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, which has declared itself an independent state (recognized only by Russia), Georgian church authorities have largely been prevented from exercising any authority, exiling 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]].[http://www.forum18.org/Archive.php?article_id=1183]