YERKIR UNION CALLS INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY FOR CONTRIBUTING TO NORASHEN CHURCH’S RETURN TO ITS LEGAL OWNER
Ju ne 2, 2008
LOS ANGELES, JUNE 2, ARMENIANS TODAY – NOYAN TAPAN. In connection
with the developments over Norashen Armenian church in Tbilisi, the
Yerkir Union called the international community for facilitating the
process of return of Norashen Armenian church to its legal owner.
The letter read that though Georgia has joined and ratified many
international documents on freedom of thought, conscience, and
religion, the current condition of minorities’ religious rights is
alarming. The local Armenian Apostolic and Rome Catholic Churches
have especially suffered from discrimination.
The Armenian Apostolic Church demands returning Norashen, Surb Nshan,
Shamkhoretsots Surb Astvatsatsin, Mughno Surb Gevorg and Surb Minas
churches, which are in Tbilisi, and Surb Nshan church of Akhaltskha.
On May 29, Union’s letters with the above mentioned content were sent
to the state Georgian structures, President, Prime Minister, parliament
Speaker, Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Education and Science, Internal
Affairs, Culture and Monuments Protection and Sport, Catholicos of
Georgia, Ombudsman, European Union Embassies, the United States,
OSCE, human rights organizations, NGOs acting in Georgia.
Many international organizations, human rights institutions recognize
the legality of these religious demands and constantly advise the
Georgian government to find a solution to these problems.
The European Union Human Rights Commission during its ninth session
called the Georgian government for undertaking steps to ensure
equal rights of freedom of religion and belief and correspondence of
their legislation to international standards, as well as for giving
solution to issues connected with seizure of sacred places of religious
minorities and other similar properties.