Recommendations of Council of Religions for State Agencies, Higher Educational Institutions and Media Organizations

On May 15, 2017, the Public Defender of Georgia presented recommendations of the Council of Religions of the Public Defender. The presentation was attended by representatives of the state agencies, local and international organizations and religious associations of Georgia.

The recommendations were developed by experts of various fields (lawyers, media and religion researchers) and members of the Council of Religions in 2016-2017. The document reflects the challenges facing the religious minorities of Georgia and offers ways of solving the challenges, including the need for amending some norms in the legislation that would make it possible to effectively investigate crimes committed on religious grounds; elimination of unequal or discriminatory treatment; improper practice of issuing permits for construction of religious buildings for religious minorities; problems related to historical buildings; promotion of freedom of religion and tolerance environment at public schools, etc.

The Council of Religions developed recommendations for the media as well. In particular, the Council recommended the media to show more sensitivity, qualifications and interest towards religious issues in order to fully reflect religious diversity and avoid xenophobic coverage.

At the opening of the event, Georgian Public Defender Ucha Nanuashvili spoke about the necessity of protecting freedom of religion and equality. He expressed a hope that the state will actively cooperate with the Council of Religions and will consider the recommendations. The challenges relating to the protection of freedom of religion in the country were reviewed by the Head of the Tolerance Center, Beka Mindiashvili.

The recommendations were presented by Mariam Ghvatadze, a representative of the Tolerance Center, and members of the Religious Council: Rusudan Gotsiridze, Bishop of the Evangelical-Baptist Church; Giorgi Tskhomelidze, representative of the Catholic Church; Lela Khonelidze, representative of the Faith Gospel Church; Tariel Nakaidze, Chairman of the Muslim Union; Boris Charaia, presbyter of the Adventist Church.

The event was organized by the support of the “Promoting Integration, Tolerance and Awareness” (PITA) program of the UN Association of Georgia (UNAG) that is funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID).

See the electronic version of the recommendations


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