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Georgian families ready to adopt Assyrian children

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Monday, April 20
The Minister for Diaspora Issues Gela Dumbadze stressed that up to 500 Georgian families are ready to adopt Assyrian children.

The minister condemned the massacre of Christians in Syria and in Iraq by the radical Muslim Group, Islamic State (IS), and said that Georgia, where nearly 4,000 Assyrians live, announced its readiness to take practical steps of support.

The issue has also been discussed at the International Forum of Religion and Peace in Batumi.

During the conference, U.S. Ambassador to Georgia Richard Norland declared the Georgian initiative over the Syrian children as excellent and stressed that Georgia can be proud of its traditional religious tolerance.

“The issue of religious tolerance and dialogue has never been more important than today. Georgia is part of this broad dialogue,” Norland said.

Norland emphasized the importance of the freedom of religious and mentioned that not only Christians are being persecuted by the IS tyranny.

He said that the international community should take steps to protect the people and ensure their return to their homes timely.

Meanwhile parliament discussed during its first reading, legislative amendments linked to participation in and range of other activities related to illegal armed groups, as well as the criminalization traveling for the purpose of terrorism.

The amendments came after the flow of the young men from Georgia’s Muslim populated Pankisi Gorge to Syria and Iraq.

According to the figures voiced by Georgian officials about 100 men from Pankisi have left for Syria to fight for the IS there, 11 of them have already been killed.

According to the bill that was first aired in January 2015 and revised since then, joining and/or participating in an illegal formation or receiving training from such groups, recruiting or training a person with the purpose of joining, participating or otherwise promoting the activities of such illegal formations will be punishable with imprisonment from 3 to 7 years.