On July 9, 2018, Eritrea crossed a new milestone in its history—the signing of the “Joint Declaration of Peace and Friendship” agreement with Ethiopia. In September, the two countries reaffirmed their commitments in Saudi Arabia. The signing of the agreement marked the beginning of renewed engagement within East Africa and the international community after decades of being heavily isolated and militarized, in a constant state of conflict....
Father Thomas Reese, USCIRF Commissioner, testified at the hearing titled, "Eritrea: Root Causes of the Refugee Crisis," held by the Tom Lanto Human Rights Commission on April 18, 2018.
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.
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.
Statement of Chair Thomas J. Reese, S.J.
In support of
Eritrean Orthodox Patriarch Abune Antonios