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Church of Georgia

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External links: Fixed broken link to CNEWA website.
[[Image:Patriarchate_of_Georgia.gif|right|The Church of Georgia]]The '''Church of Georgia''' is one of the oldest Christian Churcheschurches, tracing its origins in tradition to the [[missionary]] efforts of the [[Apostle Andrew]] in the first century. Historically, adoption of Christianity by the kingdom of Georgia (Iberia) is traced to the missionary efforts of St. [[Nino of Cappadocia]] beginning in early fourth century. Initially, the Georgian [[church]] was part of the territory of the [[Patriarchate of Antioch]]. The church was granted [[autocephaly]] by the Patriarch of Antioch in 466. While seriously disrupted by the invasions of the various tartar Tartar tribes in the 13 13th and 15th centuries , the autocephalous church survived until it was placed under the administration of the synodal [[Church of Russia]] in 1811. After the abdication of Czar [[Nicholas II of Russia|Nicholas II]] following the 1917 February Revolutionof 1917, the Georgian [[hierarch]]s restored the church's autocephaly that , which was eventually recognized by the [[Church of Constantinople]] and the [[Church of Russia]].
name=Patriarchate Catholicate of Iberia [[Image:Patriarchate_of_Georgia.gif|center|The Church of Georgia]]|
founder= [[Apostles]] [[Apostle Andrew|Andrew]], [[Apostle Simon|Simon the Canaanite]]|
independence=Antioch in 486, Russia in 1917|
recognition= 486, again 1990 |
primate=[[Ilia II (GudushauriGhudushauri-Shiolashvili) of Georgia|Patr. Ilia II]]|
hq=Tbilisi, Georgia|
territory=Georgia, Armenia|
calendar=[[Julian Calendar]]|
website=[ Church of Georgia]
==Ancient origins==
According to tradition , the Apostle Andrew, the First Called, preached in Georgia in the first century. Tradition relates that he came with the Holy Mother's Uncreated Icon, that is the icon of the [[Theotokos]] not made by human hands. This tradition introduced a deep affection for the Theotokos into Georgian conscientiousness. Additionally, tradition speaks to preaching by other [[apostles]] in Georgia including Simon the Canaanite, Matthias, Bartholomew, and Thaddeus. The establishment of the first Georgian [[eparchy]] ([[diocese]]) was also credited to the Apostle Andrew.
The active history of Christianity in Georgia begins with the missionary activities of [[Nino of Cappadocia]] beginning in 303. By 317 her message reached the rulers of the eastern and western kingdoms of Georgia when King Miriam II of Iberia (Eastern Georgia) and Queen Nana of Western Georgia adopted Christianity as the state religion. The Christianization of Georgia progressed over the next several centuries.
As part of the late Roman (Byzantine) Empire Georgian Christianity was heavily influenced by its form of practice. Initially, the churches in Georgia were part of the Apostolic See of Antioch. The Church of Georgia became [[autocephaly|autocephalous]] when the Patriarch of Antioch elevated the [[bishop]] of Mtskheta to the honor of Catholicos of Kastli in 466, an elevation recognized by the rest of the Church. Subsequently, the [[Catholicos ]] was given the added title of [[Patriarch]] in 1010, making the title of the primate of the Georgian Church the Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia.
The invasions of the tartars in the 13th and 15th centuries greatly disrupted Christianity and the government of Georgia. The state as well as the church were divided into two separate parts, in which the churches were governed by two separate Catholicos-Patriarchs. In 1801, Eastern Georgia, that is Kartli-Kakheti, was annexed by the Czar of Russia. By 1811, the Church in Georgia was absorbed into the Synodal Church of Russia, ending autocephaly for the Georgian church.
With recognition of the Orthodox Church by Stalin after the 1941 Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union, to gain support of the Church for repulsing the invasion, the autocephaly of the Church of Georgia was recognized in 1943 by the Church of Russia. Then, in 1989, autocephaly was recognized by the [[Patriarch of Constantinople]], thus approving the ''de facto'' autocephaly exercised since the fifth century.
In Abkhazia, a region within Georgia which has declared itself an independent state (recognized by Russia, Nicaragua and South Ossetia), Georgian church authorities have largely been prevented from exercising any authority, and the Abkhazian leadership has exiled the diocesan bishop appointed by the Catholicosate. Functioning within the area is the so-called Abkhazian Orthodox Church, which is as yet unrecognized by any other Orthodox church, although it has been given some practical support by the [[Church of Russia]].[] The breakaway diocese is now seeking to become a self-governed church under the Moscow Patriarchate.[]
The full title of the [[primate]] of the Church of Georgia is: "His Holiness and Beatitude, Catholicos-[[Patriarch]] of all Georgia, [[Archbishop]] of Mtskheta and Tbilisi" (Georgian: უწმიდესი და უნეტარესი, სრულიად საქართველოს კათოლიკოს-პატრიარქი, მცხეთა-თბილისის მთავარეპისკოპოსი).
====Recent [[Catholicos]]-Patriarchs of All Georgia====''([[List of leaders of Georgian Church|See full list]])''
*[[Kirion II (Sadzaglishvili)|Kirion II]] (1917-1918)
*Leonide (1918-1921)
*Eprem II (1960-1072)
*David V (1972-1977)
*[[Ilia II (Ghudushauri-Shiolashvili) of Georgia|Ilia II]] (1977 to present)
===Dioceses of Georgia===
** Diocese of Agaraki and Tashiri (Armenia)
** Diocese of West Europe (Great Britain, Belgium, Germany, Spain, Italy, Austria)
==Further reading==
* Christopher Haas. ''"Mountain Constantines: The Christianization of Aksum and Iberia."'' '''Journal of Late Antiquity''', Volume 1, Number 1, Spring 2008. pp.101-126.
: <small>(At the beginning of the fourth century, [[w:Ezana of Axum|Ezana I of Aksum]] and [[w:Mirian III of Iberia|Mirian III of Iberia]] espoused Christianity, much like their better-known contemporary, [[Constantine the Great]]. The religious choices made by the monarchs of these two mountain polities was but one stage in a prolonged process of Christianization within their respective kingdoms. This study utilizes a comparative approach in order to examine the remarkably similar dynamics of religious transformation taking place in these kingdoms between the fourth and late sixth centuries. The cultural choice made by these monarchs and their successors also factored into, and were influenced by, the fierce competition between Rome and Sassanian Persia for influence in these strategically important regions.)</small>
==External links==
* [ Website of the Church of Georgia]
* [[Wikipedia:Church of Georgia]]
* [ History of the Orthodox Church of Georgia] *[ Resource for the Study of Georgian Chant]*[ Article on Church of Georgia in ''The Eastern Christian Churches: A Brief Survey'' (2008) by Ronald Roberson, on the CNEWA website]
[[es:Iglesia Ortodoxa de Georgia]]
[[fr:Église de Géorgie]]
[[ro:Biserica Ortodoxă a Georgiei]]

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