Friday, August 10- August 24, 2007
On which side will the Church stand?
The Georgian Orthodox Church has not meddled in domestic politics since the Soviet Union collapsed.
The Gamsakhurdia, Shevardnadze and Saakashvili regimes all pledged loyalty to the Georgian Orthodox Church, and vice-versa. Under Shevardnadze's rule a concordat was signed between the state and the Church, recognizing the special role of the Church in Georgia.
Following the Rose Revolution relations between Church and state seem-at least on the surface-to remain unchanged.
Catholicos-Patriarch of Georgia Ilia II always attends state events and participates in official ceremonies; President Saakashvili, Parliamentary Speaker Nino Burjanadze and other key government officials never miss religious celebrations.
But there is certainly "something in the air" that seems to suggest an uncomfortable sense of unease between the Church and the government administration.
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