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Compromise about minaret will create new inter-religious council

by | Aug 30, 2013
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“Give us freedom of faith” says this poster. (Interpressnews.)

TBILISI, DFWatch–Agreement was reached by Muslim and Christian leaders in Georgia on Thursday about what to do with a minaret which was removed from a mosque earlier in the week.

The Georgian Orthodox Church — the Patriarchate — and the organizations Muslims of Georgia agreed to let the disassembled minaret be stored at a neutral location, awaiting new legislation and further negotiations.

In a common statement they ask for the government to make legislation that regulates the construction of religious buildings.

Another measure agreed is a new council of Orthodox Christian and Muslim clerics in order to avoid incidents and improve communication. Priest Theodore said that the Georgian Patriarch has agreed to creating the new council.

Muslims gathered at a Batumi mosque reject the deal and demand to have the minaret reerected.

Law enforcers began to dismantle the minaret in Chela, in the south of Georgia, on Monday. Locals protested, and police detained 21 people.

Later Orthodox Christians demonstrated against minarets and demanded a referendum on banning them.

Inconsistent reasons were given for dismantling it. The Revenue Service said it had to check the building materials for possible customs violations, while the local government said it was built in violation of law.



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