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Survey Shows Attitude towards Church Worsens in Georgia

By Tea Mariamidze
Monday, May 14
The results of the recent public opinion survey, published by the Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) Transparency International (TI) Georgia, showed that the attitude of Georgians towards the Orthodox Church has worsened in recent years.

48% of the respondents stated that their attitude towards the Patriarchate has changed negatively, while it has changed positively for 28% and has not changed at all for 16% of the respondents.

Moreover, 40% believe that internal events of the Church should be a subject of public discussions. 52 percent disagreed.

61% think that the Patriarchate should be financed from the state budget and 30% is against the funding from the state budget of the Patriarchate.

However, the most trusted institution turned out to be the Georgian Orthodox Church (53%). It is more trusted than the parliament, the president and the prime minister.

In terms of trust, the church is followed by teachers (31%), doctors (19%) and the president (19%) public trust towards Parliament and the judiciary is significantly low as only 17% and 15% of the respondents trust them respectively.

The research covered corruption-related issues, trust towards the state and public institutions, performance of the main bodies of the government, significant public policy issues, work of the media and the NGOs as well.

58% of the respondents believe that the judiciary is under the influence of the ruling party, while 51% think that is not impartial and 80% say that the judges who have been pressured into making unjust decisions in the past must not work in the judiciary.

Furthermore, the majority of respondents believe that the Prosecutorís Office (57%), the Ministry of Internal Affairs (55%) and the State Security Service (55%) serve the interests of the ruling party Georgian Dream (GD).

The survey was conducted by the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC). CRRC held 1843 face-to-face interviews with Georgian citizens on March 3-28, 2018. The margin of error in the survey results is 2.8%.