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Georgia: Could the Orthodox Church Become a Font of Intolerance?

The Georgian Orthodox Church has been growing over the past two decades under the leadership of the 80-year-old patriarch, Ilia II. (Photo: Molly Corso)

In the two-plus decades since the Soviet collapse, the Georgian Orthodox Church has emerged as one of the South Caucasus country’s most respected and influential institutions. But some observers and theologians now worry that ultra-conservative clerics within the Church are gaining too much power.

The growing sway of fundamentalist and nationalist elements within the Church was on full display on May 17, when a clergy-led mob attacked gay-rights demonstrators in Tbilisi.

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Molly Corso is a freelance journalist who also works as editor of Investor.ge, a monthly publication by the American Chamber of Commerce in Georgia.

Georgia: Could the Orthodox Church Become a Font of Intolerance?

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