Church fight in Georgia: 10 people injured
More than ten people, including four journalists, were injured as a result of a fight between priests and parishioners in the town of Martvili, Samegrelo region of western Georgia.
The clashes took place on the balcony of the second floor of the Chkondidi diocese building; the wooden railings could not withstand the crowd and collapsed.
Two parishioners were hospitalized with multiple bone fractures.
- Georgian priest calls Jews ‘persecutors of Christians.’ Street, social media protests ensue
- Anti-vaxxing, homophobia, pro-Russian sentiments – is the church an obstacle on Georgia’s pro-Western course?
Local journalists later reported that the priests attacked the assembled parishioners.
The conflict was caused by the appointment of the Metropolitan of Chkondid and Martvili, Vladyka Stephen. Some of the local clergy and parishioners expressed their dissatisfaction with Vladyka Stephen’s appointment, as they preferred the former Metropolitan Peter, who was dismissed from his position after a conflict with Catholicos-Patriarch Ilia II.
Several priests refused to pray with the new Metropolitan. In response, Vladyka Stephen forbade them from holding services.