Tbilisi. 6 January. REPORT.AZ/ Armenian Apostolic church in Georgia is going to sue the government.
Georgia bureau of Report News Agency informs, the issue was discussed in a meeting with head of Armenian Apostolic church in Georgia Vazgen Mirzakhanian, when Armenian president Serzh Sargsyan’s visited Tbilisi.
Mirzakhanian informed Sargsyan about the church located on the Agmashenebeli avenue 38 (former Plekhanov avenue) in the center of Tbilisi. He said that by decision of the government of prime minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili, the church was transferred to the control of Georgian Orthodox Church:
“While making the decision, Georgian government thoroughly studied the history, religious and cultural signs of the temple. Otherwise, they would not make such unfair decision. If the issue on returning Tandoyants Surb Astvatsatsin church to the Armenians is not solved in our favor, Bishopric will sue Georgian government. We don’t want Etchmiadzin Cathedral or official Yerevan to deal with protection of Armenian cultural heritage in Georgia. We try to solve the issue ourselves. If we don’t manage to achieve that the situation may turn into problem between states and churches. After the New Year holiday, Armenian community will apply to the court on the decision of Georgian government. If Georgian court does not satisfy the demand of Armenian Bishopric and return the temple to its legal owner, Armenian community will apply to international organizations and European court structures.”
The decision of the Armenian Bishopric received mixed reactions in Georgia.
The secretary of the Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia, Ilia II, Father David Botkoveli told journalists that patriarchy takes in strike the plans of the Armenian diocese to challenge the church's belonging in the courts:
“"They have the right to file a suit, it's up to them, but we have all the evidence of the Georgian origin of this church on our hands. If Armenian diocese applies to court, I believe they will lose and it will be big disgrace for them.”
Historian, political scientist Guram Markhuliya told Report that it is not the first attack of Armenians on Georgia and culture, religion, history of Georgian people:
“Armenians made false claims many times to arrogate the church and other historical, cultural, religious monuments belonging to Georgian people. They lost with disgrace each time. I am confident that this time their falsehood will be revealed and court will regard their claim as baseless.”
He added that European court and international organizations aware how Armenians are hypocritical, deceitful and aggressive. “That is why, I am absolutely sure that Armenians will lose before Europeans with disgrace this time as well.”
Georgian honored journalist, political scientist, Badri Nachkebia said this claim of Armenians is baseless. “Georgian government and public should stand by the patriarchy on such issues. Because Armenians try to create new confrontation in Georgia and disrupt the stability by this way.”
By the order of Georgian patriarchy, Georgian companies carry out renovation work in the church located on the Agmashenebeli avenue. Once the repair work is over, the church will be opened for worshippers.