The municipalities of Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti increase funding for the eparchies of the Georgian Orthodox Church
The municipalities of the Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti Region spent a total of GEL 1,434,627 for the funding of religious organizations in the period from January 2017 through February 2019. For the sake of comparison, the total amount issued by the municipalities in the years 2014-2016 amounted to GEL 1,267,604.3. Similarly to the previous period, in the years 2017-2019 too, the municipalities only provided financial assistance for the Georgian Orthodox Church.
Whereas the financial assistance provided by the municipalities in 2017 amounted to GEL 466,862, in 2018 the amount of funding almost doubled and the municipalities provided a total of GEL 804,464 for the Church.
In the same period, the State transferred two pieces of property located in Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti to the Church: a non-agricultural land plot with an area of 1,886 sq. meters in the village of Khabume, Chkhorotsku Municipality, and a non-agricultural land plot with an area of 2,663 sq. meters, together with a building, in the military settlement in the town of Senaki. The official documents fail to indicate the grounds and purpose of the transfer of the said property.
During the same period, the Municipality of Senaki transferred two non-agricultural land plots in the villages of Ledzadzame and Eki to the State, to be further transferred to the Patriarchate – these land plots contained a church and a monastery with the status of a monument of cultural heritage. However, the State has yet to transfer these pieces of property to the Church.
Out of the municipalities of Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti, only the Municipality of Chkhorotsku has not provided funding for religious organizations.
As for other municipalities:
● The biggest sum – GEL 500,000 – was spent by the Municipality of Zugdidi which funded the construction of churches and Sunday schools; during the same period, the municipality also allocated GEL 50,000 for “serving meals for honorable guests” as part of the celebrations of the Vlakernoba holiday (marking the day when the robe of the Virgin Mary was brought to Vlacherna).
● The Municipality of Mestia allocated an amount of money (GEL 439,958) for the construction of churches and monasteries, including the residence of the Bishop of Mestia and Zemo Svaneti.
● The Municipality of Khobi spent GEL 13,631 to pay the electricity bills of the Khobi Convent.
● The Poti City Hall spent a total of GEL 237,537, from which GEL 94,719 was used to pay the electricity bills of the Poti Cathedral and GEL 142,818 for the renovation works of the same cathedral.
● The Municipality of Abasha funded the reconstruction works of the Sunday Parish School with GEL 50,000.
● The Municipality of Martvili has not provided us with information on the concrete measures on which its allocation (GEL 77,500) was spent.
See detailed information in the charts below: