THE CATHOLIC EPARCHY OF SEGHENEITY
The Eparchy of Segheneity was established by the Apostolic Constitution “cum visum est” of 24 February 2012. Its first Eparch is The Right Reverend ABUNE FIKREMARIAM HAGOS. It was erected by splitting the eparchy of Asmara.
The jurisdiction of the Eparchy of Segheneity extends to the two provinces of Eritrea, formerly known as Akeleguzai and Denkel. Its territory consists of 29,499 square kilometres. The total population is estimated to be 850,000, of these 35,557 are catholic. The remaining belong to the Orthodox Christian Church and to Islam. The Christians constitute the majority. But Moslems are numerous in the coastal areas of the Red Sea.
Brief History of the background of the Eparchy of Segheneity
The new Eparchy of Segheneity is established in a territory which included the ancient harbour of Adulis, which may be called the door of Christian civilization of Eritrea and Ethiopia. Besides, the province of Akeleguzai and in particular, Kohaito, Metera, and Keskesse which constitute the South Eastern part of the above mentioned province were the cradle of Christianity in this part of Africa. Thus, before the official introduction of Christianity in the Kingdom of Aksum, by St. Frumentius, “Abune Selama Kessatie Berhan”, during the fourth century, Christianity was introduced in the above mentioned areas at an earlier date.
Furthermore, in 1788, an Orthodox monk who went to Rome and was converted to the catholic faith. This monk studied at the Urban College and was consecrated bishop and made Apostolic Vicar of Adulis. He evangelized the areas of Shumezana and Tigrai for eight years.
Morover, in the year 1839, St. Justin de Jacobis was sent by the Holy See, to Evangelize the then called Abissinia, which included Eritrea and northern Ethiopia. He first went to Adua in the 1839. And later he moved to Guela and made his residence there and was able to convert the Irob in and around Alitena. Up to 1852 he remained there, but since he suffered persecution after persecution in Guela he transferred his residence to Halai, and from here he converted the people of Siah. But, even Halai was not safe from persecution and from this he first tried Hebo then finally he established himself at Akrur. This became the centre of administration up 1920 when Segheneity became the centre of civil administration of the region , it was thought wise to make Segheneity the centre of catholic administration of the region. But before the transfer of the residence from Akrur to Segheneity, in the year 1913, St. Michael school was built which played a key role in formation of civil and religious leaders in the country.