Georgian Patriarch opposes slander against Islam

Giorgi Kalatozishvili, Tbilisi. Exclusively for Vestnik Kavkaza
Georgian Patriarch opposes slander against Islam

The sermons of the head of the Georgian Orthodox Church, Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia Ilia II, always draw the attention of the Georgian public. They are widely reported in the local media and politicians always try to act in accordance with the main message of the sermon, even if they are coupled with problems of a political nature.

This time his sermon was about the horrific terrorist attacks in Paris and attempts by certain forces to give a religious coloring to these crimes, explaining them by some 'inherent cruelty' supposedly inherent in Islam. However, the head of the Georgian Orthodox Church fundamentally disagrees with this interpretation, considering it unjust and even dangerous: mentioning the victims of the terrorist attack in the French capital and urging the faithful to pray for the repose of their souls, the Catholicos-Patriarch, at the same time, stressed that Islam "has absolutely nothing to do with it."

"We live in times when good and evil are fighting each other. It has always existed, but it has particularly intensified in recent years," he said.

"You know, there was the explosion of the aircraft, and we mourn with the people of France, where there were many victims, we pray for the repose of their souls," Ilia II said, rejecting any attempts to link the incident to the Islamic religion.

"There are people who associate it with religion, the Muslim religion, but in fact it is not a religion but a particular person manifesting his evil will,"  the Catholicos-Patriarch pointed out, he also blessed survivors and wished the wounded health.

Along with the statement of the Catholicos-Patriarch, the Supreme Council of Muslims of Georgia condemned the barbaric terrorist attacks in the French capital. "It is a crime not only against the French people, but also the entire international community, which has nothing to do with any religion and which has not the slightest excuse," the statement by the religious leaders of Georgian Muslims said.