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The officially recognized Eritrean Orthodox Church fired one of its leaders, Abune Antonios, for “undisclosed reasons.” Antonios was an outspoken opponent of government interference in the affairs of the church.

Asmarino Independent News – The Patriarch of the Orthodox Tewahedo Church of Eritrea, H.H. Abune Antonios, has been fired (frozen) from his job

According to the letter dated 9/8/2005 (3/12/ 1997 EC – church calendar) that was smuggled out of the office of the Patriarchy, Abune Antonios has been dismissed from his responsibility for undisclosed reasons. He is allowed to lead a spiritual life but prohibited from playing any administrative roles in the daily operation of the Church. The letter stated that the congress of the Holy Synod that was held on 6-7 August 2005 (11 Hamle 1997 EC Church Calendar) decided that Abune Antonios should be ‘frozen’. The act of ‘freezing’ is prevalent in government circles. Normally, those who fall out of the government’s favor are forced to leave unceremoniously and are made to face the humiliation that comes with the act.

Abune Antonios has dared to challenge the government from interfering in the administration of the patriarchy via the government’s elected official, Mr Yeftehe Dimetros. Officials in Orthodox Tewahedo Church knew this was coming as it was becoming clearer by the day that Abune Antonios was challenging the government on spiritual grounds…[Go To Full Story]