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Concerns grow after Eritrean Patriarch fails to appear for New Year Blessing

Source: Christian Solidarity Worldwide There are renewed questions regarding the current status of Patriarch Antonios of the Eritrean Orthodox Church, after he failed to deliver the traditional televised Geez New Year blessing on 11 September. Geez New

Source: Christian Solidarity Worldwide

There are renewed questions regarding the current status of Patriarch Antonios of the Eritrean Orthodox Church, after he failed to deliver the traditional televised Geez New Year blessing on 11 September. Geez New Year is marked by the Eritrean Orthodox Church as the start of the year according to the Julian calendar.

The patriarch’s reappearance in public at a church service on 16 July sparked speculation about his imminent release from house arrest and reinstatement to office. He has been under house arrest since January 2007, after being removed from office, in violation of canon law, for repeatedly objecting to government interference in ecclesiastical affairs.

At the church service, the patriarch was not permitted to speak, despite being overheard asking for the opportunity to address the congregation. Instead, he was swiftly ushered off the premises and placed under house arrest at a new location.

Christian Solidarity Worldwide’s sources report that as the clamour to hear from the patriarch grew, a heavily-edited video of the patriarch speaking to “workers of the patriarchate” was released. Fresh photographs of the patriarch blessing selected visitors have also surfaced. However, scepticism surrounding the manner and terms of his release has deepened after the blessing for Geez New Year was delivered by Bishop Lukas, a pro-government cleric who is generally considered to harbour ambitions of being the next patriarch.

According to CSW’s sources, the fact that Patriarch Antonios did not deliver the New Year message “is the biggest sign that he is still not restored fully to his position. Under canon law, if a patriarch is around, a bishop should not give the benediction.” It is also seen as further confirmation that the patriarch’s apparent release was a ruse by the government to offset international criticism by giving the impression of an improvement in human rights, as well as to ease the path to succession for Bishop Lukas.

CSW’s Chief Executive Mervyn Thomas said: “Our thoughts and prayers are with Patriarch Antonios, as he remains surrounded by people who do not have his best interests at heart. There appears to have been no real change in his circumstances, and, despite being able to receive selected visitors, Abune Antonios is neither truly free nor fully reinstated to his rightful office. If he is indeed free, then the Eritrean government must permit the EU Delegation and other members of the international community with a diplomatic presence in Asmara to visit the patriarch and monitor his wellbeing.”

The patriarch is among over 10,000 prisoners of conscience in Eritrea, several hundred of whom are Christians. A surge in repression since May has seen over 200 Christians detained in remote desert areas, following a series of house to house raids in different cities. In August, mother of four Fikadu Debesay, who had been detained in these raids, died from untreated kidney complications. Her husband and 18 year-old son were also detained, leaving the three youngest children alone. In response to the growing persecution, Eritrean Christians are calling for 18 September to be marked as a day of prayer and fasting for their nation.

Mervyn Thomas added: “The 18th of September is significant as it marks the day in 2001 when pro-reform politicians and independent journalists were detained incommunicado and indefinitely in secret detention facilities, where several are thought to have died. That was the day rights and freedoms were curtailed and comprehensive repression began in earnest in Eritrea. CSW counts it a privilege to join in prayer for the nation, and to remember Fikadu Debesay, her family and all the other victims and prisoners of conscience on that day.”

Review overview
  • andom September 18, 2017

    Suppression did not work in rumania, libya, ethiopia, germany, mozambique, etc. It will not work in eritrea either.

    • Lingo September 18, 2017

      But it worked in your savage evil Islamic taliban Afghanistan and barbaric Islamic Saudi Arabia.
      Savage muslim abdu and not beautiful Christian Andom, what’s Christian Habesha to you negif kondaf mushmush rootless aslamay Saho, the whore snake muslim garbage????????
      Shouldn’t you be worried or concerned about your evil Islam’s and evil Sharia laws bullshits???

      • Lingo September 18, 2017

        correction: please read as “negis” and not negif. i.e. if he is not called negif in his Saho!

    • abe September 21, 2017

      There is no suppression of religion in Ethiopia,everyone is free to worship his choice.

  • AHMED SALEH !!! September 18, 2017

    STREET boy
    Is that how your Christian Habesha teaches you
    a manner ?
    Cowards like you are the reason to see this holy
    man suffer at the hands of unbelievers .

    • andom September 18, 2017

      Ahmed salih
      Please ignore this rabish hgdf. He is paid hgdf incase you are not aware- read erimedrek secret info. The mafia in asmara is wasting all the resourses of the country on “karmatat” “weytotat” most of whom are from the sector with identity crisis or unfortunate with little or no education who can be easily decieved with few dollars or nakfa.

      • andom September 18, 2017

        The question is how long is he going to stay in power and what does he want to achieve after 26 yrs of complete failure.

        • Beraki T. September 18, 2017

          andom, the moslem comedian (like “Ali” the Iraqi former defense minister),
          could you do kindly enlighten us your magic and “pure” moslem “Eritrean” history? When did you come to our Eritrea, what was your “original & native” language then, why did you start the most destructive & killer Islam’s war??

        • Sol September 18, 2017

          Socially sick dictators like DIA think that they created everything even themselves so IA can think that God is one of his ignorant servants and he is immortal.

      • Lingo September 18, 2017

        Wedi Halima, the rootless, mushimush savage evil muslim Yemeni/Saho whore snake, tell us then if you are not the savage evil muslim Arab slave dog who is suffering from identity crisis and inferiority complex when you use our beautiful Christian pen names? Please don’t force us to make a monkey or a stinking muslim rat out of you!!!!

    • Lingo September 18, 2017

      It was ‘Lilo’ that rightly asked you how do you know so much about “street boy” lives!! You must’ve surely lived the evil savage Islamic “street boy, street muslim slave dog” in your Yemen!
      Now, what really gets me mad and hysterical is that “baAl Taf kelos baAl Af” sad situation, do I need to translate this into your freaking evil Arabic the savage language of your slave masters.
      I wouldn’t mind if your savage muslim rootless nomad saHab gimel cousin were to use his bin Ladens, Mohammeds, Alis, Halimas, FaTimas or even the deKhalus Suleiman/simon G/aneniya of Hatella/Arabic Guzay, Khaliff bin teKebre,or like yours aregit Kelbi areb ahmidin bin salihidin!!
      Otherwise, we have to simply ‘shame and name’ a thief by his name “a thief”, a liar by his name ” a liar, a criminal shifta/bandit barbaric Islamic ELF mendef by…, a garbage diKhala by his name “a garbage diKhala”, a crook by his name “a savage muslim crook” and so on.
      Your savage Islam shall be a token of shame not just to the Eritrean/Ethiopian who should have absolutely abandoned it long ago but also to every person of peaceful African decent on earth. You can’t improve a person while a muslim. Rather you should cure the person from the CANCER disease evil Islam shit. Now, where were you when our young Christians were being raped, robbed, beheaded and savagely treated by your savage muslim brothers????

      • Beraki T. September 18, 2017

        Indeed brother Lingo,
        Robbery the crown jewel of the business of evil Islam shall end and the sword, evil Islam’s singular tool of production, shall cease to slaughter men (poor Christians) like sheep. However, lets pray that it slaughters the dekalu traitors, sold outs, opportunists “tebeleTsiti” by its evil Islams swords as they truly deserve to be slaughtered, indeed.

        • AHMED SALEH !!! September 18, 2017

          Blood thirsty hate mongers killed
          Amhara & Oromo Christians . And
          now they want to see another bloodshed inside Eritrea .
          Is that your dream ? No way .

          • Beraki T. September 18, 2017

            I know you have a high opinion of yourself but nothing is worse than a stupid dumb ignorant person who thinks he is smart. As a devil moslem bloodshed is your normal way of life. You suck blood you devil moslem drakula animals. You won’t have any gut a man’s real “maAnTa” for a real fight so just sit back and keep washing you filthy evil Islamic asses to be served for Arab masters, in your sad cases, you might be too old and ugly so as you won’t be that attractive, just keep washing your filthy mouth instead! You are a sad moslem shit asshole. Rot in evil Islam hell.

      • AHMED SALEH !!! September 18, 2017

        Street boy
        My parents didn’t raise me to speak
        street boys language because my
        background consist a teaching from
        HOLY BOOK plus moral obligation in
        COMBONI catholic school . Obviosly
        we became acquainted with you trash
        talks which represent the demon in
        your head . By the way who is the
        devil that forced your Christian sisters
        to get raped and humiliated ..
        Cowards can talk but they can’t hide
        from truth . You seem to obtain empty
        pride while your sisters became victims because their big brothers
        refused to shield them from harm .
        For time being go ahead to entertain
        at their expense .
        ELF was your enemy but not to its
        people . So keep Ethiopia to yourself .

        • Lingo September 18, 2017

          Aregit kelbi areb, let me ask you once again, how do you know so much about “street/ghetto boy” lives if you are not one them savage Arab dog?
          Now, don’t you need a special license to be that ignorant/arrogant goHaf?
          The glorified fool and severely damaged for life Arab slave dog, is that the best you can say or come up with, all jumbo-mumbo, halewlows/ajewjows, hatefmetefs/Kolo TiTiko muslim hillacinations?????????????
          In general, I find you to be pompous and laughable. You should freaking stick to the environment where the crafty evil muslim Arab clones lead the certified blind, and the certified blind lead, in turn, the rest of the blind. Speaking of cults, don’t you know that you are licking the sandals of the followers of the biggest cult hoax known to man kind??
          Now, savage evil rootless muslim Arab slave dog, once again, where the fuck were you when your savage evil muslim beast brothers/cousins were savagely raping and beheading our Christian brothers and sisters??
          Please just straight answers without your bullshit muslim shenkolels!!!!

    • amanuel September 20, 2017

      Ahmed salih
      That is what growing up in the streets without family teaches. This guy obviously is not christian not even close (we know how down to earth christians are). He is certainly not raised by his father. He may know his mother but not raised by her either. Some prostitutes try to have babies but loose them to the streets b/s they do not take care of them and we have a lot of them especially in asmara. He is typically one of them. The vulgarity of his words quite manifests his background. So just ignore this rabish street boy who is insulting all of us. Heap of Trash is trash.

  • Yitbarekh September 18, 2017

    Dearest Beraki t and Lingo, please ignore the idiots foreign mercenaries of the barbarian Egyptian/Arabs. These riffraffat terefmerfs remnants of corrupted shit Muslim ELF are life long servants of their Christian hating masters.
    DIA is probably one of the cruelest, blood thirsty (like the Muslim shits), angry, paranoid man, putative and reculse dictators humanity has ever encountered in its history. Nothing compares to this beast guy. Dergue and Haileslassie are history, but DIA is still alive and powerful than ever.
    Let’s all pray for our beloved father Patriach Antonios safety and well being. May the all might God give him all the strength and healing to come out of this hell stronger and healthier. God bless him.

  • alem September 18, 2017

    Meriet enki koynatkin eya. Zehai dima aribatkin.abey kitatwa hiji. Ab ertra bota yeblkin ab ethiopia. Bado terifkin ekin. Nay geza birhanu koina elalkin. Abu endikin abikin. Kibri seb abey tifelta. Shim abo zeybilkin. Ertra tekonet nayertrawyan kitkewin keriba eya. Kinriekin ena nabey kemtebla.

  • tesema September 18, 2017

    be specific with your words not include all people, because some are not part of it.

  • Nahon September 18, 2017

    Dear Eritrean nationalists !

    Please ignore Higdef spies, they are here to keep people busy on sectarian issues.
    As brother Andom said they are paid to do what they are doing, which is nothing but insulting people based on their religion and ethnicity.
    Higdef uses an old Ethiopian tactic of targeting Eritrean Muslims to divide people along religious line. This is a sign that they are losing hope. Divisive sectarian politics has become their last line of defense.
    They are not going to succeed where Imperial Ethiopia failed.
    We will not allow them to divide Eritreans along sectarian lines.

    • brhin September 18, 2017

      Is there any thing that promises them hope. Nothing! They are too old to srvive 5 more years. There absolutely nothing to be proud of after 26 years of failure. Let alone new achievements they have not been able to maintain what was left from colonizers. There is no water running in the tap, no electricity, no bread in the shops or bakery. The only university they inherited from mengistu is dead. The air port is deserted- they lost all the 6 planes they had, the entire technicians and pilots. Rail rod is abandoned and completely destroyed. More importantly, all human resourse is exhausted, destroyed and lost. What can they hope in the remaining 5 years that they are left to live with most of them suffering from Alzthimer disease or high blood pressure or sugar. Nothing! This is why they are frustrated. And u can expect nothing less from frustrated bunch of old and dying criminals.

  • Sol September 18, 2017

    In the past small inner circle of EPLF/PFDJ were playing the game of divide and conquer in a very secret way through whispers but now when they were exposed some individuals of this circle specially in diaspora are trying to pretend that they oppose the mafia regime but in reality they are assigned to do the dirty job of the regime.

    • brhin September 18, 2017

      The best sign of that is to call christians moslem and insult them and for no reason which is bizzare behaviour and a sign of bipolar disorder.

    • Nahon September 18, 2017


      Higdef has lost everything except the spy networks and the criminal Army officers.
      That is why they are in full offensive to divide Eritreans along sectarian fault lines.
      We have to defend our people from their desperate attempt to trigger a civil war.

  • Keshi Mars September 18, 2017

    Hello Assennatat, why you allow some idiots to comment if what they have to opinion is only hate. Please have some kind of mechanism to filter the garbage and trash out. Thanks

  • AHMED SALEH !!! September 19, 2017

    Assenna couldn’t see the damage these agents had
    done to asmarino forum . Unless somebody within
    Assenna foundation step in to take proper decision
    to save it’s credibility , things will change in front of
    eyes to unpleasant ending .
    I am frustrated from silence and negligence we show
    when we observe the beginning of destructive and
    deceiving elements start to appear .
    Genuine Eritreans Who love their country can not tolerate anti-Eritrean sentiments regardless partisan
    politics . Fact is fact and when you see a smoke you
    better prepare to see a fire .
    So do we have to wait until assenna BAYTO had been
    destroyed by some suspicious intruders .
    If we don’t want to learn a lesson from life experience,
    nobody expect ourselves take the blame .

  • alem September 21, 2017

    The patriarch is ready to be slaughtered like eater lamb. The whole issue around his staged reappearance is an evil ploy by the evil hgdf. They will poson him to death and then say he was a free person but died of natural cause b/s he is 90+ years old.