The Most Famous

RELIGIOUS FIGURES from Egypt

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This page contains a list of the greatest Egyptian Religious Figures. The pantheon dataset contains 2,272 Religious Figures, 50 of which were born in Egypt. This makes Egypt the birth place of the 11th most number of Religious Figures behind Saudi Arabia and India.

Top 10

The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary Egyptian Religious Figures of all time. This list of famous Egyptian Religious Figures is sorted by HPI (Historical Popularity Index), a metric that aggregates information on a biography’s online popularity. Visit the rankings page to view the entire list of Egyptian Religious Figures.

Photo of Moses

1. Moses (-1393 - -1273)

With an HPI of 94.11, Moses is the most famous Egyptian Religious Figure.  His biography has been translated into 137 different languages on wikipedia.

Moses (), also known as Moshe Rabbenu (Hebrew: מֹשֶׁה רַבֵּנוּ‎ lit. "Moshe our Teacher"), is the most important prophet in Judaism, and an important prophet in Christianity, Islam, the Baháʼí Faith, and a number of other Abrahamic religions. In the biblical and Qur'anic narrative he was the leader of the Israelites and lawgiver, to whom the authorship of the first five books of the bible, the Torah, or "acquisition of the Torah from heaven," is attributed. Rabbinical Judaism calculated a lifespan of Moses corresponding to 1391–1271 BCE; Jerome suggested 1592 BCE, and James Ussher suggested 1571 BCE as his birth year. Scholarly consensus sees Moses as a legendary figure, while retaining the possibility that a Moses-like figure existed.According to the Book of Exodus, Moses was born in a time when his people, the Israelites, an enslaved minority, were increasing in population and, as a result, the Egyptian Pharaoh worried that they might ally themselves with Egypt's enemies. Moses' Hebrew mother, Jochebed, secretly hid him when the Pharaoh ordered all newborn Hebrew boys to be killed in order to reduce the population of the Israelites. Through the Pharaoh's daughter (identified as Queen Bithia in the Midrash), the child was adopted as a foundling from the Nile river and grew up with the Egyptian royal family. After killing an Egyptian slave-master who was beating a Hebrew, Moses fled across the Red Sea to Midian, where he encountered the Angel of the Lord, speaking to him from within a burning bush on Mount Horeb, which he regarded as the Mountain of God. God sent Moses back to Egypt to demand the release of the Israelites from slavery. Moses said that he could not speak eloquently, so God allowed Aaron, his elder brother, to become his spokesperson. After the Ten Plagues, Moses led the Exodus of the Israelites out of Egypt and across the Red Sea, after which they based themselves at Mount Sinai, where Moses received the Ten Commandments. After 40 years of wandering in the desert, Moses died within sight of the Promised Land on Mount Nebo.

Photo of Joshua

2. Joshua (-1355 - -1245)

With an HPI of 84.53, Joshua is the 2nd most famous Egyptian Religious Figure.  His biography has been translated into 56 different languages.

Joshua () or Jehoshua (Hebrew: יְהוֹשֻׁעַ‎ Yəhôšuaʿ) is the central figure in the Hebrew Bible's Book of Joshua. According to the books of Exodus, Numbers and Joshua, he was Moses' assistant and became the leader of the Israelite tribes after the death of Moses. His name was Hoshea (הוֹשֵׁעַ‎) the son of Nun, of the tribe of Ephraim, but Moses called him Joshua (Numbers 13:16), the name by which he is commonly known. According to the Bible he was born in Egypt prior to the Exodus. According to the Hebrew Bible, Joshua was one of the twelve spies of Israel sent by Moses to explore the land of Canaan. In Numbers 13:1–16, and after the death of Moses, he led the Israelite tribes in the conquest of Canaan, and allocated the land to the tribes. According to biblical chronology, Joshua lived some time in the Bronze Age. According to Joshua 24:29, Joshua died at the age of 110. Joshua also holds a position of respect among Muslims. According to Islamic tradition, he was, along with Caleb, one of the two believing spies whom Moses had sent to spy the land of Canaan. Muslims also see Joshua as the leader of the faithful following the death of Moses. Some Muslims also believe Joshua to be the "attendant" of Moses mentioned in the Quran before Moses meets Khidr. Joshua plays a role in Islamic literature with significant narration in the hadith.

Photo of Anthony the Great

3. Anthony the Great (251 - 356)

With an HPI of 83.18, Anthony the Great is the 3rd most famous Egyptian Religious Figure.  His biography has been translated into 65 different languages.

Anthony or Antony the Great (Greek: Ἀντώνιος Antṓnios; Arabic: القديس أنطونيوس الكبير‎; Latin: Antonius; Coptic: Ⲁⲃⲃⲁ Ⲁⲛⲧⲱⲛⲓ; c. 12 January 251 – 17 January 356), was a Christian monk from Egypt, revered since his death as a saint. He is distinguished from other saints named Anthony such as Anthony of Padua, by various epithets of his own: Saint Anthony, Anthony of Egypt, Anthony the Abbot, Anthony of the Desert, Anthony the Anchorite, Anthony the Hermit, and Anthony of Thebes. For his importance among the Desert Fathers and to all later Christian monasticism, he is also known as the Father of All Monks. His feast day is celebrated on 17 January among the Orthodox and Catholic churches and on Tobi 22 in the Coptic calendar. The biography of Anthony's life by Athanasius of Alexandria helped to spread the concept of Christian monasticism, particularly in Western Europe via its Latin translations. He is often erroneously considered the first Christian monk, but as his biography and other sources make clear, there were many ascetics before him. Anthony was, however, among the first known to go into the wilderness (about AD 270), which seems to have contributed to his renown. Accounts of Anthony enduring supernatural temptation during his sojourn in the Eastern Desert of Egypt inspired the often-repeated subject of the temptation of St. Anthony in Western art and literature. Anthony is appealed to against infectious diseases, particularly skin diseases. In the past, many such afflictions, including ergotism, erysipelas, and shingles, were referred to as St. Anthony's fire.

Photo of Catherine of Alexandria

4. Catherine of Alexandria (287 - 305)

With an HPI of 82.62, Catherine of Alexandria is the 4th most famous Egyptian Religious Figure.  Her biography has been translated into 57 different languages.

Catherine of Alexandria, or Katherine of Alexandria, also known as Saint Catherine of Alexandria, Saint Catherine of the Wheel and The Great Martyr Saint Catherine (Coptic: Ϯⲁⲅⲓⲁ Ⲕⲁⲧⲧⲣⲓⲛ; Greek: ἡ Ἁγία Αἰκατερίνη ἡ Μεγαλομάρτυς "Holy Catherine the Great Martyr"; Latin: Catharina Alexandrina), is, according to tradition, a Christian saint and virgin, who was martyred in the early 4th century at the hands of the emperor Maxentius. According to her hagiography, she was both a princess and a noted scholar who became a Christian around the age of 14, converted hundreds of people to Christianity and was martyred around the age of 18. More than 1,100 years after Catherine's martyrdom, Joan of Arc identified her as one of the saints who appeared to and counselled her.The Eastern Orthodox Church venerates her as a Great Martyr and celebrates her feast day on 24 or 25 November, depending on the regional tradition. In Catholicism, Catherine is traditionally revered as one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers and she is commemorated in the Roman Martyrology on 25 November. Her feast was removed from the General Roman Calendar in 1969, but restored in 2002 as an optional memorial. Some modern scholars consider that the legend of Catherine was probably based on the life and murder of the virgin Saint Dorothea of Alexandria and the Greek philosopher Hypatia, with reversed role of a Christian and Neo-Plaonist in the case of the latter.

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5. Miriam (-1400 - -1274)

With an HPI of 80.82, Miriam is the 5th most famous Egyptian Religious Figure.  Her biography has been translated into 44 different languages.

Miriam (מִרְיָם‎ Mīrəyām) was described in the Hebrew Bible as the daughter of Amram and Jochebed, and the older sister of Moses and Aaron. She was a prophetess and first appears in the Book of Exodus. The Torah refers to her as "Miriam the Prophetess" and the Talmud names her as one of the seven major female prophets of Israel. Scripture describes her alongside of Moses and Aaron as delivering the Jews from exile in Egypt: "For I brought you up out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the house of slavery, and I sent before you Moses, Aaron, and Miriam". According to the Midrash, just as Moses led the men out of Egypt and taught them Torah, so too Miriam led the women and taught them Torah.

Photo of Hagar

6. Hagar (-1800 - )

With an HPI of 79.75, Hagar is the 6th most famous Egyptian Religious Figure.  Her biography has been translated into 52 different languages.

Hagar (Hebrew: הָגָר‎, Hāḡār, of uncertain origin; Arabic: هَاجَر‎ Hājar; Greek: Ἁγάρ, Hagár; Latin: Agar) is a biblical person in the Book of Genesis. She was an Ancient Egyptian servant of Sarah, who gave her to Abraham to bear a child. The product of the union was Abraham's firstborn, Ishmael, the progenitor of the Ishmaelites, generally taken to be the Arabians. Various commentators have connected her to the Hagrites (sons of Agar), perhaps claiming her as their eponymous ancestor.The name of the Egyptian servant Hagar is documented in the Book of Genesis; she is acknowledged in all Abrahamic religions. Hagar is alluded to in the Quran, and Islam acknowledges her as Abraham's second wife. According to Islamic tradition, Hagar the Egyptian is named as the "Grand Mother of Arabians" and her husband Abraham the Mesopotamian as the "Grand Father of Arabians".

Photo of Moses in Islam

7. Moses in Islam (-1392 - -1272)

With an HPI of 77.37, Moses in Islam is the 7th most famous Egyptian Religious Figure.  His biography has been translated into 29 different languages.

Mūsā ibn ʿImrān (Arabic: موسی ابن عمران‎, Moses son of Amram) known as Moses in Judaeo-Christian theology, considered a prophet and messenger in Islam, is the most frequently mentioned individual in the Qur'an, his name being mentioned 135 times. The Quran states that Musa was sent by Allah to the Pharaoh of Egypt and his establishments and the Israelites for guidance and warning. Musa is mentioned more in the Qur'an than any other individual, and his life is narrated and recounted more than that of any other prophet. According to Islam, all Muslims must have faith in every prophet (nabi) and messenger (rasul) which includes Musa and his brother. The Qur'an states: And mention in the Book, Moses. Indeed, he was chosen, and he was a messenger and a prophet. And We called him from the side of the mount at [his] right and brought him near, confiding [to him]. And We gave him out of Our mercy his brother Aaron as a prophet. Musa is considered to be a prophetic predecessor to Muhammad. The tale of Musa is generally seen as a spiritual parallel to the life of Muhammad, and Muslims consider many aspects of their lives to be shared. Islamic literature also describes a parallel between their believers and the incidents which occurred in their lifetimes. The exodus of the Israelites from Egypt is considered similar to the (migration) from Mecca made by the followers of Muhammad.Musa is also very important in Islam for having been given the revelation of the Torah. Moreover, according to Islamic tradition, Musa was one of the many prophets Muhammad met in the event of the Mi'raj, when he ascended through the seven heavens. During the Mi'raj, Musa is said to have urged Muhammad to ask God to reduce the number of required daily prayers until only the five obligatory prayers remained. Musa is further revered in Islamic literature, which expands upon the incidents of his life and the miracles attributed to him in the Qur'an and hadith, such as his direct conversation with God.

Photo of Saint Apollonia

8. Saint Apollonia (110 - 249)

With an HPI of 75.97, Saint Apollonia is the 8th most famous Egyptian Religious Figure.  Her biography has been translated into 24 different languages.

Saint Apollonia (Coptic: Ϯⲁⲅⲓⲁ Ⲁⲡⲟⲗⲗⲟⲛⲓⲁ) was one of a group of virgin martyrs who suffered in Alexandria during a local uprising against the Christians prior to the persecution of Decius. According to church tradition, her torture included having all of her teeth violently pulled out or shattered. For this reason, she is popularly regarded as the patroness of dentistry and those suffering from toothache or other dental problems. French court painter Jehan Fouquet painted the scene of St. Apollonia's torture in The Martyrdom of St. Apollonia.

Photo of Pachomius the Great

9. Pachomius the Great (292 - 348)

With an HPI of 75.90, Pachomius the Great is the 9th most famous Egyptian Religious Figure.  His biography has been translated into 37 different languages.

Pachomius (; Greek: Παχώμιος; Coptic: Ⲡⲁϧⲱⲙ; c. 292 – 9 May 348 AD), also known as Pachome, Pakhomios, and Pahom, is generally recognized as the founder of Christian cenobitic monasticism. Coptic churches celebrate his feast day on 9 May, and Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches mark his feast on 15 May or 28 May. In the Lutheran Church, he is remembered as a renewer of the church, along with his contemporary (and fellow desert saint), Anthony of Egypt on January 17.

Photo of Saint Sarah

10. Saint Sarah (100 - 100)

With an HPI of 75.18, Saint Sarah is the 10th most famous Egyptian Religious Figure.  Her biography has been translated into 20 different languages.

Saint Sarah, also known as Sara-la-Kali ("Sara the Black", Romani: Sara e Kali), is the "patron saint" of the Romani people. The center of her veneration is Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, a place of pilgrimage for Roma in the Camargue, in southern France. Legend identifies her as the servant of one of the Three Marys, with whom she is supposed to have arrived in the Camargue. She is not a saint in the Catholic church and falls into the category of folk Christianity.

Pantheon has 50 people classified as religious figures born between 1800 BC and 1955. Of these 50, 4 (8.00%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living religious figures include Yusuf al-Qaradawi, Pope Tawadros II of Alexandria, and Antonios Naguib. The most famous deceased religious figures include Moses, Joshua, and Anthony the Great. As of October 2020, 8 new religious figures have been added to Pantheon including Shenoute, Barsanuphius, and Macarius of Alexandria.

Living Religious Figures

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Deceased Religious Figures

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Newly Added Religious Figures (2020)

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Which Religious Figures were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 4 most globally memorable Religious Figures since 1700.