Statement of Public Defender’s Council of Religions

We, member of the Council of Religions of the Public Defender of Georgia, express our concern over the latest developments in Georgia. Insult and discrimination on religious grounds against people or religious communities, as well as manifestations of persecution, are disturbing.

Our society reacted to the wave of anti-Semitic speeches of the clergy almost silently and without criticism. However, it must be said that, fortunately, there were certain persons and organizations who clearly condemned the hate rhetoric against the Jewish nation and spoke about the tradition of Georgian-Jewish peaceful coexistence and mutual respect.

The violence against Muslims due to the opening of a Muslim worship place in the village of Buknari, Chokhatauri district, is alarming. Violence is absolutely unacceptable against people who want to pray and have a place of worship.

We, the religious organizations and members of the Council of Religions, call on the authorities to:

Completely eliminate the offence committed on religious grounds in the village of Buknari;

Unconditionally ensure the right of every person to have a place of worship, to pray in his/her temple or mosque and to follow religious rules, and ensure the safety of participation in religious life;

Have a clear, unambiguous, anti-discrimination and state approach to xenophobia, hate speech and manifestations of anti-Semitism, try to establish the culture of tolerance.

Signatory religious associations:

Supreme Religious Administration of Georgia's All Muslims

Georgian Muslims Union

Apostolic Administration of the Latin Catholics of the Transcaucasia

Evangelical Baptist Church

Evangelical Lutheran Church

Gospel Faith Church

Evangelical Church

Evangelical Church - Word of Life

Salvation Army

Evangelical Church -Unwavering Foundation

Redeemed Christian Church

Swedenborgian Community in Georgia

Society of Friends - Quakers

Ahmadiyya Muslim Association of Georgia

Yezidi Theological Council

Seventh-Day Adventist Church

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