Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Anti-Orthodox Persecution in Eritrea

Third Patriarch of Eritrea, Abune Antonios.

Eritrea has long been a hotbed of intense anti-Christian persecution; apparently slavery existed within living memory. Last August, the "former" Communist government appointed a layman, Mr. Yoftahe Dimetros, as "chief administrator" of the Eritrean Orthodox Church. Since then, the patriarch has lingered under a quasi-house arrest. On January 13, this layman "deposed" the patriarch (!) and confiscated his car, forcing the 78-year-old to walk to church (which he's not allowed to attend, anyway).

Under Oriental Orthodox canon law, a patriarchal appointment is for life, barring gross immorality or disqualifying handicap. Thus far, it appears the faithful are ignoring the Marxist/lay decree. Read Abune Antonios' response.

Abune Antonios is the third patriarch of Eritrea since its establishment in 1998.

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