TBILISI — On June 12th, 2014, a press conference was held for Georgian media organizations at the “Hayartun” center of the Armenian Diocese in Georgia. The main goal of the press conference was to speak about Georgian orthodox priest Davit Lasurashvili’s discriminative behavior. The diocese’s director for legal affairs Levon Isakhanyan spoke about multiple incidents where Georgian spiritual servants conducted intolerant and discriminative behavior against members of the Armenian Apostolic Church.

Isakhanyan’s remarks were followed by the speech of another member of the Armenian church – Inna Sukiasyan, who presented details of an incident which happened a day before. According to Sukiasyan, on June 11th while participating in an excursion at St. Sion Georgian Orthodox Church, a priest named Davit forbid her 10-year-old daughter to cross the way it is done in the Armenian churches, adding that Armenian church visitors are far from God and that it is not desirable to see them at Georgian churches. Offended by these comments, the young girl had decided to leave the church.

Considering this incident as a form of discrimination Inna Sukiasyan shared the story in social media, which then became a source of wider discussion. Meanwhile, the organizer of the press conference told about a similar incident two weeks before, where in Batumi’s Glorious Nikoghayos church an ethnic Armenian had not been allowed to participate to a wedding ceremony.

Answering to a journalist’s question “Whether the Armenian parent views this incident as a form of discrimination, based on recently adopted anti-discrimination law?” Inna Sukiasian did not exclude the possibility to filing complain at the public defender’s office of Georgia.

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