Reception dedicated to the International Day for Tolerance at the Armenian Diocese in Georgia

November 16 is the International Day for Tolerance, which has been celebrated by UNESCO since 1995. On that day, on the initiative of the State Agency for Religious Issues of Georgia, as an expression of mutual respect, love, and appreciation of different religious dioceses and communities, a meeting and reception of Intergroup members is organized every year in dioceses and religious organizations.

On November 16, 2023, the  International Day for Tolerance was specially celebrated at the Diocese of Armenian Apostolic Holy Church in Georgia. The Primate of the Armenian Diocese in Georgia hosted leaders and representatives of various religious organizations in Georgia. Overall 14 religious organizations operating in Georgia were represented.

After the tour at the Saint Etchmiadzin church in Avlabari, Tbilisi, the guests were hosted by Zaza Vashakhmadze, Chairman of the State Agency for Religious Issues of Georgia, at the "Hayartun" Center of the Armenian Diocese.

The Georgian Orthodox Church, Muslim Department, Hebrew Diocese, Yezidi Spiritual Council, Evangelical-Protestant Church in Georgia, Evangelical Church in Georgia, Latin-Catholic Department, Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Georgia, Union of International Baptist Churches in Tbilisi, Salvation Army, 7th-day Adventists and representatives and leaders of other faiths took their seats in the hall. In attendance was Rev. Father Archimandrite Nshan Hmayakyan, General Prelate at Samtskhe-Javakheti and Tsalka’s General Prelacy,

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His Grace Bishop Kirakos Davtyan, Primate of the Armenian Diocese in Georgia welcomed the guests and congratulated them on the occasion of the International Day for Tolerance. His Grace Bishop Kirakos Davtyan valued the activity of the Armenian Diocese in Georgia, which has been operating in Georgia since the 12th century, and while maintaining its religious, cultural and educational diversity, has always been a part of the Christian faith of Georgia. He highlighted the role of the State Agency for Religious Issues of Georgia in the formation of a tolerant environment and special relations between religious organizations.

Zaza Vashakhmadze, Chairman of the State Agency for Religious Issues of Georgia congratulated the representatives of religious organizations on the Day for Tolerance. He emphasized the traditionally existing tolerant environment in Georgia and mentioned that despite modern challenges, it is the duty of religious communities to further deepen and support the development and strengthening of these relations. The Chairman of the State Agency for Religious Issues of Georgia expressed his appreciation to the Primate of the Armenian Diocese in Georiga for participating in the initiative of the State Agency and for his hospitality, as well as congratulating him on the occasion of his ordination as a bishop by His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians wishing him to continue to lead the Armenian Diocese in Georgia pursuing new achievements, which has a rich history and traditions and occupies a valuable place in the spiritual history of Georgia.

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Speaking about love, respect, and the fact of being sons of the same God, but with different faiths, the representatives of different religious denominations delivered their speeches with different stories and fables.

On the initiative of the State Agency for Religious Issues of Georgia, the International Day for Tolerance has been celebrated in Georgia in this format since 2016; the first host was the Georgian Orthodox Church.

The Makar Ekmalyan Choir of the Cathedral of Saint George, under the direction of choirmaster Svetlana Tatoeva and pianist Karen Mirzoyan, duduk players Ivane Mkrtchyan and Aren Harutyunyan, violinist Alex Akopyan and pianist Anri Akopyan, drummer Armen Papikyan made the event beautiful with their brilliant performances and created a festive atmosphere.

The wonderful conclusion of the event was the performance of the immortal Sayat-Nova's works by the gifted soloist Aida Bazoyan in Armenian and Georgian languages. The beautiful event dedicated to the Day for Tolerance at the Armenian Diocese in Georgia ended with bright impressions and a joyful festive mood.

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