Georgia: US embassy deplores raid on Jehovah’s Witnesses

Source: BBC Monitoring Former Soviet Union – Political
Publication date: 2002-08-16
http://– BROKEN URL yellowbrix.com -/pages/newsreal/Story.nsp?story_id=32205818
Text of report by Georgian TV on 16 August

[Presenter] The embassy of the USA has deplored a raid on Jehovah’s Witnesses. An embassy statement says that the government of the USA strongly supports freedom of religion. The embassy is sending its representative to observe a Jehovah’s Witnesses gathering in Kaspi. Washington requests the Georgian government to show vigilance and to prevent any acts of violence during the gathering.

Guram Sharadze [Georgian MP campaigning against religious sects in Georgia] responded harshly to the US embassy statement. The member of parliament, who arrived at Kaspi [a town where the prayer house of Jehovah’s Witnesses was raided on 15 August and where the gathering is scheduled to be held today], once again demanded that the American ambassador, Richard Miles, be recalled from Georgia.

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[Guram Sharadze, MP] I am sorry for these people. It is a wrong assumption that we are happy about their misfortune. They are our brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers, neighbours and friends but they have been misled. They need help. I would like to appeal to them to return to our mother church, the Christian Orthodox Church. This would help them resolve many problems, including spiritual problems.

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Religion News Blog posted this on Friday August 16, 2002.
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