I am reading Introduction to the Coptic Orthodox Church by Fr. Tadros Y. Malaty. In it I read:
d) The Cross: Egyptians tended to identify the Cross with their own sign of eternal life, "the Ankh," which was held in the hands of the immortals such as gods and pharaohs. The "Ankh" sign took the shape of a cruciform with rounded tip, which was readily adopted and used by the Copts from the very early times.
I have always avoided ever using the ankh because I thought and was taught that it was from pagan religious ideas, or more recently, it would confuse people with thinking I agreed with/approved of pagan ideas. Is this still the case?