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Primate of the Armenian Diocese in Georgia made a speech in the reporting meeting of the State Agency for Religious Issues of Georgia PDF Print E-mail

A1On 7 March, 2018, the presentation of the Report for 2016-2017 of the State Agency for Religious Issues of Georgia took place in Courtyard by Marriott Hotel, in Tbilisi. Representatives of the religious communities in Georgia, representatives of Georgian authorities, international organizations and diplomatic corps were invited to the presentation.1

The presentation was honored with the presence of the Primate of the Armenian Diocese in Georgia, His Grace Bishop Vazgen Mirzakhanyan.

The report was presented by Zaza Vashakhmadze, Chairman of the State Agency for Religious Issues of Georgia. The Chairman of the Agency drew attention to the challenges regarding the freedom of religion, especially on the occupied territories, where the freedom of religion, speech and movement of indigenous population, Georgians, are constantly violated. As well, the Chairman noticed about the voluntary “reconstruction” of Georgian spiritual and cultural monuments, which has the aim to erase the Georgian trace from 2religion.

The Chairman of the Agency also touched upon the undertaken exercises within the framework of the Human rights protection action plan of the Government on the topic of “Secularism and Religious Neutrality” implemented for the staff of various institutions, as well as the activities of the Agency in direction of international relations and other topics.

The Primate of the Armenian Diocese in Georgia made a speech at the reporting meeting. His Grace Bishop Bazgen highly appreciated activities of the State Agency for Religious Issues and noticed that the three-year activity of the Agency has proven the importance of establishing of this institute by the State as the Agency became a 3structure for which religious communities can address their problems for solving. Bishop Vazgen Mirzakhanyan noticed the necessity to expand Agency’s jurisdiction. Bishop Vazgen highlighted the necessity of an equitable and fair approach for religious communities, “so religious communities will not dispute on issues of their historical heritage, but will be devoted to the sacred work in direction of the recovery of the moral atmosphere in the country”, stressed Bishop Vazgen. The latter touched upon the necessity of the development of a new law on religion and introducing appropriate changes in the existing legislation, which would mean giving equal rights and obligations to the religious and national communities in taxation and other spheres.

Heads of several religious organizations in their speeches made an application regarding to the increasing the number of religious communities, which receives partial compensation for the damage caused during the Soviet dictatorial regime.

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