Georgian Orthodox church patriarch’s mass baptisms boost birth rate

May 7, 2012

A baptism in Georgia. Photo: Shakh Aivazov/AP. A baptism in Georgia. Photo: Shakh Aivazov/AP.
The patriarch of the Georgian Orthodox church has baptised hundreds of babies in a Tbilisi cathedral and has been credited with raising the birth rate.

Patriarch Ilia II has promised to become the godfather of all babies born into Orthodox Christian families who already have two or more children.

Since he began the mass baptisms in 2008, he has gained almost 11,000 godchildren.

Georgian president Mikheil Saaskashvili said the patriarch deserves credit for the 25% higher birth rate from 2005 to 2010.

Many parents of the 400 baptised babies said this had made them have another child.

Associated Press in Tblisi

The Guardian


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