March 26, 2012

Georgian Church Celebrates the Restoration of Autocephaly

On March 25th the Georgian Orthodox Church celebrates the restoration of its autocephaly. The Georgian Church gained autocephaly in 457 by the Patriarchate of Antioch, since it was under Antioch at that time. In 1811 it was abolished by the Russian Empire, in a failed attempt to Russify Georgia. The Church's independence was restored in 1917 and later accepted by the Russian Orthodox Church. Thanks to the efforts of the Catholicos-Patriarch Ilia II the Church of Georgia finally gained official autocephalous status by the Ecumenical Patriarchate under Ecumenical Patriarch Demetrios of Constantinople. The Tomos of Autocephaly was received from the Ecumenical Patriarch on 23 March 1990 (pictured above).