Interior Ministry launches assault investigation after video of members of Orthodox Church aired on TV

Georgia’s Interior Ministry has opened an investigation after video footage showing an Orthodox church member being assaulted by his colleague was shown on television on Sunday.

The investigation follows video footage released by TV Pirveli showing both the attacker and his alleged victim dressed as clergymen. In the footage, the victim is assaulted after being accused of pedophilia and homosexuality, while the assaulted man begs the alleged colleague to stop the attack.

In a response on Monday, the Georgian Orthodox Church Patriarchate said the two individuals were lay brothers and not clergy, while condemning the incident as “unChristian” and “immoral”.

Orthodox priest Shalva Kekelia also responded to the incident by telling the Georgian service of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty that he was aware of the victim’s “different sexual orientation” and repeatedly warned him to “remove his office uniform”. , Without effect. Kekelia also claimed that none of the individuals in the video were clergy.

A statement released by the Home Office said its investigation was investigating the case with potential charges of “persecution” and unlawful dissemination of personal information through the media.

Betty K. Park