Georgia: Patriarch Warns that Local Self-Government Could Lead to Country’s “Disintegration”

Giorgi Lomsadze - December 2013 The powerful Georgian Orthodox Church again has revived a fierce debate over whether or not it should act, essentially, as Georgia's fourth branch of government. This time around, Patriarch Ilia II, the Church's highly revered, 80-year-old veteran leader, has weighed into the seemingly secular issue of regional self-governance with a warning that ...

Georgia Removes “666” from ID Cards

Giorgi Lomsadze - June 2013 When Tea Tsulukiani became Georgia’s justice minister her task seemed tough, but straightforward: Take former corrupt officials to task and build an apolitical, widely trusted institution. She worked hard, and, finally, made a chilling discovery: Many of Georgia's government-issued personal IDs contain the number 666, which is, of course, the mark of the ...

Georgia’s Holy Trinity

  Giorgi Lomsadze - 16/1/13 Georgia’s two squabbling rulers, the prime minister and the president, both need love . . . the love of the country’s spiritual leader, the guardian of national unity, the primus inter pares, Georgian Orthodox Church Patriarch Ilia II. “You love him more,” Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili, apparently in a sudden grip of jealousy, told ...