Family and friends asked the worldwide Christian community to pray for Abune Antonios, the deposed patriarch of the Eritrean Orthodox Church who was placed under house arrest in 2007.
On Monday, February 27, Antonios, a diabetic in his eighties, collapsed in the small house where he is being kept. He was rushed to Orota Hospital in Asmara and was under tight security.
He has since been returned to the compound, but remains in critical condition. Local Christians fear for his life. Although he was refused medical attention in the past, he is receiving some care since he has been moved from the hospital.
The government of Eritrea deposed Antionios as patriarch in early 2006 to replace him with Abune Dioskoros in May 2007. Antonios was then placed under house arrest.
Patriarchs of the Eritrean Orthodox Church are appointed by the Patriarch of the Egyptian Orthodox Church. It is a lifelong appointment. For this reason, many Eritrean Orthodox Church members do not recognize the government appointment of Dioskoros.
Please pray for Antonios, that God would encourage him and that He would heal him.