March for “Family Purity and Respect for Parents”

On May 17, the Georgian Orthodox Church celebrated the Day of “Family Purity and Respect for Parents” with gatherings across Georgia, including in the capital Tbilisi. The celebration commenced at Kashveti Church on Rustaveli Avenue, continuing in a procession to the Holy Trinity Church, the city’s main cathedral.

Key figures from the ruling Georgian Dream party, including Prime Minister Irakli Kobakhidze and Parliament Speaker Shalva Papuashvili, as well as Tbilisi Mayor Kakha Kaladze, joined the march, underscoring the government’s support. Meanwhile, on May 15, the government officially declared the day a national holiday and an official day-off in 2024.

On May 17, 2013, LGBT groups gathered to celebrate the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT) with a march, but were violently attacked by members of a violent mob, including clergy. The following year, Patriarch Ilia II of the Georgian Orthodox Church proclaimed May 17 as Family Purity Day which Georgia has been been marking since, for the last 10 years.

This time Metropolitan Shio Mujiri, the Georgian Patriarch’s locum tenens addressed the crowd on the Rustaveli avenue. Among other things, he reacted to the ongoing developments around the adopted Foreign Agents Bill, saying: “We have been following with great sadness the controversy, the tension that has arisen and which was and is connected to the adoption of the “Transparency Law” by our Parliament. Among the proponents and opponents of this law there are members of the Church, there are our spiritual children, among them many young people. That’s why we are particularly saddened by all this and we often think about how to overcome this confrontation in our country,” he said, adding that “only love can create a wonderful atmosphere of agreement and unanimity among people.”

Thousands of citizens have been protesting continuously against the already passed Foreign Agents Law. However, no protests are planned for today to avoid possible clashes.

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This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)


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