Parliament Adopts Amendments on Transferring State Forests to Patriarchate

The Parliament of Georgia has adopted the draft amendments to the Law on State Property that enables the Patriarchate to receive state forests with the right of ownership.

Pursuant to the draft law on State Property, the Georgian Orthodox Church will be able to own forest areas adjacent to churches and monasteries, not more than 20 hectares (200,000m²) per case. 

The Georgian Republican Party has stated that these amendments give the Georgian Orthodox Church an unjustified advantage. There is no other organization in Georgia that enjoys similar rights. the party further notes that the explanatory memorandum to the bill does not reflect the legal basis and expediency for making the change.

The non-governmental organization Georgian Democratic Initiative (GDI) issued a statement to address the issue, saying the overarching problem is that the state always grants often unjustified privileges to the Orthodox Church and ignores the needs of other religious associations.

22 May 2020 17:18