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Minorities in Georgia (29 of 37)
Bolnisi, Georgia
By TemoBardzimashvili
14 Oct 2012

A cross overlooks a few villages in Bolnisi region in Southern Georgia. Bolnisi region is traditionally populated mostly by ethnic and religious minorities, mostly Azerbaijanis. Such crosses are common throughout the country and are usually symbolically installed by local Orthodox priests and their congregation. In 2003 such cross was installed right at the town square of one of the biggest villages in Bolnisi region, populated mostly by Muslim Azerbaijanis. Offended, the villagers were ready to dismount the cross. After receiving the call about this incident sheikh of Georgia Vagif Akperov, then a mollah in Tbilisi mosque, told villigares to guard the cross day and night, so that nobody would touch it, while he settled the issue down with the Georgian Church officials. "It was a provocation," says Akperov. "Whoever installed this cross, wanted us to destroy it, in order to say later that we're aggresive towards Christian symbols." The case has been quickly settled and the cross has been removed peacefully.

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Minorities in Georgia (28 of 37)
Bolnisi, Georgia
By TemoBardzimashvili
14 Oct 2012

A cross overlooks a few villages in Bolnisi region in Southern Georgia. Bolnisi region is traditionally populated mostly by ethnic and religious minorities, mostly Azerbaijanis. Such crosses are common throughout the country and are usually symbolically installed by local Orthodox priests and their congregation. In 2003 such cross was installed right at the town square of one of the biggest villages in Bolnisi region, populated mostly by Muslim Azerbaijanis. Offended, the villagers were ready to dismount the cross. After receiving the call about this incident sheikh of Georgia Vagif Akperov, then a mollah in Tbilisi mosque, told villigares to guard the cross day and night, so that nobody would touch it, while he settled the issue down with the Georgian Church officials. "It was a provocation," says Akperov. "Whoever installed this cross, wanted us to destroy it, in order to say later that we're aggresive towards Christian symbols." The case has been quickly settled and the cross has been removed peacefully.

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Minorities in Georgia (27 of 37)
Bolnisi, Georgia
By TemoBardzimashvili
14 Oct 2012

A cross overlooks a few villages in Bolnisi region in Southern Georgia. Bolnisi region is traditionally populated mostly by ethnic and religious minorities, mostly Azerbaijanis. Such crosses are common throughout the country and are usually symbolically installed by local Orthodox priests and their congregation. In 2003 such cross was installed right at the town square of one of the biggest villages in Bolnisi region, populated mostly by Muslim Azerbaijanis. Offended, the villagers were ready to dismount the cross. After receiving the call about this incident sheikh of Georgia Vagif Akperov, then a mollah in Tbilisi mosque, told villigares to guard the cross day and night, so that nobody would touch it, while he settled the issue down with the Georgian Church officials. "It was a provocation," says Akperov. "Whoever installed this cross, wanted us to destroy it, in order to say later that we're aggresive towards Christian symbols." The case has been quickly settled and the cross has been removed peacefully.

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Minorities in Georgia (31 of 37)
Tbsili, Georgia
By TemoBardzimashvili
13 Oct 2012

Residents of Abanotubani (Bath District), one of Tbilisi's oldest districts, enjoy tea at a local chaikhana. The Abanotubani chaikhanas have long become a symbol of ethnic tolerance. Here you can easily see Armenians, Azerbaijanis, Kurds, and Georgians sipping tea at one table, discussing local news, and planning common business.

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Minorities in Georgia (34 of 37)
Marneuli, Georgia
By TemoBardzimashvili
19 Jan 2012

A weekly cattle market near Marneuli, Georgia. Marneuli, a town in southern Georgia, close to both Armenian and Azerbaijani borders, is widely populated by ethnic Azerbaijanis, traditionally sheep and cattle herders. The market is a place of cattle trading not only for local Azerbaijanis, but also for Georgians, Armenians and others, who come here every sunday looking for a good deal.

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Minorities in Georgia (36 of 37)
Talaveri, Georgia
By TemoBardzimashvili
15 Nov 2010

Villagers cut meat for Eid al-Adha festival near the mosque in Talaveri village, populated mostly by ethnic Azerbaijanis. In 2009 the construction of the mosque has stopped after a few Georgian Orthodox priests and members of ultra-religious organization The Union of the Orthodox Parents arrived to the village and demanded to stop the construction. The construction resumed in 2010 after the case was widely covered in the local media. The Union is notorious for its frequent protests, some of them ending with violence, against religious and sexual minorities, as well as public celebration of such "satanic" holidays as Halloween. Talaveri, 2010