Georgia: Minority Faiths Face Bureaucratic Hurdles

February 20, 2009

Author: Fati Mamiashvili

Source: Institute for War & Peace Reporting

Statistics shows violence against religious minorities in Georgia was practically non-existent last year, but believers say bureaucrats are making life hard for everyone but the Orthodox Church.

Most Georgians belong to the Orthodox Church, however in some regions, particularly near the borders with Turkey and Armenia, there are significant numbers of Muslims and Christians from Armenia’s Apostolic Church.

Although they have lived in the region for centuries, members of minority faiths say they struggle to have their legal rights to free worship recognised. While they are free to operate by law, they say they face bureaucratic discrimination.