Church Groups Attacked by Mobs in Tbilisi

The Persecution & Prayer Alert from Voice of the Martyrs notes that two Orthodox priests led an attack on a Russian-speaking Pentecostal church in the Nadzaladevi district of Tbilisi over the weekend, resulting in several people being beaten. "They arrived to blockade the house on Friday evening," the daughter of Pastor Nikolai Kalutsky told Keston Institute. "On Saturday, incited by the priests, the mob of about 30 or 40 people burst into the house, beat people, frightened the children, stole Bibles, rummaged through people's bags and uttered very many threats - to the believers and to our family." Unlike similar attacks in the past, the police arrived to intervene and help the people.

In a separate incident, a mob led by two Orthodox priests attacked a Catholic pilgrimage in eastern Georgia on July 3. They told the pilgrims that they had no right to walk in their diocese.

The headquarters of a leading human rights organization in Tbilisi was also attacked. According to eyewitnesses, 10 to 15 young men walked into the headquarters of Liberty Institute around 2:30 p.m. on July 10. Without saying a word, they severely beat the director and other staff and smashed computers, furniture and other equipment. While the Liberty Institute is not a Christian organization, they have been working vigorously to confront the religious mob violence and intolerance that has led to many attacks on non-Orthodox groups in the country.