/PanARMENIAN.Net/ The church expansion of the Georgian states has a long record, chairman of Mitq analytical center said.
“The attempts to appropriate the Armenian Church of Saint Norashen and ‘georgify’ the Armenian Churches in Samtskhe Javakheti are not accidental,” Eduard Abrahamyan told a PanARMENIAN.Net reporter.
“Georgia’s territorial expansion was exercised not only through conquests but also through church expansion over the Albanians, Vaynakh, Megrel, Ossetian, Armenian and Abkhazian population under Georgia’s influence. There are numerous examples of complete assimilation: Udins and Gells in Kakhetia, Armenians in Tayk, Kakhetia, Kartli and Meskhetia,” he said.
“Consequently, the Georgian Orthodox Church has always been an extra force for dissimilating the Georgian state system over neighbors via granting finances to the communities which accepted the Georgian orthodoxy,” he added.
Today, we witness developed and modernized Georgian church expansion over the neighbors, according to the Armenian expert.
“Georgia pursues aggressive church policy toward Armenia as well. Despite continuous oppression of Georgian Armenians, the GOC has recently announced establishment of Lori-Tashir Church in Lori, which is “a legal Georgian territory,” he said.
“Georgia lays claims to 7 Churches and monasteries in Sanahin, Kobayra, Akhtala, Haghpat, Khorakert and Khuchapavank as well as to Russian Orthodox Church in Vanadzor and other historical and religious monuments in Lori.”
Georgian clergymen often put up tents in surroundings of these churches to prevent attendance of the holy places. Under the circumstances, the Armenian leadership jointly with the passive AAC should develop a plan to protect Armenian cultural and religious heritage,” Abrahamyan concluded.
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