TBILISI—Another Armenian church was vandalized in Georgia. This time it was St. Etchmiadzin church in Georgia’s capital, Tbilisi, which was consecrated by Catholicos Karekin II during his pontifical visit there.
On the evening of August 19, two young men, who were allegedly drunk, entered the Armenian church. Two employees called their behavior as arrogant and disrespectful, Armenia-based Yerkir Media television reported.
One of them started to turn the pages of the Holy Bible placed on the sanctuary tearing off one of the pages. He also sat down on a chair that is meant for high-ranking church officials. The employees finally kicked out of the church but not before the two assailants tore down an announcement on the door and lit it on fire.
Bishop Vazgen Mirzakhanyan said the church had contacted law enforcement. The Diocese of the Armenian Church in Georgia also plans to appeal to Georgia’s Interior Ministry and other structures and file a protest to the Georgian Orthodox Church.
Mirzakhanyan attributed the young people’s behavior to recent amendments made to Georgian law that providing the Armenian Church the ability for apply for legal status. The legislation sparked anti-Armenian sentiments.
The Diocese of Georgia plans to issue a statement about the incident. Georgia’s human rights ombudsman has also been informed.
A month ago, unknown assailants painted anti-Armenian graffiti near the St. Etchmiadzin Church.