19 April 2021,   19:30
Violence is absolutely unacceptable against people who want to pray and have a place of worship - the Council of Religions of the Ombudsman

The Council of Religions of the Public Defender of Georgia released a statement on the developments in the village of Bukhnari.

“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”, - reads the statement.

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