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Concern for Eritrean church leader held incommunicado

Mon 07 Aug 2017 By Eno Adeogun There are growing concerns for the wellbeing of an Orthodox Church leader in Eritrea who hasn't been seen in public since he attended mass at a church last month. His Holiness

Mon 07 Aug 2017

By Eno Adeogun

There are growing concerns for the wellbeing of an Orthodox Church leader in Eritrea who hasn’t been seen in public since he attended mass at a church last month.

His Holiness Abune Antonios, the legitimate Patriarch of the Eritrean Orthodox (Tewahdo) Church, who was evicted from his official residence in 2007, made his first public appearance in over a decade at St Mary’s Cathedral in Asmara on 16th July.

While the patriarch’s reappearance in public sparked hope for his imminent release, Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) was told by several sources that it was in fact “stage-managed”.

Dr Khataza Gondwe, team leader for Africa and the Middle East at CSW, said: “It is clear that the patriarch’s temporary reappearance was a ploy to usher in a successor who would formalise government control of Eritrea’s largest Christian denomination.

“It was also a public relations exercise designed to give a semblance of progress in human rights to countries that would prefer to avoid addressing the crimes against humanity underway in Eritrea, while assisting the country’s efforts to prevent beleaguered citizens from escaping for their own domestic policy reasons.”

The 90 year old patriarch was reportedly moved to another residence with “better” conditions on 19th July, however according to CSW, the new location is surrounded by guards and the he remains unable move about freely.

He was removed from his position and put under house arrest following his opposition to treatment of Medhanie Alem Church in the capital, Asmara. He objected to requests to close the church and excommunicate 3,000 of its members, and the detention of three of its Orthodox priests in November 2004.

Dr Gondwe went on to say: “Our thoughts and prayers are with Patriarch Antonios as he faces increasingly challenging circumstances. We call on members of the international community to seek urgent assurances of his whereabouts and welfare, so that the Eritrean authorities are left in no doubt that they will be held accountable for his continued wellbeing.

“We also reiterate our calls for his unconditional release and reinstatement and for representatives of sisterly Oriental Orthodox churches to visit the patriarch in order to ensure his wellbeing and verify the legitimacy of any reconciliation process.”

Review overview
  • andom August 8, 2017

    Every eritrean knew it was a ploy. The criminal leader and his cromies will never release any prisoner. That would be sucidal to them. Unless the victims sign a document that they committed crimes they never accused of formally which will also not be a crime even if they apologise for it. All what the gangs who could not become states men after 3 decades want is decieve the world and get out off the hook. Nothing else.a

  • Toro August 8, 2017

    I am not surprised by these worthless “al Sawra al Eritrean” leaders barbaric actions. These slavish leaders had been waging cruel wars against Eritrean languages, heritage, the educated and values in the last 50 years mercilessly by attacking our historic proud way of life, elders, mothers, monasteries, monks, customary laws and church leaders incessantly

    What are the fruits of these slavish “al Sawra al Eritrean” leaders? A worthless Eritrea that can not defend its own children that are perishing in the Arab Passage and the Mediterranean Sea.

    • Haben August 9, 2017

      Why you don’t respect your words and get lost of assenna.

  • Almaz August 9, 2017

    Why prejudge. to come up with this type of news; is not a Christian way. Give it the benefit of the doubt just once. Let us see how it progress — so far it seems promising. As for me, I inclined to believe the Eritrean church communiqué version of the event than to this biased and agenda driven obscured organization talk.

  • Sol August 9, 2017

    Almaz, I think your mind is not in its place or stopped to function if not how are you claiming a benefit of the doubt to a regime that for 26 years has daily provied it is a mafia regime nothing less nothing more.

    • berihu August 10, 2017

      Sol aka andom, Haben, amanuel.WediHagher (Wedi rootless Taliban), Kalighe, and so on. Mad dog Abdurobo, just stick to your old rotten Taliban nicks of Khalid, Mohammed, abdu, Bin laden the Somali warlord, and the useless Yemeni nomad saHab gimel. How much Taliban dirty mafia money you paying assenna to get away with your nomadic moslem gimmicks? You are just a jerk and a waste.

      • Aba thimmer August 10, 2017

        Berihu, what a sheet person are you?

        • Sol August 11, 2017

          Ana thinner
          Verify ala Tekhlay is the same Mr many names I think he is a socially sick person his solo purpose is to pollute this respected website as he has done to asmarino but let him be sure that his evil intention will not see the sun

          • Wedi Toronto August 11, 2017

            Tsemam Hade derfu, you are a sick moslem parrot repeating the same old Tekhlay, Teclay craps. Where you ever raped by your Arab slave master posing as the angel Teclay????
            Give it a rest and get a real life but not your normal terrorist Afghan street life!!
            You are not and you will not ever be in the great respected man Mr Teclay’s class or calibre. Find your own retarded Islamic zombies in your recycled barbaric Arab world.

    • Almaz August 12, 2017

      Not in the right mind, you are entitled to your opinion … Just because I refuse to follow your destructive path? You seem(?? I could be wrong) an individual(s) with no clear agenda except a blind repugnance of all and anything PFDJ and to some extent Eritrea. I rather stay on the course of incremental progress and a lot of freedom which is in the state of Eritrea at this moment. Despite some serious issues, I still believe Eritrea is on the right path. Above all I am glad I am true and stay true to myself. Please embark on the journey before it is too late. BUT— question for you why you think Eritrea is a purgatory?


  • Sol August 11, 2017

    The response to Aba thimmer

  • Aba thimmer August 11, 2017

    What makes me angry is when that evil dreamer, nothing else, neither educated nor even a real politician except simply a toy of Andnetawyan, bzemen wube zixememe bitesfatsion zleslese hrar tumbakho aadnaa iyu. never mind brother SOL, we will deal and win.

  • Sol August 12, 2017

    Dear Aba thimmer, thank you for the encouraging and hopeful words.

  • Aron fist August 15, 2017

    እዚ ክግበር ዝቀነየ ድራማ ተዋስኦ ብህግደፍ ንክቡር ፓትሪያርክ ኣንጠንዮስ ከምዝተፈትሐ ኣምሲልካ ኣብ እንዳ ማርያም በተክርስትያን ምቅራብ ንዐኦም ንፓትርያርክ ንምትክኦም ንህግደፍ ተማእዚዙ ዝኸይድ ሓድሽ ፓትርያርክ ንምቅያር እዪ እቲ ሓቂ።

    እንታይ እሞ ፓትርያርክ ኣንጠንዮስ ብሓይሊ እዝጋብሄር እንዶ ጠጦው ኢሎም እነህውለ ዝያዳ 10 ዓመታት ሕጂ ውን ህግደፍ ኣዘንግዖም መፍቶ ጭካንይኦም ከይገብርዎም ንንቅሓሉ ፓትርያርክ ዓሪፎም ክብሉና እኽእሉ እዮም መታን ክትክእዎም።
    ኣስተብህል ህዝበ ክርስትያን ኦርተዶክስ ኤርትራ ህግደፍ ዘይገብሮ ተንኮል የሎን።