The Black Sea state of Georgia (not to be confused with the U.S. state in which I reside!) is officially called Sak'art'velo. A former S.S.R., it became independent from the U.S.S.R. in 1991, having formerly provided 90% of its citrus fruit and tea. Warm hearts and hospitality, delicious cuisine, good vegetables, majestic mountains, a rich and deep heritage will all be found here. Yet not everything from Georgia was good: Stalin, the murderous dictator of the U.S.S.R., was Georgian.
The nation borders Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Russia (including Chechnya). Population is about 5 million. The capital city of Tbilisi has 1.5 million residents. Income/person is about US$900/year.
Georgia was annexed by Russia in 1801, though it enjoyed a brief season of independence 1920-21, before it was conquered by the Bolsheviks. Two regions of Georgia have de facto independence: South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Most of us are familiar with the 2008 invasion of Georgia by Russian forces.
20% of Georgians are Muslims, while 62% are Christian. The Georgian Orthodox Church is the largest group, claiming 35% of churchgoers in the nation.
Prayer needs include not only national unity and political stability, but also freedom from unbiblical traditions and persecution. (The Georgian Orthodox Church is one of the prime persecutors.)
My first visit to Georgia took place 9-12 August 2012.
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