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Georgian Church Distances Itself from Planned National Congress of Georgians

By Tea Mariamidze
Wednesday, July 4
Patriarchate of the Georgian Orthodox Church has released a statement, distancing itself from the planned "National Congress of Georgian People" to be held at Sports Palace in Tbilisi on July 6.

The patriarchate says the spread information that the congress will be held with the blessing of Metropolitan Iobi, is not true.

According to the Patriarchate, the congress aims at changing the election legislation and its participants will demand early parliamentary and presidential elections.

“This is a political statement and the society has such a right, but we would like to note that the wrong information has been spread as if the congress will be held by the blessing of Metropolitan Iobi (Akiashvili). The metropolitan also denies this information,” the statement reads.

The Patriarchate states that they and Catholicos-Patriarch cannot be associated with such political activities, adding it is the case of secular persons and they decide themselves whether to participate in it.

The information about upcoming congress was released by Radio Pirveli on the basis of the newspaper "Asaval-Dasavali".

In an interview with the newspaper, Saint Kvirike and Ivlita Church priest Father Giorgi Abdushelishvili said that the congress will be held on July 6, 2018, with the support of Metropolitan Iobi.

“The Metropolitan promised the National Council to write the text of the covenant that will be read at the congress. After that, every Georgian participant will make a promise before god, the Georgian people, the nation and the monks,” he said.

“At the congress we will discuss the recent developments in the country and decide who is responsible for the current situation,” the cleric added.

Father Giorgi said if the authorities refuse to fulfill the demands of the National Congress, they will launch large-scale protest rallies.