TBILISI, DFWatch–In its first comments about the Charlie Hebdo tragedy, the Georgian Orthodox Church condemns the terror act but also calls on the government ‘to set a limit to freedom of expression in order to protect other internationally recognized human rights.’
“As there could be no justification for the Lynch trials and terrorism, whatever the motive may be behind it, any form of abuse against sanctities of the Muslims or any other religions is also unacceptable and should be condemned,” the statement said.
It came after more than a week and a half of deliberation, and was read on Saturday by Archpriest Davit Sharashenidze spokesperson for the Georgian Patriarchy, the governing body of the Georgian Orthodox Church.
“When it comes to public abuse of religious feelings, in an obscene and cynical form, and blasphemy, it is regarded as a criminal offense in almost all European countries,” the statement goes on.
“The offense is especially critical in cases where it obviously causes ethnic and religious discord.”
The Patriarchy is one of the most influential institutions in the country and its opinion matters for a large part of the population. Many people have been looking for its comment of the Charlie Hebdo tragedy and the follow-up events.
The statement says that the standpoint of the Church was conveyed to the public a week ago in an interview with Archpriest Teimuraz Tatarashvili and the reason behind Saturday’s statement are ‘the recent release in the large edition of the cartoons and other materials infringing religious feelings of the Muslims.’