GEORGIA WANTS TO DEPRIVE CLERGY, EXCEPT ORTHODOX, OF RIGHT TO DEFERMENT FROM MILITARY SERVICE
Interfax-Religiia, 15 March 2019
Legislative changes are being prepared in the Georgian parliament according to which the regulation permitting clergymen to receive a deferment from performing obligatory military service will be annulled.
As the initiator of the draft law, the chairman of the parliamentary Committee on Defense and Security, Iraklii Sesiashvili, told journalists, the change does not affect the Orthodox clergy because for them there is a rule in effect that is defined by the concordat.
According to I. Sesiashvili, recently in Georgia there have begun to appear various religious organizations that are issuing to young people of draft age a certification permitting them to receive a deferment, for a certain payment.
"If this continues, then in our country there will be more clergy than soldiers. We intend to annul the article that created the problem in the draft system," he said.
As regards Orthodox religious persons, I. Sesiashvili noted that the special role of the Georgian Orthodox Church is enshrined in the constitution. In accordance with the legislative changes, representatives of other religious confessions will have to choose between service in the army or alternative service. (tr. by PDS, posted 15 March 2019)
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