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Judah in the Georgian government Churches subjected to blackmail2010-08-04 16:11
Georgian officials' hypocrisy toward Armenia seems to be boundless. Last week, the so-called "disputable" temples were proclaimed Georgian to avenge on Yerevan for "wrong" voting on the official Tbilisi's resolutions in UN. Unfortunately, this was reported by Deputy Foreign Minister of Georgia Alexander Nalbandov, an Armenian by birth. The indignant Armenian Church demanded an immediate recovery of all churches, while the Javakh expatriate community declared Nalbandov Armenians' enemy.
True Christians would have never allowed any property to become a subject of strife between two close branches of one religion. However, since the times when nationalism prospered in Georgia, Armenian Apostolic Church (AAC) has been actually deprived of its property - the ancient temples mentioned in all chronicles as Armenian.
It would be all right if the property dispute did not go beyond the limits of relationship with Georgian Orthodox Church (GOC) but the official Tbilisi decided to tie the delicate issues of spiritual life with politics.
This week, deputy foreign minister of Georgia involuntarily revealed the back side of the intrigues around temples that have been for centuries considered Armenian, turned into "disputable" later on and are openly denoted as Georgian today. The point is the political blackmail exercised by Mikhail Saakashvili's government.
According to Alexander Nalbandov, Armenian-Georgian relations could be far more yielding should Armenia vote for resolutions initiated by Georgia in such international organizations as UN.
In fact, it was made clear to Yerevan that the issue of where Armenian believers in Georgia will be baptized, confess and take communion will depend on whether Armenia supports the anti-Russian policy. Squeezed between the alien states, the republic is facing a choice of either caring of its people, or agreeing to a strategic partnership with Russia. No wonder the official Yerevan got embarrassed before the blackmailers, being able to abandon none of the things.
Nalbandov reminded of another formal reason why AAC will never see its churches again: the Church has no legal entity status (it would not be granted by authorities because of a concordat with GOC) and Georgia has got no right to transfer historical monuments to individuals. Georgian patriarchate does not claim ancient Muslim mosques, which are in the same position, while the Armenians' Christian churches have partially passed into GOC's ownership with the official Tbilisi's approval.