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Against depravity = against NATO?2013-05-21 15:31
Pogrom of the action against homophobia in the center of Tbilisi has shown how aggressive people can be when they know about support of the Church. But the assessment of these manifestations of religious fanaticism by the very GOC is ambiguous. Part of the clergy says that such actions of "defenders of the Church" can cause a lack of confidence on the part of the population in the institution, which, according to recent polls, is the most popular among the Georgians. The U.S. has already criticized the pogrom at the LGBT action. So is there a danger of religious fundamentalism in Georgia? And can it become an obstacle to the country's way into NATO?
In the history of Georgia there are many dates. People love to divide the history of the country into "before" and "after." For example, before the April 9, 1989 (dispersal of the rally at Government House) and after. Before November 23, 2003 (the "Rose Revolution") and after. And after the crackdown of the action against homophobia in the center of Tbilisi, many began to divide Georgia into "before and after May 17."
For the first time in the modern history of the country trends towards confrontation with the participation of the clergy have become clearly visible. In social networks there was published a huge number of shots showing how some representatives of the Georgian Orthodox Church acted that day clearly inciting the crowd to physical violence against the sexual minorities. On some videos we can even hear obscene words from the lips of people in robes. And a real "hit" is a priest with a stool in his hand, as if ready to throw it at the head of anyone willing to encroach on the Georgian tradition.
It should be noted that the GOC, according to recent surveys conducted by international organizations, enjoyed the greatest confidence among the population of Georgia. Its rating reached 90 percent. However, the clerics say that after the 17th of May, for the first time they felt the unkind views of the people on the street.
A few days after a brawl in the center of Tbilisi, during a sermon at the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity Bishop Jacob said that the priests had been trying to defuse the situation at the action on May 17. However, he noted that people who are guilty of allowing "action of depravity" would be punished. "Let no one think he will go unpunished," Bishop Jacob said. "No one has the right to encroach on our shrines and hold gay pride parades in the capital of Georgia. Of course, we do not support violence. We are not threatening anyone, but those who want to hold a rally in support of sexual minorities should be aware that the Georgian people will give them the appropriate response."
"Protection of the Church," "Protection of the Georgian traditions," "Protection of sacred customs" - this is an incomplete list of slogans of the representatives of the Orthodox Church of Georgia, who particularly "distinguished" on May 17.
But the situation is not also so simple within the Church. A group of people acting aggressively under the cover of the GOC causes a negative reaction from other clerics. They believe that the manifestation of religious fanaticism drives people away from the Church and may ultimately lead to a loss of public confidence of Georgia in the institution. A priest named David in an interview to GeorgiaTimes says that the actions of "defenders of the Church," calling to defend the Christian tradition in any way, including, if necessary, by force of arms - this is a direct path to religious fundamentalism.