Dissident Orthodox Faction Assails Independent TV

(Tbilisi, January 25, Civil Georgia) – Dissident Christian Orthodox group led by excommunicated priest Basili Mkalavishvili assailed the independent TV station 1st Stereo, demanding banning of the “evangelical” broadcasting.

The group members argued that the broadcasting was “a heresy” not to be permitted in and Orthodox Christian country.

The group threatened incursion into the offices of the company and threatened to destroy the equipment. Two of the group members were arrested by the police, but released under the group pressure. The police did not interfere in continued attack on TV station.

Following several hour standoff, TV executives yielded to the demands and agreed to put the program off air. Unidentified TV company official was quoted saying, “we have certain responsibilities towards people that work in this office building, we do not want violent confrontation” while explaining the reasons for decision.

The group of Basilis Mkalavishvili is known for violent attacks on non-orthodox Christian groups, especially Jehovah’s Witnesses.