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Georgian Church Slams Law on Religious Groups’ Legal Status

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  • Bill Samsonoff
    http://www.civil.ge/eng/article.php?id=23707 Georgian Church Slams Law on Religious Groups’ Legal Status Civil Georgia, Tbilisi 6/7/2011 A legislative
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 6 6:25 PM
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      http://www.civil.ge/eng/article.php?id=23707

      Georgian Church Slams Law on Religious Groups’ Legal Status

      Civil Georgia, Tbilisi
      6/7/2011

      A legislative amendment allowing religious minority groups to be
      registered as legal entities of public law “contravenes interests of
      both the Church and the country,” the Georgian Orthodox Church said in a
      statement late on July 5.

      “We believe, that this law will bring negative consequences in the
      nearest future and the authorities will be responsible for this,” the
      statement reads.

      Parliament passed the draft amendment to the civil code with its second
      and third, final reading on July 5 amid calls from the Georgian Church
      and opposition parties not to hurry with approval of the proposal in
      order to give more time to public discussions. Another key argument of
      the Georgian Church was that such law should be passed only in parallel
      to granting to the Georgian Orthodox Church the same legal status in
      Georgia’s other neighboring countries – the focus in this particular
      case was done on Armenia.

      In between the parliamentary votes on the issue on July 5, a senior
      ruling party lawmaker Pavle Kublashvili held talks with senior clerics
      from the Georgian Orthodox Church.

      The Georgian Church said in the statement late n July 5, that talks were
      held upon the initiative of the ruling party, which proposed amended
      version of the draft. The draft, however, still contained a provision
      allowing religious minority groups to be registered as legal entities of
      public law, the Patriarchate said.

      “The Patriarchate was still pushing for a proposal to suspend approval
      of the legislative amendment, to hold public debates and to reach a
      public consensus on the issue. Then [the Patriarchate] has offered a
      compromise option taking into account international experience,” the
      statement reads.

      “It was not possible to reach an agreement, which is very regrettable,
      because already passed law contravenes interests of both the Church and
      the country,” the Patriarchate said.
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