Thursday, July 14, 2011

Georgian Orthodox Church Concerned by Potential Return of Churches to Armenians

Despite calls from the Georgian Orthodox Church for calm, Georgia's large Armenian minority remains tense in the aftermath of this past weekend's large demonstrations against a law allowing the registration of the Armenian Orthodox Church in Georgia and four other minority religious organizations. While the head of the Armenian Orthodox Church in Georgia refused to comment on recent events, other representatives of Georgia's Armenian community who were interviewed said that most of the hysteria over the new law was whipped up by the hierarchy and clergy of the Georgian Orthodox Church, noting that of the six historic Armenian Orthodox churches in Tbilisi only two were still in use, whilst two others lay in ruins and two more had been appropriated by the Georgian Orthodox Church, which may now under the terms of the new law have to return them to the Church of Armenia. (In total there are more than 300 Armenian Orthodox churches in Georgia, of which only 40 are currently used by the Armenian Orthodox Church.) More here.

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