Armenian Diocese of Georgia Condemns Official for Demeaning Church

TBILISI (Combined Sources)—The Armenian Apostolic Church of Georgia on Wednesday condemned Georgia’s Deputy Minister of Reintegration for refusing to acknowledge the Armenian Diocese of Georgia during a conference held a day earlier.  The Georgian official’s remarks, the Church said, are undemocratic and violate the human rights and dignity of the country’s Armenian minority, Armenian Public Radio reported.

Speaking at a conference Tuesday examining the problems and perspectives of the Armenian Community of Tbilisi, Deputy Minister of Reintegration Yelena Tevdoradze brazenly told her Armenian audience that the Armenian Apostolic Church “will never be granted an official status” and “will only be a so-called branch in Georgia.”

“I repeat, we will not recognize the Church of Echmiadzin,” Tevdoradze reiterated before storming out of the hall where the conference was taking place, ArmRadio said.

Responding to the outburst, the Armenian Apostolic Church released a statement Wednesday articulating the growing concerns of the Armenian community regarding their religious freedoms.

“The Deputy Minister’s statement is worrisome and not understandable to the Armenian community, especially if we take into consideration that Minister for Reintegration Temur Yakobashvili has had a number of meetings with representatives of traditional religious communities, including the leader of the Georgian Diocese,” the statement said, adding that Yakobashvili had assured the Church the government would amend the Civil Code to grant legal status to the religious communities of Georgia.

“Such stance of Mrs. Tevdoradze does not derive from the principles of Georgia’s democratic policy, since it violates human rights and the dignity of the Armenian community, as well as other traditional religious communities of the country,” the statement continued. “Moreover, it is against even the official position of Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia Ilia II, who is in favor of giving the Armenian Apostolic Church in Georgia and other traditional religious entities the status of a public legal entity.”

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Georgian Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church, along with other religious denominations, has repeatedly demanded the Georgian Government grant legal status to the Armenian churches in Georgia.

“It’s a pity that twenty years after independence the status of religious communities remains unsolved,” the statement said.

According to ArmeniaNow.com, Tevdoradze remarks on Tuesday followed an argument with the Vatican’s Apostolic Nuncio to Georgia, Archbishop Claudio Gugerotti. The Archbishop criticized the deputy minister’s position, saying she was making statements “for the sake of suggesting something, without going deep into the essence of the problem.”

“You will never come across such a practice in the world when a government suggests a traditional church to be registered as a club or an NGO,” the Catholic clergyman was quoted by RFE/RL’s Armenian service as saying.

Meanwhile, the Catholicos of All Armenians, Karekin II, has for the second time, postponed his visit to Georgia. According to Echmiadzin, the visit has been pushed back because the Georgian Catholicos-Patriarch is ill. Some Armenian media outlets, however, speculate the postponement was due to the deputy minister’s remarks.

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8 Comments

  1. Zareh said:

    The time will come when the so-called Georgians (with a friend like this who needs enemies) will be taught a lesson they will never forget, and when that day comes Yelena Tevdoradze will eat her words.

  2. Armen said:

    Georgians are Turks, the have the same character, no wonder they get along so well, they both hate Armenian culture and fear a strong Armenian state.

  3. Pingback: Armenian Diocese of Georgia Condemns Official for Demeaning Church - News | Orthodoxy Cognate PAGE

  4. Arto T. said:

    The Georgians are a very strange people indeed. They seem somehow jealous of us even with all the calamities befallen us which they have been able to avoid.

    I remember telling a Georgian in 2001 about our 1700th year commemoration of our nation accepting Christianity. He turned around and nonchalantly said “Oh we commemorated our 1700th anniversary two years earlier”.

    They won’t even accept the fact that Mesrob Mashtots had a hand in creating their alphabet even when every linguistic scholar says so.

    • Abbe said:

      They are just jelous.
      Even after all problems we have had through out our history we are still better then them even though Armenia is very small but still more important.
      Still, it is their choise.

  5. Tony said:

    Yelena Tevdoradze, Georgian Deputy Minister of Reintegration is a racist woman. She has to be suspended from her post. I guess, her boss have the same mindset that hates Armenians. In my view, Mikheil Saakashvili is behind all these; it shows that he is an intolerant and a racist president. When the timing is right, registered Armenian voters should work with the opposition political parties in Georgia and vote him out of office for good.

  6. Jay said:

    Georgian people have a painful attitude and animosity towards Armenian people for two obvious reasons:

    1- Creation of their 33 letter alphabet by,Mesrob Mashtots….And

    2- Their resentment of the Armenians being the first nation to accept Christianity.( According to their history,Georgians are the first nation to accept Christianity.) And folks having said that I feel obligated to say that I’mI don’t practice religion..

  7. ARA said:

    I have traveled all over the former USSR, livd in Erevan as an aspirant student and bee nall over Georgia and parts of Aeerbejian= Many of the intellectuals and wealth and creative sides of life are ARMENIAN owned and directed-the Georgians always and will hold a thumb on us because they rule-but we have smarts and culture that few of them have. Look at what Stalin did to hem and others. They are like Turks-most of them and we need to be careful- they got the upperhand because of geography. Russia will not give them too much rope-they will not even let us-AMERICA-USA-in their too powerfully-cuz the smarts of the Georgians are not in their brains-now or historically. We need more warrriors to take back what is ours!!!!!!!

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