. Ten Coptic families coming from Egypt (10 fathers, 10 mothers, 10 adolescent children) participated in the study and were interviewed through in-depth semi-structured interviews. Thematic analysis carried out on the interview transcripts allowed to identify several themes, revealing the complexity that characterizes Coptic families’ post-migration experience in Italy: the acculturative challenges faced by parents and children, parental norms and expectations, the role played by Churches in sustaining heritage identity and faith across generations, paying special attention to the significance of the persecution of Christians, martyrdom and migration.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMigrants and Religion: Paths, Issues, and Lenses: A Multidisciplinary and Multi-Sited Study on the Role of Religious Belongings in Migratory and Integration Processes.
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Family
  • Forced migration
  • Religion
  • Religious identity

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