OCP News Service – 28/1/15
Global: The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has called for the release of illegally detained Patriarch Abune Antonios of Eretria.
“The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) vehemently condemns the illegal removal from office and continued house arrest of Patriarch Antonios. The Patriarch also suffers from severe diabetes and deteriorating health and has been denied medical assistance. We call on the Eritrean government immediately to release Patriarch Antonios and the more than 2,000 people imprisoned for their religious beliefs. Religious freedom is a fundamental, universal human right. Unfortunately, this anniversary reminds us that these rights, as well as other human rights, have been denied to the people of Eritrea for more than two decades,” said USCIRF Chair Lantos Swett. Website : http://www.uscirf.gov/news-room/press-releases/uscirf-calls-release-eritrean-orthodox-patriarch-abune-antonios
As per the latest info the Patriarch has been detained in one of the locations in Asmara the capital city of Eritrea. The place of detention has not been revealed and it is believed to be a military cantonment area.
Briefing of the Detention
A secret session of the Holy Synod in January 2006 at Asmara formally removed Patriarch from his office and on 20th January. Two priests accompanied by security persons of the Government the Patriarch’s residence and confiscated his personal pontifical insignia.
Violating the church cannons and constitution the government installed Bishop Dioscoros of Mendefera as the anti-patriarch on 27th May 2007. Abune Antonios on the same day was forced to move out of his office and has been detained at an undisclosed location somewhere in the capital city of Asmara.
Let us all pray for the safe return of Patriarch Abune Antonios of Eritrea.
OCP News Service