April 25, 2016
A recent poll conducted by the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and the Caucus Research Resource Center-Georgia has once again demonstrated the Georgian Orthodox Church’s return to prominence as Georgian society leaves behind the atheist-soviet period.
Georgians’ loyalty to the Church and their traditional values was shown to impact areas of their life beyond simple church attendance. According to Georgia Today, of the 3,900 respondents questioned between February 23 and March 14, 74 percent testified that they would not vote in the upcoming October 8 elections for parties seen as critical to the Church, headed by the much-loved Patriarch-Catholicos Ilia II.
68 percent also responded that they would not support those who criticize the nation’s deeply and long-held traditions, while 78 percent said they would not support those who support open public discussion of sexual orientations.
This recent poll shows similar results to an April 2015 NDI poll which showed that Patriarch Ilia enjoyed the highest approval rating—87 percent—of any public figure, while a 2014 International Republican Institute poll showed that the Church itself was the most trusted and supported social institution in Georgia, with 94 percent of the vote.