News and events

Georgian Orthodox Church is the most influential institution in the country ( 09.03.2009 )

Since one year ago, as the Head of the Georgian Orthodox Church Elijah II declared his intention to be a Godfather to every new born third child in the families around the country, even the biggest optimist couldn’t expect that such promise will cause a demographic miracle in Georgia.

Only one year after his statement, the results are evident. The birthrate in Georgia has grown for 20%, and during the year Patriarch Elijah II became a Godfather to more than 2000 new born children.

The fact alone, shows that in two decades of independence of Georgia, the Orthodox Church is the most influential institution in the country. Believers in the country salute the Church in its efforts to return the country to its spiritual roots, hidden in the early Christianity (Georgia, together with Armenia are officially the first countries in the world that have accepted Christianity). In Georgia, divided in contradictory and separatism, the Orthodox Church appeared to be the only force, able to unite the people.

“Today, our Church is the most influential institution in Georgia, and such influence continues to grow” – stated Mr. George Hutsishvilli, Director of the Centre for Understanding and Resolving the Conflicts in Tbilisi.      

According to the examinations, that have been conveyed last year, 87% of all the tested Georgians consider the Church as an institution with the highest confidence. In comparison to this, the percentage of those with the answer in 2003 was only 39%.

This examination of the public opinion showed also that Patriarch Elijah II has the highest rate of reputation with nearly 95% social support, while the Georgian President Saakashvilli enjoys barely 33% of such support of the people.

Representative of the Patriarchy, father David Sharesenidze stated this tendency of increasing the influence and the confidence in Georgian Church are a logic consequence of the era of Soviet regressions.

“The “hunger” to religion of the Georgian people during the Soviet governing of the country, today is the reason why people gather around the Church” – he added. The last events in Georgia also prove the power and the influence of the Church and the Patriarch. When the collision between the police and the anti-state demonstrators have taken place in November 2007, Patriarch Elijah came out as a mediator and succeeded to calm the fury. The same happened after the opening of the Russian-Georgian front in August last year. Patriarch Elijah II was the negotiator in Moscow, and the only Georgian leader who has received and had talks “face to face” with the Russian President, Mr. Medvedev.

The Government of Georgia also supports the Church. The administration of President Saakashvilli increased the budged for the Church for almost three times in total, disposing around 15 million USD from the state budget (which is a huge sum for Georgia, taking the economic conditions of the country in consideration), and 180.000 USD were particularly deducted from the budged for the development of the Church TV Channel.          



Source: Дверибг.нет