Freedom of religion

Patriarchate, Muftiate: minaret should be stored in neutral place in Chela

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საქართველოს საპატრიარქო

Georgian Patriarchate's press speaker Davit Sharashenidze released a "joint statement" on 29 August after a meeting between the Georgian Patriarch and the muslim religious leaders at the Patriarchate. The statement says that the minaret, removed from a mosque in the village of Chela, should be stored in a neutral place in the village. The minaret should be sealed and be "protected by the state," according to the statement.

"Today a meeting was held between the Georgian Patriarch, the bishops and the muslim religious leaders over the events in Adigeni region.

The Georgian Patriarchate fully agrees with the Orthodox Christian parish's just protest over the matter. At the same time, we take into account the disposition of the muslim population, and in agreement with the Administration of Muslims, we state the following:

First, the minaret should be stored in the village of Chela, in a neutral place; it should be sealed and protected by the state.

Secondly, it should not be erected anywhere before the legal base is settled and until negotiations are held between the Patriarchate and the Administration of Muslims.

Thirdly, to ask the authorities to start working on legally regulating the issue of expediency of religious constructions and the release of permits, in order to avoid unrests and confrontation on religious grounds.

Also, we call on the christian, as well as the muslim parish to refrain from coming to the streets, to keep calm and respect each other," the statement reads.

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