Statement by Public Defender’s Council of Religions: We condemn violence, do not welcome the initiative relating to the law on insulting religious feelings

We, the religious associations represented in the Council of Religions, express our extreme concern over the mass violence we witnessed in Tbilisi on July 5-6. More than 50 journalists, juveniles and women were beaten and a foreign citizen was severely injured for homophobic reasons and other manifestations of hatred. At the same time, the EU flag was torn down near the Parliament building.

We, representatives of religious associations, have often, more or less, experienced intolerance, hatred, discrimination, restriction of rights, abuse, violence. We understand very well what it means to be persecuted and oppressed because of the desire to protect human rights.

Therefore, we express our support to all victims of mass violence. Things like this should never happen again. Violence destroys peace and sows chaos.

At the same time, at the violent rally on July 5, an intiative was voiced relating to the adoption of the law that bans insulting national and religious sentiments. Members of the Council of Religions oppose the adoption of such a law. We believe that such a law, restricting freedom of expression in this direction, will have a severe impact on the development of our society.

We, members of the Council of Religions once again express our deep concern over the violent attacks and insults against peaceful people in the name of religion and morality. We believe that the cultivation of violence is disastrous for the State, society and each individual, including the perpetrator and instigator of violence.

The statement is signed by 16 member confessions of the Council of Religions:

  • Supreme Religious Administration of Georgia's All Muslims
  • Georgian Muslims Union
  • Apostolic Administration of the Latin Catholics of the Transcaucasia
  • Gospel Faith Church
  • Evangelical Baptist Church
  • Evangelical Lutheran Church
  • Evangelical Church
  • Evangelical Protestant Church
  • Evangelical Church - Word of Life
  • Salvation Army
  • Evangelical Church -Solid Foundation
  • Redeemed Christian Church
  • Swedenborgian Community in Georgia
  • Swedenborgian Community in Georgia
  • Society of Friends – Quakers
  • Ahmadiyya Muslim Association of Georgia
  • Seventh-day Adventist Church
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