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Georgia: Land of Exile for Egypt’s Coptic Christians
ICC Note:
With the rise of discrimination and attack on Christians in Egypt, specifically the Coptic Christians, many have fled Egypt for the country of Georgia searching for reprieve and a place to freely practice their faith. “Around 2,500 Coptic Egyptians currently live in Georgia, according to the Ministry of Justice’s Public Service Development Agency, which manages residence data. Most arrived this year and live in the Georgian capital, Tbilisi; a few hundred have settled a few hours’ drive to the west in the parliamentary seat of Kutaisi.” However, the transition has not been smooth and often, the Christians find continued hardship.
By Regis Gente
06/11/2013 Georgia (EurasiaNet)- Increasingly under pressure in Egypt, the Copts, one of the world’s oldest Christian communities, are starting to migrate to Georgia, a bastion of Orthodox Christianity in the South Caucasus. But the transition is not entirely a smooth one.
In Egypt, violent clashes between Copts and Muslims have been on the rise since the 2011 ouster of former President Hosni Mubarak, with many Christians reportedly preferring to leave than experience continuing harassment and discrimination. Earlier this month, the US Commission on International Religious Freedom announced that Egypt “is failing to meet international religious-freedom standards.”
Copts, who classify themselves as an Orthodox Christian denomination, say that Georgia’s strong Orthodox Christian heritage – Eastern Christianity took root here in the 4th century – motivated them to make the move. The country’s relative proximity (Tbilisi is roughly a two-and-a-half-hour flight from Cairo) and reputation for relatively lax business and visa regulations also played a role.
Around 2,500 Coptic Egyptians currently live in Georgia.

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