Armenian Ambassador Meets Georgian Patriarch to Discuss Religious Rights

patriarch-ilya

Catholicos-Patriarch Ilia II

TBILISI (Lragir)—Armenia’s Ambassador to Georgia met Thursday with the Georgia’s spiritual leader, Catholicos-Patriarch Ilia II to discuss the deteriorating situation of Armenian religious sites and monuments in the country.

Accompanying ambassador Hrach Silvanyan was the leader of the Georgian Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church, Vazgen Mirzakhanyan.

On the agenda of their meeting was a discussion of the status of the Armenian Apostolic Church in Georgia and the preservation and renovation of Armenian monuments and churches in Georgia.

The Catholicos-Patriach assured Silvanyan and Mirzakhanyan that their concerns would be “effectively solved” through the joint efforts of Georgia’s religious and secular authorities.

He also stressed the importance of the development of the Armenian-Georgian relations and invited Armenian Catholicos Karekin II to Georgia for talks.

The meeting comes two weeks after street demonstrations in Yerevan condemned the Georgian government for neglect, discrimination, and religious intolerance toward Armenian churches and monuments in Georgia.

Earlier in November a major wall of the medieval Saint Gevorg Mughni Church in Tbilisi collapsed because of deterioration. The state had used the church as a museum until the early 90s, when it closed it permanently.

Tbilisi denies the Armenian Apostolic Church the right to officially register as an active diocese and as such prevents. Many of its churches have been confiscated and closed down by the state.  mong the 29 Armenian Churches functioning in Tbilisi in the beginning of the 20th-Century, only 1 remains active.

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