Public Radio of Armenia
The issue of Armenian monuments in Georgia needs legislative solution, says Bishop Vazgen Mirzakhanyan, says His Grace Bishop Vazgen Mirzakhanyan, Primate of the Armenian Diocese in Georgia.
Speaking to Public Radio of Armenia, the Primate said the return of Armenian churches is the primary issue facing the Diocese.
There were 455 Armenian churches and chapels in Georgia before the establishment of the Soviet Union, only four of which continued functioning during the Soviet times. The number has now increased to about 60.
His Grace Bishop Vazgen Mirzakhanyan says “all of them are in safe hands as they are under the care of the Georgian Armenian Diocese.”
He regrets, however, that the churches do not legally belong to the Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church in Georgia.
The problem is that the sanctuaries of religious minorities are never being renovated by the state funds provided to the Georgian Agency for Monuments Protection.
According to a decision adopted in 2014, traditional religious communities are given partial compensation for the damage caused during the Soviet years, which, however, is not enough to solve the above-mentioned issues.
This forces the Diocese to take some monument-related issues to the legal dimension.
The Diocese does not consider expedient the active involvement of Armenia, particularly the Armenian government, in the process, but at least expects the latter’s strong interest in preserving Armenian cultural and religious legacy not only in Georgia, but also in other countries.