Today, on June 15, at the Administration of the Government of Georgia, the Chairman of the State Agency for Religious Issues, Zaza Vashakmadze, held an introductory meeting with the Ambassador of the Republic of Romania to Georgia, Razvan Rotundu.
Zaza Vashakmadze congratulated the guest on his appointment, wished him success in his work and expressed hope that the cooperation with the new ambassador would further strengthen the friendship between the two countries, as Romania's support is very important for Georgia.
At the meeting, the Chairman of the Agency informed the Ambassador about the State Agency for Religious Issues, religious policy in Georgia and the activities carried out by the state in this direction in recent years. Zaza Vashakmadze spoke about the funding of religious organizations, the transfer of religious buildings, as well as about the trainings conducted under the Action Plan of the Government of Georgia on the Protection of Human Rights, the establishment of an inter-religious council format and on the current situation of freedom of religion and the challenges existed in this field.
The meeting focused on the situation with regard to freedom of religion in the occupied regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali, cases of persecution and harassment of the Georgian Orthodox Church, restrictions on worship, also the facts of encroachment of religious buildings in the regions occupied by the Russia side and destruction of Georgian cultural identity in them.
The Chairman of the Agency also focused on the phenomenon of Georgian Islam and its different nature, which is perceived as a positive experience of peaceful coexistence of Shiites and Sunnis. He also noted that an example of Georgian tolerance is the religious cult buildings of different faiths gathered in Meidani, center of old Tbilisi.
The Romanian ambassador noted that freedom of religion is very important for rapprochement with Europe. In this respect, Georgia and Romania are very similar, the majority of the population in both countries are Orthodox Christians, which determines the peculiarities of society and its character.
The Ambassador praised the Agency's work and ongoing projects in the area of freedom of religion and human rights. He thanked the leadership of the Agency and expressed his desire to cooperate with them in the future.