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Chapter Summary

This chapter provides an up-to-date account of the situation of Muslims in Georgia. Georgia has been a majority Christian country for centuries and has remained so through periods of Muslim rule and longer periods of having immediate Muslim neighbours. The Georgian Constitution guarantees freedom of expression, thought, conscience, belief and religion, and prohibits persecution for the expression of opinions or ideas and for holding to any religion or belief. In Tbilisi, the Iman Foundation has an office opposite the Tbilisi Jumma mosque. According to a 2008 publication by the Office of the Georgian Public Defender, there are 286 mosques and prayer houses in Georgia another five are under construction. There are both public and private schools in Georgia, including Georgian, Russian, Azerbaijani and Armenian schools based on the language of instruction. Burial rituals are one of the few Islamic practices, somehow preserved during the Soviet period of 'religious ignorance'.

Keywords: Azerbaijani; Georgia; Islamic practices; Tbilisi Jumma mosque



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