The distribution of religion in Georgia is such that approximately 82% of the population of this country are Georgian Orthodox Christians and about 4% of them are Russian Orthodox Christians. Also, approximately 1% of its population are Armenian Christians and about 11% are Muslims. About 3% are followers of other religions. By examining these statistics, we can conclude that Christianity is the official religion in Georgia. Georgia was the second country, after Armenia, to choose Christianity as the official religion of its people in 326 AD.
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The religion of Georgian people
In this country, the freedom of belief and religion is completely preserved and every person can choose his religion based on his personal beliefs. Although Christianity is recognized as the official religion in Georgia, the government and people show great respect to other religions and all religions live peacefully together.
The history of the religion in Georgia
In Georgian myths, God has chosen the land of Georgia to spread Christianity. Georgians believe that the Mother of God resides in Jerusalem and that a messenger named Saint Andrew was sent to Georgia to spread Christianity. Saint Andrew brought a dead person back to life in the city of Atskuri, and by doing this, he encouraged the people of the city to convert to Christianity. In this city, there is a symbol of the Mother of God, which is celebrated on the 15th and 28th of August. In the early centuries, Christians in Georgia were severely persecuted, but in the third century, thanks to Saint Nineveh, Christianity was accepted as the official religion in Georgia. Saint Nineveh was born in Cappadocia, Turkey and was sent to Georgia to lead people to Christianity. He managed to establish the base of Orthodox Christianity in the capital of Georgia and also lead King Miriam and his wife Queen Nana to Christianity.
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During the fourth century AD, Christianity was established in Georgia in a stable and widespread way, but it faced serious threats from foreign enemies such as Iranians, Arabs, Turks and Mongols. These enemies sought to destroy the Christian beliefs of Georgia and change its religion, and many people were killed in this way. In 1226 AD, the citizens of Tbilisi were violently attacked in protest against the rule of Sultan Jalaluddin Khwarazmshah, and 100,000 people, including children, were brutally killed. Also, every year on October 31 and November 13, commemoration of those killed on those days is held in Georgia. In the 13th century, the Mongols killed thousands of people, and in the 16th century, Shah Abbas Safavi also killed thousands of people in the same way.
With the beginning of the 19th century and the Russian rule over Georgia, the Georgian Orthodox Church was forced to merge with the Russian Orthodox Church. After the independence of Georgia in 1917, the Independent Georgian Orthodox Church was formed. In 1977, Sirion II was elected as the first post-independence archbishop of the Georgian Orthodox Church and the head of the official religion in Georgia, and since then, Ilia II has served as the leader of this church.
Despite many attempts by outsiders in the past, the beliefs of Georgian Orthodox Christians still remain strong. In Georgia, there are many churches and places of worship, many of which are known as religious education centers. These places and churches are among the important tourist attractions of Georgia, and the religion of Georgia attracts many tourists from all over the world.
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Frequently asked questions about the religion in Georgia
1Is there freedom of religion in Georgia?
Yes, in this country anyone can have their own religion and all people live with each other with respect.
2Is there a problem with the marriage of boys and girls from different religions according to Georgian law?
No, it is not like that at all and men and women of any religion can live together.
3After Christianity, which religion has the largest population in Georgia?
After Christianity, Islam has the largest population in Georgia.