Abune Dioskoros

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His Holiness Abune

Patriarch of the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church (Disputed)
ChurchEritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church
AppointedApril 2007
PredecessorAbune Antonios
Successorsede vacante
Personal details
DiedDecember 21, 2015(2015-12-21) (aged 77–78)
DenominationEritrean Orthodox
Previous postBishop of the Seraye district of the Orthodox Church

Abune Dioskoros (Dioskoros Hagos; 1937 – 21 December 2015)[1][2] was the fourth Patriarch of the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church, appointed in April 2007.[3]

Abune Dioskoros' appointment was made 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.[4] 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,[5] 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.[4]

In October 2014 the Union of Eritrean Monasteries issued a decree excommunicating Dioskoros' governmental allies, the priest Habtom Russom Habte and the layman Yoftahe Dimetros Gebre-mariam, citing a long list of alleged abuses during their administration during Doskoros' reign. However Abune Dioskoros was not directly excommunicated in the process.[6] The Eritrean Government accused several monks of being a major force behind the excommunication letter. A number of the monks allegedly involved decided to escape and take refuge in Ethiopia.

Dioskoros died on 21 December 2015. The position of Patriarch of the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church since his death falls vacant and remains disputed, although calls continue to free Abune Antonios from house arrest and to reinstate him as legal patriarch of the church.


  1. ^ "His Holiness Abune Dioskorios Anointed as 4th Patriarch of the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahdo Church". Shabait. 28 May 2007.
  2. ^ "Eritrean Orthodox Christian patriarch dies: government". Daily Mail. 22 December 2015. Retrieved 22 December 2015.
  3. ^ "New Eritrean patriarch appointed". Shabait. 25 April 2007.
  4. ^ a b Cole, Ethan (29 May 2007). "Eritrea installs controversial new orthodox patriarch". Christian Post.
  5. ^ Cole, Ethan (30 January 2008). "Eritrea Hides Ex-Orthodox Head from U.S. Officials". Christian Post.
  6. ^ "Excommunication Notice from the Union of Eritrean Orthodox Monasteries". The Orthodox Church News. 1 November 2014. Retrieved 1 November 2014.
Religious titles
Preceded by
Abune Antonios

Patriarch of the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church

Succeeded by