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Georgia: Female Bishop Offers Model for Religious Tolerance

Rusudan Gotsiridze, a woman in the leadership of the Georgian Evangelical Baptist Church, stands out in Georgia. (Photo: Marika Kochiashvili)

Thirty-seven-year-old Rusudan Gotsiridze is not a man with a beard, and never wears a skufia, a traditional Christian vestment. Nonetheless, she is an ordained bishop living in Georgia, a country where, for nearly 1,700 years, the priesthood was an exclusively male domain.

“I was once asked if my husband wears a beard because I cannot grow one,” Gotsiridze recounted with a laugh. “Even some friends poke fun at me by calling me ‘Father.’”    

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Giorgi Lomsadze is a journalist based in Tbilisi. He is a frequent contributor to Eurasianet's Tamada Tales blog.

Georgia: Female Bishop Offers Model for Religious Tolerance

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