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Georgia’s Orthodox believers demand democracy2011-08-03 14:40
Georgian authorities apply best efforts to make their NATO and EU friends acknowledge the Transcaucasian republic as equal. For this purpose Tbilisi bureaucrats go against the only consolidating force of the Georgian society - the Orthodox church and personally Catholicos Patriarch Ilia II by adopting amendments to the Civil Code and assigning a legal status to all religious organizations in the country. In order to please the West, Georgian leaders demonstratively ignore massive protests against this religious reform. They simply don't understand that real democracy is not serving the interests of "civilized" empires abroad, but do the will of Georgian people. Now the authorities get a chance to make amends by meeting demands of the Assembly of Orthodox Believers of Georgia.
reform. They simply don't understand that real democracy is not serving the interests of "civilized" empires abroad, but do the will of Georgian people. Now the authorities get a chance to make amends by meeting demands of the Assembly of Orthodox Believers of Georgia.
In early July Georgian parliamentarians adopted amendments to the Civil Code assigning a legal status to all religious associations of the country recognized by the Council of Europe. The event was taken with resentment and patriarch Ilia II asked president Mikheil Saakashvili to veto the decision. Yet, the Georgian leader prefers to ignore opinions of the most respected person in the country when there is a chance to please the West: without hesitation he signed the scandalous law draft. Yet, democratic values that the master of Avlabari palace loves referring to, imply equal attitude to all participants of the social and political process. This is exactly what representatives of the Assembly of Orthodox Believers of Georgia want to bring home to the presumptuous president. They have three demands for Saakashvili to comply with before autumn. The first is to have the Georgian Orthodox Church recognized by the countries whose desires are so willingly fulfilled by the Georgian leader, often in prejudice to the interests of his own country.
Christian activists reasonably believe that if religious organizations of Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan and European countries have a legal status in Georgia and have special privileges, then it is logical to assign similar rights and status to the Georgian church, its ancient and new temples, in the territory of these states.