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Christmas message from the Patriarch

By Messenger Staff
Monday, January 9
The Georgian Patriarch Ilia II has the biggest level of respect in Georgia as the religious and moral leader of the population. Twice a year, at Christmas and Easter, the Patriarch sends out his epistle to his congregation and the country’s people. People listen attentively to him while politicians look for political messages in the speech. Some people believe that there are coded messages in the Patriarch’s epistles. This time the Patriarch spoke about Georgia’s need for unity, and need for relooking at Georgia’s history in an objective light and clarifying the truth of the country’s great past. In his epistle the Patriarch stated that during its existence Georgia has resisted different attempts to disintegrate the country. However even today the clever enemy aided by unwitting friends want to divide Georgia. However the Patriarch expressed his hope that these wicked attempts will fail and that Georgia will maintain its unity which is based on the diversity and richness of all the different regions of Georgia. The Patriarch expressed his hope that an objective and truthful account of the country’s past should be returned to the history books. Many problems which Georgia today faces are, according to the Patriarch, based on a wrong interpretation of Georgia’s history, in particular the attempts to establish autonomous units within Georgia’s territory, which were unjustly initiated and performed by Bolshevik Russia at the beginning of the 20th century.

Perhaps the Georgian Church will initiate a mobilization of Georgia’s intellectual potential and write a new version of Georgia’s history. Much of the Patriarch’s Epistle was dedicated towards the situation in the information sphere. The Patriarch stated that through using new informative technologies pseudo culture and anti religious propaganda is being carried out, which are based on egocentric values. According to him such developments encourage a consumerism type mentality in a country’s people which eventually degrades and deteriorates the situation around mankind, resulting in many different sorts of catastrophes. From this basis the Patriarch urges the utmost attention to be paid to the education of the young generations. This can be achieved through using new modern technologies to enhance the need for deeper thought and ability to differentiate between good and evil. The information space should be based on traditional Georgian values and should be diluted with modern concepts, this would help modern youth to independently answer today’s challenges and this is the way to rescue Georgia.

This Christmas Epistle was not heard directly by the President of Georgia who celebrated Christmas in Gelati Monastery, Kutaisi. Some commentators considered this symbolic as Saakashvili is transferring the Georgian Parliament from Tbilisi to Kutaisi.

The Patriarch refrains from any direct involvement in politics, whereas Georgian politics, particularly in 2011, tries to interfere directly in the religious life of the Georgian nation.