The Georgian Orthodox Church as a Civil Actor: Challenges and Capabilities
Religious organizations as civil actors with social capital can play significant roles in social reform processes, examples of which being the African Church in South Africa and representatives of the Catholic Church in Latin America. The Importance of churches as civil actors increases in those countries where the process of democratic transition is in progress and in which the civil sector is weak and disorganized. The church, in contrast to the civil sector, has surpluses of reputation, organizational skills, and autonomy. Those are precisely the qualities that characterize the Georgian Orthodox Church. It not only has a number of advantages compared to other civil sector actors but also actively takes part in ongoing processes in society and state. This policy brief overviews the activities of the Georgian Orthodox Church as a civil actor, its challenges and potential in the ongoing process of democratization, its role in the context of pluralistic civil sector and its relations with other public actors.