International Orthodox Christian News

Statement by the Patriarchate of Georgia

As it emerged, initially reports were circulated in the Azerbaijani press claiming that Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia Ilia II had made a statement that contained abusive remarks to Muslims. This is a blatant lie and a far-reaching religious-political provocation. Later it was said additionally that such an idea had been published in the English language official website of the Patriarchate of Georgia and that this report disappeared from the website on 6 April. 

The editorial group of the website of the Patriarchate flatly denies the truthfulness of these reports and considers them to be deliberate actions taken by certain interested groups. 

For our part we would like to state that more than once in crisis situations the Patriarchate of Georgia made statements to condemn violence against Muslims and offensive acts to their religious feelings. Why would the Patriarchate act in a contrary manner now?! It is also unclear why the Patriarchate would want to offend the Muslim representatives of our nation living in the neighbouring countries (Gurjis, Lazis, Fereidanis, Georgians living in Azerbaijan) or the ethnic Georgian and non-ethnic-Georgian Muslims living in Georgia who are devoted children of our country?! 

Those who provided the Azerbaijani agencies with the false reports concerning [the stance of] the Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia and the Patriarchate can only be ill-wishers of the Georgian and the Azerbaijani peoples. The peaceful coexistence of the Muslims and Orthodox Christians in Georgia and the exemplary friendship of their spiritual leaders, or the well-disposition of the Caucasus Region and the entire Islamic world towards the Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia and Georgia in general, is not in the interests of these people. 

We would like to note with gratitude that the spiritual leader of the Caucasus Muslims, Sheikh-ul-Islam Allahshukur Pashazade, rightly assessed the abovementioned incident and described it as a misuse of the modern computer technologies aiming at further destabilization of the social and political situation in Georgia. 

We do believe that the secular and religious authorities of Azerbaijan, as well as the Muslims living in Georgia and beyond its borders will not allow the authors of this provocation to pursue their far-reaching aims. 


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