Georgia - one of the oldest Christian countries. The country is known for its religious tolerance. Most of the population - are Orthodox Christians. Catholics, Lutherans, Baptists and other Christian dominants are in minority. Followers of Islam and Judaism also live in Georgia.
Georgians Orthodox Christians: 65%
Russians Orthodox Christians: 10%
Muslims: 11%
Armenians Gregorians: 8%
Others: 6%

In ancient times, Georgian pagan religion recognized the cult of the heavenly bodies - the sun, the moon, stars. Totemic cults of fox, bear and bull were also widespread. A popular pagan triad was: the sun (the mother goddess), the moon (the god-father), Kviria (the patron saint of the family). The most important was the God of War. God of War was also the main idol of the kingdom of Kartli - Armazi (a gilded figure of a man, forged of bronze), which overlooks the city of the kings - Mtskheta. Opposite him was a figure of the god of fertility - Zedan. Both of the idols, together with idols Gatsi and Gaimi, were brought by Meskhetian tribes, who came from the south, and Azon erected their statues in the town of Mtskheta. Cult centers also existed in Uplistsikhe, Vani, Atskuri.
In the apostolic times there were two states on the territory of modern Georgia: East Georgian Kartli (Iberia in Greek) and Western Georgian Egrisi (Colchis in Greek). The apostle Andrew preached both in Eastern and Western Georgia. Simon the Zealot (who is buried in New Athos) preached the doctrine of Christ together with the apostle Andrew.
Christianity became a state religion of Kartli in the 4th century. This phenomenon in the history of Georgia is associated with St. Nino Equal-to-the-Apls, a religious enlightener of Georgia, St. King Mirian and St. Queen Nana.
Christening of the population and construction of churches in Georgia began after the adoption of Christianity. However, after the death of Vakhtang Gorgasali, the kingdom of Kartli gradually weakened. Christianity in Georgia was in need of consolidation and strengthening.
It was this time when monks from distant Syria - John and his 12 disciples - came to Georgia. They are called "Assyrian fathers."
Holy Fathers made their home on Zedazeni hill. In the beginning, they lived together, and then went to different sides. John remained there on the mountain, so he was named John Zedazneli.
Assyrian fathers spread Christianity among the pagans and founded a lot of monasteries. So, these holy fathers are named after the monasteries: David Garejeli, Abibo Nekreseli, Joseph Alaverdeli, Anton Martkopeli, Shio Mgvimeli...
By their activities thirteen Assyrian Fathers helped to strengthen Christianity in Georgia. Georgian Church canonized them all the saints.
Since the adoption of Christianity as the state religion, the Georgian Church has always been involved in restorative and educational proceedings.
The country's territory is full of churches and monasteries.
Since the XI century the Primate of the Georgian Church bears the title of Catholicos-Patriarch.
Georgians built churches and monasteries not only in Georgia, but also in Palestine, Syria, Cyprus and Bulgaria.
Famous Georgian theologians, philosophers, writers and translators - Peter the Iberian, Ephraim the Small, Euthymius and Giorgi the Athonite, John Petritsi and others - worked both in Georgia and outside the country.
In the XIX century, Georgia was annexed by the Russian Empire. Since then the autocephaly of the Georgian Church was abolished, the Patriarch's government was canceled, and the Georgian Church as the Exarchate, was subordinated to the Synod of the Russian Church.

• In March 1917, the restoration of the autocephaly of the Georgian Church was proclaimed in the ancient capital of Georgia, Mtskheta.
• After the establishment of Soviet rule in Georgia, the red terror against the Church begins. Communists closed and ruined temples, and shot priests.
• In 1990, the autocephaly of the Georgian church was recognized the Patriarchate of Constantinople.
• Since 1977, His Holiness and Beatitude Ilia II is the Catholicos Patriarch of All Georgia.


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