25 February 2021,   11:48
NGOs are calling for fundamental reform in the area of religious freedom

Human Rights Education and Monitoring Center, Religious associations and activist groups responded on Buknari religious incident. They released the joint statement and urge the Government and the Parliament of Georgia to launch a fundamental reform on religious freedom.

Besides, they call on the officials to abolish the State Agency on Religious Affairs as “it does not help the conflict resolution”.

“The state actively responded to the religious controversy in the village of Buknari, unlike the previous experiences. The on-site mediation process started duly but with shortcomings. However, the state must implement a long-term transformation policy in the Buknari community. Same to the communities that might face the religious or ethnic conflict risk.

It is also important to underline the ineffective role of the State Agency for Religious Affairs. Although this agency is responsible for solving religious disputes, it was not an actor in resolving the Buknari religious controversy. The involvement of this Agency in the mediation process was not visible”, - reads the statement.