The Georgian Orthodox Church has condemned attempts to involve it in politics.
The Church issued a statement in response to tycoon Badri Patarkatsishvili’s claim on January 3 that he had been "given ... the power to declare” his intention to remain in the presidential race following a phone conversation with Patriarch of the Georgian Orthodox Church Ilia II.
“Georgian media sources reported today a statement made by Mr. Badri Patarkatsishvili, in which he says that he is remaining in the presidential race. He also tried to insinuate that his decision was somehow related to his conversation with Patriarch of the Georgian Orthodox Church Ilia II,” the Church’s statement reads. “Except for congratulating the Patriarch on the 30th anniversary of his enthronement, no other issue was discussed. The Georgian Church expresses its regret that once again religion has been used in a political manner. It is absolutely unacceptable to portray the Church as a supporter of any political force, because the church always was and will be a force uniting the country, especially so today, when there is such political division.”
“We call on the opposition, all political forces, including the authorities, not to try to involve the Church in politics. For our part, we will always distance ourselves from such attempts.”