Georgia: Religious sect reportedly harassed by local residents

BBC Monitoring, July 21, 2003

Excerpt from report by Georgian Imedi TV on 20 July

[Presenter] After constant confrontations with Jehovah’s Witnesses, people are now showing intolerance towards Pentecostals as well. This morning residents of Davit Gareji street obstructed members of the religious confession from entering their preaching- house on this street. The population came out against Nikolay Kalitsky who maintains this preaching-house in his house. The Pentecostals prayed in the street. The matter did not came to hand- to-hand fighting. Kalitsky’s neighbours say they usually hear strange voices from the building at the times of prayers. The leader of the Pentecostals denies this and speaks about violence directed at him.

[Zhuzhuna Skhirtladze, local resident, interviewed] We are not fighting against religion. We are fighting against a sect which is undermining our life and the Georgian orthodox creed. [Passage omitted]

[Zaur Vashakashvili, local resident, interviewed] If only you could hear their prayers, the way they bellow. They are speak in some kinds of inhuman voices during their prayers. [Passage omitted]

[Nikolay Kalitsky, captioned as leader of Pentecostals, interviewed, in Russian] This is a lie. We conduct worship services very quietly. We read the Bible, then explain passages of the Scripture, then we sing melodic psalms and pray, pray as I am speaking to you now and even quieter. Well, some people even pray silently.

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