Some of the original Orthodox Church jurisdictions never accepted the Council of Chalcedon of AD 451. They are therefore called Non-Chalcedonian Orthodox. Sometimes they are also called the Oriental Orthodox. The Non-Chalcedonian Orthodox include the Coptic, Armenian, Syrian, Ethiopian, and the Malankara Indian Churches. The Council of Chalcedon caused a big schism within the church. Whether it was politically motivated, a difficulty in translating terms, a serious misunderstanding of semantics, or different doctrines is not clear. In any case, the Non-Chalcedonian churches were unfairly accused of following the teachings of Eutyches, who believed in monophysitism. This doctrine maintains that the Lord Jesus Christ has only one nature, the divine, not two natures, the human as well as the divine. The Non-Chalcedonian churches never believed this doctrine and consider it a heresy. Instead they believe that the Lord is perfect in His divinity, and He is perfect in His humanity, but His divinity and His humanity are united in one nature called "the nature of the incarnate word", which was reiterated by Saint Cyril of Alexandria. They believe in two natures "human" and "divine" that are united in one "without mingling, without confusion, and without alteration" and that the two natures "did not separate for a moment or the twinkling of an eye" (from the declaration of faith at the end of the Coptic divine liturgy.) [Note: Parts of this description are based on the excellent information available in the Encyclopedia Coptica at http://pharos.bu.edu/cn/]

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