Zaza Vashakmadze, Chairman of the State Agency for Religious Issues, met with experts from the European Committee against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) at the Administration of the Government of Georgia.
Experts participating in the meeting inquired about the situation in Georgia in terms of combating religious intolerance and discrimination, the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on minority groups and what measures the government is taking to minimize the effects of the pandemic.
Zaza Vashakmadze spoke about the funding of religious organizations, the transfer of religious buildings, trainings conducted within the framework of the Government-Action Plan on Human Rights, the establishment of an inter-religious council format, the existing situation in the field of freedom of religion in Georgia and current challenges.
The Chairman of the Agency particularly noted the situation with regard to freedom of religion in the occupied territories of Georgia, A/R of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region, persecution and harassment of the Georgian Orthodox Church, restrictions on worship, as well as fact of encroachment of religious buildings in the Russian-occupied regions and erasure of Georgian cultural identity in them.
ECRI representatives informed the Agency that in a few months in Berlin, with the support of the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, the religious center "House of One" would be opened, it is an idea how all denominations can be united. The Agency was also invited to the event.