GOVERNMENT FORMALLY SACKS ORTHODOX PATRIARCH
- Abune Antonios challenges state-controlled synod�s arbitrary dismissal.
January 18 (Compass) � The government-controlled Holy Synod of the Eritrean Orthodox Church last week served formal notice to Abune Antonios that he is no longer the patriarchal head of the nation�s largest religious body. Patriarch Antonios immediately rejected the notice, announcing that he was excommunicating or suspending those who signed his arbitrary dismissal order. Since last August, when the Eritrean government stripped Antonios of his ecclesiastical authority and forbid him to administrate the affairs of the church, the patriarch has remained under virtual house arrest at his residence in Asmara. Sources confirmed to Compass that if the patriarch continues to challenge the government-orchestrated takeover of his church, most people expect him to be arrested soon.
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