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PM Welcomes Georgian Patriarchate’s Offer to Engage Students

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Wednesday, December 13
(TBILISI) -- Georgia’s Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili welcomed an offer by the Patriarchate of Georgia to take a more active role in the country’s public education system.

The Patriarchate’s declaration that it is ready to “contribute to the upbringing of the young generation” came after a fatal schoolyard clash between teenage students that claimed the lives of two 16-year-old boys.

Kvirikashvili heaped praise on the church for its decision to weigh in on the matter saying, “I have spoken about it in the past and I would like to reiterate that our Church is the keeper and savior of our national identity and the driving force behind our country's spirituality.”

The move by the Orthodox Church is likely to court controversy, as the powerful ecumenical body continues to spread its influence in areas that are bastions of secular norms.

The country’s opposition political parties and civil society activists have increasingly called for more checks and balances on the creeping influence of the Patriarchate on most key sectors of society.