List of Abunas of Eritrea

Abuna of Eritrea
Coat of arms of the {{}}
Eritrean Cross (identical to the Coptic cross)
Disputed by Antonios
Since 21 December 2015
StyleHis Holiness
First holderPhillipos
Established7 May 1999

The Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church is part of the Oriental Orthodox communion, and it was granted autocephaly by Shenouda III, Pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, in 1994 — a year after Eritrea gained its independence from Ethiopia. Shenouda III ordained five Eritrean high-ranking clergy as Bishops of the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church on 19 June 1994 in Saint Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Cairo. This would allow the formation of a local Holy Synod for Eritrea. Shenouda III also agreed that a newly elected Patriarch would be able to consecrate on his own new bishops and metropolitans for the Eritrean Church. The Patriarch of Eritrea also carries the title of Abuna in line with the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church.

After declaration of autocephaly of the church in 1994, the position of Patriarch of Eritrea remained vacant until 1999 when Abune Phillipos became the first Patriarch of the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church.

Patriarchs of Eritrea[edit]

No. Abuna
Personal name
Portrait Reign Notes
Seat vacant 1994–1999
1 Phillipos
Tewolde Berhan
No image.png 1999–2001
2 Yacob
No image.png 2002–2003
3 Antonios
(born 1929)
No image.png 2004–2007 Deposed by the Eritrean government;[1] under house arrest since January 2007
4 Dioskoros
No image.png 2007–2015 Reign disputed by followers of Abune Antonios[2]
Seat vacant 2015–present

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Orthodox patriarch of Eritrea sacked". 1 February 2006. Archived from the original on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 5 February 2007.
  2. ^ Cole, Ethan (29 May 2007). "Eritrea installs controversial new orthodox patriarch". Christian Post.