Tolerance and Diversity Institute

Regarding the Anti-State Position of Metropolitan Anton

In a sermon on 24 May, Metropolitan Anton of Georgian Orthodox Church’s Vani and Baghdadi Eparchy accused the media, nongovernmental organizations and political opposition of “orchestrated attack on the Church”, discussed fundamental human rights in the context of integration into the West and questioned the need of Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic integration.

“Those who have been attacking the Church are the ones who get European financing. Now I wonder should we reconsider our choice of Euro-Atlantic path when we made it? Having escaped the grips of communist regime, we were elated, then cuddled and lured by Europe. Should we not open our eyes? If European values are hatred of the Church, rejection of traditions and family purity, we do not want that sort of Europe. I seriously think to put this issue In the preamble of the constitution citizens of Georgia declare that it is their firm will to establish on the Synod’s agenda – should we not arrange a new referendum to ask the people whether or not we want that sort of Europe,” said Metropolitan Anton.

In the preamble of the Constitution of Georgia, citizens declare that it is our will to live in a democratic, free and a legal state where fundamental human rights and freedoms are protected. The course of Georgia - full integration of Georgia into the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization - is enshrined in the supreme law of the country.

That statement made from a tribune of an influential religious institution is against the state because it runs counter to the democratic course of the country's development and the declared will of Georgian citizens. Moreover, such positioning may be perceived as an attempt to blackmail citizens of Georgia and the state.

We call on Metropolitan Anton Bulukhia to refrain from making such irresponsible statements and to honor the will of Georgian citizens and the constitution of Georgia.