A Declaration from Archbishop Malkhaz Songhulashvili – On Homophobia in Georgia

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Archbishop of Georgia’s Press Service

May 17th is International Day against Homophobia (IDAHO), celebrated around the world with LGBTQ rights rallies. An attempt to observe the day against homophobia in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi ended in rioting as hostile protesters attacked participants and police lines crumbled.  Thousands of anti-gay protesters inspired, organised and led by the leadership of the Georgian Orthodox Patriarchate (by Corespiskopos – Deputy Patriarch Iakob and senior clergy of Tbilisi Diocese) attacked a group  of activists attempting to hold 30 minutes’ – long silent protest  in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi.  The video footage of the event has shaken thousands of people to their core. The couple of dozen peaceful activists had to be rescued by police and bussed out of the city centre for their safety. The mob descended on the bus with such ferocity and primordial anger that it was lucky that they escaped with their lives. Dozens of people were injured, including journalists and police officers trying to escort people away from the trouble.  For your information:

http://www.eurasiareview.com/17052013-georgia-anti-gay-riot-rocks-tbilisi-capital/

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/05/17/1209903/-Terrifying-video-of-rioters-attacking-gay-pride-participants-in-Tbilisi#

http://republic-of-gilead.blogspot.com/2013/05/georgia-anti-gay-orthodox-protesters.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/20/world/europe/georgian-officials-react-slowly-to-anti-gay-attack.html?_r=0

Two days before the violence, Archbishop Malkhaz Songulashvili of the Evangelical Baptist Church of Georgia issued a declaration which was published and widely circulated.  Sadly, this declaration was not heard by the Orthodox hierarchy and clergy, who were in charge of the organized violence. So far no bishops, priests or laity have been disciplined by the church for their participation in the violence. Continue reading “A Declaration from Archbishop Malkhaz Songhulashvili – On Homophobia in Georgia”