Wednesday, January 21, 2015

USCIRF Calls for Release of Eritrean Orthodox Patriarch Abune Antonios

(Jan 21, 2014, (WASHINGTON, D.C.))--This January marks the eighth anniversary of the illegal removal of Eritrean Orthodox Patriarch Abune Antonios from his position as head of the Eritrean Orthodox Church, the country’s largest religious community.

“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. Read more from USCIRF »

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