There are many phenomenal ancient churches in Georgia. The King of Georgia was one of the first
Heads of State to become Christian. So Christianity has a long history in Georgia -an approximation
being since 377 A.D.
Sacred Shrine of Islamic Saint (Sufi) Mir Movsum Agam-Azerbaijan
A question that should be raised is that of the
supposed Shi’ah / Sunni divide. If the Saudi
grassroots people have such a problem with the
Shi’ah people, as the leaders in Saudi Arabia and
the UAE are constantly espousing, why are Saudi
grassroots people so eager to visit a Shi’ah country
such as Azerbiajan?
Traveling in the Footsteps of the Christian Apostles & Mary, Mother of Jesus (Isa) Visiting Shrines of Islamic Saints, Druze Saints, an ancient Zoroastrian Temple and Recording the Beauty of Orthodox Christian Churches of Antiquity, Plus a visit to Two Georgian Synagogues
As always, the agenda for the trip was:
To meet with religious leaders, spiritual leaders and scholars throughout the areas we travel.
To encourage grassroots interest in organizing intercultural and interfaith events in their respective
To photograph as a record, places considered sacred by the people living in these countries.
To photograph precious anthropological/ archaeological sites that are vulnerable to war and
This CURRENT will follow the exact order of the itinerary of the Embrace Founders. Therefore, it
will start with Turkey, go to Azerbaijan, then Georgia, back to Turkey, on to Lebanon and Cyprus,
returning once again to Turkey.
Ajata and Virginia began this trip visiting places they knew and loved in Istanbul. Among those was
the beautiful Suleymaniye Mosque which is favored by many people in Istanbul and some Sufi
Christian Nun (Georgian Orthodox) at Sioni Cathedral in Tblisi
The Gelati Monastery (Orthodox Christian) founded in 1106 outside of Kutaisi, Georgia is special. The Young Monk above gave Ajata permission to photograph him while praying in a small tower reserved as a place for the monks to pray.
Christian (Georgian Orthodox) Monk Entertaining Women in the Congregation with Answers to Their Questions outside Metekhi Church - Tblisi, Georgia
The curiosity of the Tbilisi Great Synagogue is that while
the Azhkenazi Jewish community came much, much later
to Georgia than the original Jews, in this synagogue they
have a Sephartic service.
They also have it seems, a mostly modern dressed
congregation while the “Wall of Sages” very clearly
shows their past religious leaders as being orthodox. The
congregation seems to partake (or at least some of them
do) in mixed practises.
Gelati Monastery (Orthodox Christian) 1106 A.D. Georgia