“Church against Liberasts” Posts Fabricated Quote Attributed to Georgian Patriarch

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On June 22, Facebook user Giorgi Dzidziguri shared a photo depicting Georgian Patriarch Ilia II to a public group “გასამართლდეს ნაციონალური მოძრაობა!” (Bring the National Movement to Justice). The photo is accompanied by the quote attributed to the Patriarch: “I will end Natsi band.” The photo was uploaded on Facebook page “ეკლესია ლიბერასტების წინააღმდეგ” (Church against Liberasts) on February 24 with a call “Share if you believe.” As of June 29, the post is no longer available in the group “Bring the National Movement to Justice,”

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The quote attributed to Patriarch Ilia II is fabricated, whereas “Church against Liberasts” is a satirical page, which spreads fabricated quotes and posts without any references. 

The quote attributed to Patriarch Ilia II cannot be searched through open sources. Facebook page “Church against Liberasts” was created on March 21, 2020 and initially it was named “Church against Corona.” The page changed its name on June 9, 2021.
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In its ‘About us’ section, the page notes one word only – “amin,” adding that the page belongs to a religious organization. “adidegmertiufali” is a URL address of the page.

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As for the posts published on the page, on June 9, after the page changed its name, several posts were published regarding the developments around the Orthodox Church-run Ninotsminda orphanage. One of them belongs to antiliberal Facebook page Zneoba.ge affiliated with Georgian Idea and it calls on Bishop Jakob not to allow Georgian Public Defender Nino Lomjaria to enter the orphanage. Other posts involve the calls for supporting Bishop Spiridon and sharing the posts.

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Although the captions accompanying the posts, in some cases, point at their satirical nature, various comments to these posts show that a great part of users have perceived them seriously and are trying to express support to Bishop Spiridon through sharing the posts.

In May, amid intensified anti-Namakhvani protests, the page was spreading fake supporting posts, where Varlam Goletiani, leader of anti-Namakhvani protests, was compared to Georgian Orthodox monk Gabriel and a divine miracle.

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Earlier, when the page was still named “Church against Corona,” it published posts about fabricated facts and fake treatment methods related to the coronavirus, including recovery from the virus with the help of holy water and fertility-related problems among children infected with COVID-19.

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