Abune Dioskoros, Eritrean prelate, Died at 80

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Abune Dioskoros was born in 1935, and died on December 21, 2015.

He was the fourth Patriarch of the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church, appointed in April 2007.

This was possible because the regime in Eritrea changed the rules for the appointment, so that the Holy Synod of the church could assign a layman to be the new Patriarch.

The removal of Abune Antonios, the former legal Patriarch, at the behest of the Eritrean government was denounced by Coptic Pope Shenouda III of Alexandria and the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church who have refused to recognize Abune Dioskoros as legitimate Patriarch of Eritrea.

So do several Eritrean churches, particularly in the diaspora and continue to endorse his predecessor.

The former Patriarch Abune Antonios, who was removed from the post after having criticized the Eritrean government for interference in church affairs, has been held under house arrest by the regime in Eritrea since 2005.

Abune Dioskoros passed away at age 80 in December 2015.

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