Privileging the Georgian Orthodox Church over other religious groups in tax and state property legislation has been ruled discriminatory and unconstitutional by Georgia’s Constitutional Court. On Tuesday, the court issued rulings on two cases, both filed by religious minority groups against unequal treatment by the state.
Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili has said connections between the Orthodox Church and the education system should be strengthened. The comments come days after the head of the Church urged the government to consider the importance of a ‘spiritual upbringing’, in the wake of a fatal double stabbing outside a Tbilisi school.
Salakh Mezhiyev, the head of the Spiritual Administration of Muslims of Chechnya said on 24 April that there would be no other branches of Islam present in Chechnya, except Sunni Islam. He alleged that the Iranian embassy in Russia distributed missionary literature in order to recruit new followers in its ranks.
On 5 April, Georgia’s Ministry of Environment revealed the illegal felling and transportation in western Georgia of Colchis box trees — a species of slow-growing, endangered evergreen shrubs. [Read more…]
The Administration of Muslims of All Georgia is supposed to represent the interests of all of Georgia’s Muslims. However, instead of responding to community concerns — it acts in concert with the state. To support the political integration of Georgia’s Muslims it must undertake reforms. [Read more…]
A group of Ingush residents have made an official complaint about the republic’s former Sufi mufti, Isa Khamkhoyev. In a letter addressed to the federal authorities, they argue that the activities of the ex-mufti aggravate the religious situation, and a failure to address the problem could lead to grave consequences.
Muslims in Batumi are in desperate need of more space to practice their religion. However, suspicion, opposition, and Turkophobia from local politicians and Christian Orthodox activists is leaving them out in the cold. [Read more…]
Salafi imam of Pankisi, Bekkhan Pareulidze, sat down with OC Media for an exclusive interview, in which he discussed the region’s religious divisions, the outflow of young Kists to Syria, and the role civil society has to play in the valley. [Read more…]