The Georgian Orthodox Church has a decisive influence on the social situation in Georgia. 1,600 years ago, it was one of the first countries ever to declare Christianity as the state religion. Whilst being repeatedly occupied by mostly Muslim forces over the centuries, the Orthodox Church and the Christian faith among the people developed into a symbol of the unity and sovereignty of the Georgian nation. The struggle for the independence of one’s country became identical with the defense of Orthodoxy. Georgians trust their church the most. Not the government, not the judiciary and certainly not the media. Today, the Church in Georgia enjoys tax exemption, strong political influence, and a steadily growing membership. Almost 80 % of all Georgians are members of the Georgian Orthodox Church. Yet it is more fractured and divided than ever. Also, the very conservative attitude often leads to great conflicts with western-oriented politics and the young generation fighting for their own freedom.
„My life was not always easy. Faith has given me strength to get through everything.“