The rise and rise of the Georgian Orthodox church

Georgia was one of the earliest countries to adopt Christianity in the 4th century.

During the Soviet era, few churches were open, and membership was frowned upon.

But in recent years, Patriarch Ilia II has spearheaded a revival in the fortunes of the Orthodox church.

Now more than 80 percent of Georgians regularly attend services.

But the church has also increasingly become associated with national identity and patriotism.

And as its influence and power have increased, so have concerns about its close relationship with the state, and its attitude to minority religions.

Tom Esslemont explores the enormous surge in popularity of Georgia’s Orthodox church - and the darker side of its success.

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28 minutes

Last on

Sun 12 Sep 2010 10:32 GMT
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