The Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church in Georgia made a tough statement after the beating of Armenian clerics at the Holy Etchmiadzin Church in the Georgian capital.
Susanna Khachatryan, Head of the Press Service of the Diocese, says the statement is not as tough as it might seem. She recalls other instances of intolerances. For example, a 10-year-old Armenian boy was not allowed to pray in a Georgian church.
On July 19, clerics at the Holy Etchmiadzin Church in Tbilisi were attacked in what was called a racially-motivated assault by the Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church of Georgia in an announcement issued immediately after the incident. According to the statement, expressing disrespectful and blasphemous remarks, attacked the Holy Etchmiadzin Armenian Church of the Havlabar district in Tbilisi, Georgia. As a result of the attack, the Parish Priest, Rev. Fr. Manuk Zeynalyan; representatives of the Armenian Diocese of Georgia, as well Armenian faithful who were attending church, received numerous physical injuries.
The Holy See of Etchmiadzin issued a statement after the incident expressing concern over the attacks and denouncing ethnic and religious intolerance.
“This provocative assault is a result of the anti-Armenian sentiments spread by different organizations and individuals, including some clergymen, in Georgia,” the Mother See said in a statement.
“Such radical expressions do not befit the spirit of friendly relations between the Armenian and Georgian peoples, which is one of the precious achievements of our common past,” the statement read.
Etchmiadzin said it expected the culprits to be prosecuted and urged the Georgian authorities to guarantee the safety of Armenian citizens and the Armenian Church in Georgia.
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