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Republic of Georgia


Mob Attacks Assembly of God Group in Republic of Georgia

April 4, 2001

      A mob, led by a radical who has opposed Pentecostal churches, attacked three U.S. Assemblies of God resident personnel and seven visiting U.S. Assemblies of God pastors on March 24, as they surveyed, prayed over and took pictures of the future site of a Bible school in Tbilisi, capital of the Republic of Georgia.

The incident lasted at least 10 minutes, and the well- organized mob, numbering at least 60, kicked and beat the group of men, stealing video cameras and eyeglasses. The group was visiting the future site of the campus for a time of prayer, following a pastors' conference on March 22-23, attended by some 280 pastors, church leaders and laypeople.

Church leadership of the country's 118 Pentecostal churches called for days of fasting in December. In the past few weeks, believers started 24-hour prayer vigils - focusing on Georgia's governmental leaders - asking for God's blessing.

For the first time, police guarded Tibilisi's central Pentecostal church on the Sunday following the attack, since threats of violence continued. This incident is the latest in a series of violent acts that have targeted minority religious groups.

--Used by permission of Religion Today


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