Tbilisi, August 13, 2020
According to a new public opinion survey from the Center for Insights in Survey Research, His Holiness Catholicos-Patriarch Ilia II of Georgia remains the most popular and trusted public figure in the Orthodox nation.
Data was collected between June 4 and July 2 from 1,500 permanent residents of Georgia who are 18 and older and eligible to vote. The survey is “representative of the general population by age, gender, region and size of the settlement,” according to the report on the survey results.
According to the survey, 89% of Georgians have a favorable view of His Holiness, while only 6% have an unfavorable view. 5% of respondents were unsure of their attitude towards the Patriarch or did not answer.
The next most favored leader according to the survey is Amiran Gamkrelidze, the Director General of the National Centre for Disease Control and Public Health, with a 74% approval rating.
Among institutions and organizations, the Georgian Church as a whole enjoys an 85% positive rating, with only the army viewed more positively, at 89%.
The Georgian Church has undergone a great revival under the guidance of Pat. Ilia, who has headed the Church since 1977. When he ascended the Patriarchal throne, there were 30 active churches in 15 dioceses throughout the nation; today there are 47 dioceses and about 2,000 churches.
His Holiness has been the most trusted and beloved man in the nation for many years, and is personally the Godfather to more than 41,000 children born in Georgia since 2008.