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The number of crosses on the roofs near Tbilisi is growing

In the outskirts of Tbilisi, residents place giant crosses on the roofs of their buildings. They can sometimes be confused with antennas. No one knows when this tradition began.

Some of the crosses are lit at night. Some place small religious icons at the bottom. Many of them are called the “Holy Nino Cross”. In the traditional Georgian crosses of St. Nino, one side of the horizontal line is drawn diagonally. These crosses are also called “grape crosses”. According to legend, St. Nino, the first missionary of Georgia, made a cross from a vine and fastened it with his own hair.

In a large six-storey blue building in Tbilisi’s Zgvisubani district, mostly IDPs from Abkhazia and the state social people who receive help live.

Abkhaz refugees have been living in this building since 1992. They repeatedly to improve living conditions protest held rallies. Many families are still waiting for the right to privatize their new apartment or house.

The children seem to like it. The six-storey building is a huge playground for them. Beka 16-year-old teenager does not go to school. He wants to either study a profession or enlist in the army. Beka says the crosses on the roof of the building were the work of a man named Irakli. Irakli is also an IDP from Abkhazia. But he no longer lives here. Beka says Irakli sometimes lives in a monastery and sometimes elsewhere. Irakli wanted the neighborhood to follow the path of religion and baptized some of the children living in the building, including Beka herself.

He brought the Iraqi monks and consecrated the building. Sanctification is widespread in Georgia. Monks can consecrate everything, often a house or a car, by performing a special ritual. Since moving to Iraq, one of the neighbors has always been a picture of St. George snowlights a candle in the window.

“Sanctifying a house is not just about protecting it, for example, from lightning or fire. People… think that with this ritual they will be protected from calamity… If I sanctify my house, it means that I will open the door to more people here, I will feed the hungry here, I will dedicate my house to the service of God ”– Georgian Orthodox monk Alexander Kaldava he says.

“The cross on the roof of the house is for the people in that house to each other snowIt doesn’t matter if he doesn’t show respect, resolve conflicts peacefully, and take care of common spaces. “monk adds.

It seems that no one in Tbilisi knows how this tradition began. But the same story can be heard everywhere: a religious neighbor one day decided to put a cross on the roof of his house.

There are seven crosses on the roof of a nine-storey building in Tbilisi’s Temka district – one cross on each of the six blocks and a larger cross in the middle. Crosses here 20In 07, the former building manager put on Zura. Previously, all crosses were illuminated at night. Residents also paid for electricity. Now only the cross in the center is lit. The light of this cross was taken directly from the house of one of the residents. It is said that 700 lari (237 dollars) electricity debt remains.

The current manager of the building Lali Kveseladze He says it is difficult to collect money from residents for the basic needs of the building, including the lighting of crosses at night. According to him, 10-15 years ago, everyone in the building knew each other. Now that many people have moved, the sense of community has disappeared.

The Tbilisi Architectural Service told RFE / RL that residents must submit a detailed plan for the roof changes. Since the roof is one of the common areas of the house, residents must collect signatures. Without this step, any construction is considered illegal. The Tbilisi Municipal Inspectorate told the radio that it was impossible to monitor thousands of buildings. The agency said the roofs and yards would be inspected only if a formal complaint was received; As for the crosses, no complaints have been received yet.

Most Georgians believe in the church more than the government. According to a survey conducted in 2022, 81% of the population is positive about the Georgian Orthodox Church. Those who were positive about the government made up 46 percent of respondents.

According to a survey conducted by the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC), the majority of citizens (79 percent) believe that the Georgian Orthodox Church is the basis of Georgian identity. Eighty-three percent say the church plays a very important role in their family.

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