• Pray for any Orthodox Christians whose religion is merely cultural to meet the Living Christ.
• Pray for unity among all churches as they present the Gospel.
• Pray for the remote and largely unreached Svaneti people.
The nation of Georgia derives its name from the Greek word for farmer, appropriate for this land rich in fertile soil and agriculture. Located between the Greater and Lesser Caucasus mountain ranges south of Russia and adjacent to the Black Sea, Georgia considers its identity to be European and Christian, yet the culture shows influences from both the Byzantine and Persian cultures and from the Christian and pagan traditions. The Persians, Arabs, Turks, and Mongols all impacted the history of Georgia. In 1921, Georgia was forcibly incorporated into the Soviet Union, and only in 1991 did it receive its independence. A five-day conflict erupted between Georgia and Russia in 2008.
Georgia has traditionally been a rural society reliant on agriculture. While farming still plays a large role in the economy, there is now also a small industrial sector and strong hydro electrical capacity. Strategically located between Europe and Asia, Georgia is developing gas pipelines and railroads to connect the two regions. The government of Georgia has recently received high marks from the World Bank for its anti-corruption efforts. Since 1991, corruption has reduced and many democratic reforms have taken place. The war with Russia dealt the economy a hard blow, and it has not yet recovered.
Georgia is considered the world’s second oldest Christian nation, with the Georgian Orthodox Church started in 150 AD and Christianity adopted as the state religion in 334. After the fall of Constantinople, Georgia was left the only Christian nation surrounded by Muslim nations. The ascendance of the Soviet Union brought repression upon the Church in Georgia. Many ancient churches were either destroyed or converted into warehouses, and some Christians were martyred. Since the fall of communism, many Georgians have returned to the Church, and even the former department of Atheism at the national university was converted into a theological faculty. There is wide spread nominalism in the Church today, yet also signs of continuation and growth.
Capital City: Tbilisi
Government: Semi-presidential republic
Major People Groups: 75% Georgian (Gruzin, Adzhar); 6% Azerbaijani (Azeri Turk); 5% Armenian; 3% Ossetian (Ossete, Iron)
Religion: Christian 86%, Muslim 11%, Agnostic 3%
Language: Georgian, Azerbaijani, Armenian, Ossetic
GDP Per Capita: $14,100
Literacy Rate: 99.6%
POPULATION IN UNREACHED PEOPLE GROUPS: 6.8%
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