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State Department Names the World’s Worst Violators of Religious Freedom

USCIRF welcomed the State Department’s naming of “Countries of Particular Concern” (CPCs) for severe religious freedom violations.  This group comprises nations that violate religious freedom in a “systematic, ongoing, egregious” manner and includes Burma, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.

Religion News Service - Stripped of his title and illegally replaced, Eritrea’s spiritual leader languishes in detention

Commissioner Thomas J. Reese, S.J.: I implore the Eritrean government to do the right thing: Release Patriarch Antonios. Allow him to take his duly elected position as the head of the Eritrean Orthodox Church and let the Eritrean people exercise their right to freedom of religion or belief.

Patriarch Abune Antonios

Country: Eritrea

Key Fact: Patriarch of the Eritrean Orthodox Church 

Detained Since: May 27, 2007 

Biography: Patriarch Abune Antonios was born on July 12, 1927, in Himberti, a town north of the Eritrean capital, Asmara. He was ordained as the third Patriarch of the Eritrean Orthodox Tawahedo Church in 2004.


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