The Patriarchate’s Call for Clergy to Refrain from Statements Promoting Polarization

The Orthodox Church of Georgia reacts to the events that have taken place in the country in recent days and calls on the clergy to refrain from publicly taking positions that promote radicalization and polarization in society.

In the statement issued on March 15, the Patriarchate draws attention to the rally held yesterday by the ultra-conservative and far-right party “Conservative Movement”, during which the flag of the European Union was burned, and notes that one of the priests at the rally acted “arbitrarily”, “in violation of Church laws” and “his calls contributed to the polarization of society”.

“It is also unacceptable what we saw yesterday, when threats against citizens were heard along with prayers at the rally. Insulting speeches, curses and, even more, the throwing of stones by a praying person are incompatible with Church ethics,” the statement said.

The Patriarchate also comments on the March 7-9 protests against the draft law on “foreign agents”, noting that “it is absolutely impossible to bring any good to the country by using “Molotov cocktails”, setting fire to law enforcement officers and trying to start a fire in the parliament building, this is absolutely unacceptable”.

“Today Georgia especially needs peace, both internally and internationally. “Any violent act, any attempt at polarization and chaos, any unbalanced call, from whatever side it is dictated, is far from the Church,” the Patriarchate added, “We pray for peace and strength of our country.”

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