Mass in our churches has been temporarily suspended until the status of the Abkhaz Orthodox Church is finally settled, said the father. Left-wing Applia. In this way, he wants to obtain from the Moscow Patriarchate the annexation of his separate, unrecognized church, into the Russian Orthodox Church, despite stiff opposition from the Georgian Patriarchate.

According to the cleric, the Abkhaz faithful “could not, did not want, were not and would not be part of the Georgian Orthodox Church (GKP)”. Without giving reasons for such a position, he indicated that “you cannot continue for 30 years in a similar situation,” adding that in these circumstances he ordered a temporary suspension of rituals in the Abkhaz churches. At the same time, the Leftists assured that they would remain open and that anyone wishing to enter them and pray.

In this former independent republic within Georgia, there are now two self-proclaimed church authorities: “The Holy City of Abkhazia”, ​​seeking recognition of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, and the “Orthodox Church in Abkhazia”, ​​which is entirely affiliated with the Church. Patriarchate of Moscow with the support of the authorities.

The Georgian theologian Lado Narcia believes that “Appelia tracks events, including. The case of the Orthodox Church in Ukraine and knows that the Russian Church can likewise support the Church in Abkhazia, and Constantinople cannot do that.” Narcia said that it can be assumed that “Russia will decide to play a certain game and try to get political trade out of it,” adding that the German Communist Party must remain “principled and active.”

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In fact, 11 clerics work under the wings of Moscow in Abkhazia, but they do not formally belong to the Russian Church. At the same time, it must be remembered that the diocese (diocese) of Suchum is part of the title of Georgian Patriarch.

August 20 last year, the Secretary of the aforementioned Holy Abkhaz City Council (WMA) German Marchand stated that the country’s authorities are ready to support granting full administrative independence to the local Orthodox Church. According to him, this initiative was supported by the President of the Republic, Aslan Banya, and at the same time he asked the church authorities to “take their time” to take specific measures, because this might create problems in relations with Russia.

The council secretary said: “The sacred metropolis of Abkhazia currently consists of 16 buildings.” He emphasized that in order to carry out renovation and construction work there, a legal basis, property rights and rules for using these facilities are not fully regulated. Marsan There are regulations for nearly 10 years preventing the possibility of obtaining a legal basis to operate freely in this direction. “In general, it can be said that the president himself expressed his desire to introduce him to matters related to the existence of religious organizations in general, and the holy city of Abkhazia in particular, and this was done by the participants in the MA Board Secretary said.

The question of the independence of Orthodoxy in this small republic has been long standing for many years, even centuries. At the end of the fifteenth century, when the united Georgian state disintegrated, the powerful and independent Kingdom of Imereti was established on its western borders, and thus partly in the territory of present-day Abkhazia. During the reign of King Bagrat VI (1466-78), the Antiochian Patriarch Michael IV, who was residing in Georgia at that time, appointed Archbishop Joachim, an Abkhazian Catholic, without the consent of the Georgian Patriarch in Mtskheta. Successive Catholics also began calling themselves patriarchs.

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The independence of the Imereti Church, that is, today Abkhazia, continued until 1795, when the last Abkhaz patriarch, Maxim II, died in Kiev. Some historians, including Russians, have postponed the end of this independence until 1820. However, this centuries-long independence of the church in Abkhazia is now referred to by supporters of autonomy, claiming that it is not about his establishment, but about its restoration.

From an ecclesiastical point of view, Abkhazia is officially considered part of the Georgian Patriarchate, which, however, has ceased to control since the beginning of the 1990s. This was due to the 1992-1993 war between Abkhazia – an autonomous republic within the Georgian SSR – with the authorities in Tbilisi until then.

Since 1992, this small republic (about 8.8 thousand square kilometers, less than a quarter of a million people) and its capital Sukhumi has become an officially independent state, recognized – until now – by 5 countries (including Russia, which maintains de facto its army and police, And to a large extent the economy).