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Abkhaz Orthodox Church Splits From Georgian Church

SUKHUMI -- The Abkhaz Orthodox Church has officially split from the Georgian Orthodox Church, RFE/RL's Russian and Georgian services report.

The head of the Sukhumi-Abkhaz diocese, Father Vissarion Apliaa, told RFE/RL that the decision was made on September 15 at the assembly of the diocese clergy at the Sukhumi Cathedral.

He said that "the Abkhaz church was forcibly annexed to the Georgian church in 1943 and now historical justice has been restored."

Apliaa added that the Abkhaz church plans to ask the Moscow Patriarchy, as the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, for support.