The Peace Cathedral


The Peace Cathedral (Georgian: მშვიდობის კათედრალი) is an active 20th-century cathedral
which is situated in Tbilisi, Georgia. The Peace Cathedral is a current member of the Evangelical
Baptist Church of Georgia and is considered the central mother church of Baptists Both in Georgia

and the entire region. Formerly a member of the all Union Council of Evangelical Christians-
Baptists (AUCECB), the Evangelical Baptist Church disaffiliated during the breakup of the Soviet

Union to join directly as well as the Conference of European Churches in 1991, then the Baptist
World Alliance in 1992.


The Peace Cathedral was not originally constructed for the purpose that it serves today. Initially
the building was built in order to house German prisoners of war during WWII. In the 1960’s the
building was turned into a warehouse until finally in 1972 the structure was handed over to the
church and converted into what was known as the Tbilisi Baptist Congregation. The original
church was pulled down by the Communist authorities, at the time, this was the only Baptist
church in all of Georgia. During the fall of the Soviet Union however, the church was renamed
the Central Baptist Church due to the formation of the Baptist denomination in Georgia. Finally
in 2006, the church was renamed to the Peace Cathedral as it was inducted into the Community
of the Cross of Nails.

In 2003, the ecumenical movement observed a prayer for the unity of Christian churches. This
movement entails the two bodies of the World Council of Churches and the Conference of
European Churches. These bodies consist of four churches: the Roman Orthodox Church, the
Armenian Apostolic Church, the Apostolic Lutheran Church, and the Evangelical Baptist Church.
Each year one of the churches hosts the prayer as an act of consolidation of the Christian
churches. In February of 2003, the Peace Cathedral was to host the ecumenical prayer on
behalf of the Evangelical Baptist Church. However, the event was disrupted when a
fundamentalist mob of the orthodox church orchestrated by the Georgian government
attacked the Peace Cathedral. After this aggressive display, the Peace Cathedral began to
campaign to put an end to religious violence. The campaign garnered support from the General
Secretary of the World Council of Churches, Dr. Konrad Reiser, the Archbishop of Canterbury
during the time, Rowan Williams, and even the 39th President of the United States, Jimmy
Carter, who wrote a letter urging the aggressors to end their acts of religious violence. The
campaign resulted in the Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze coming to the Peace
Cathedral for the first time in history in order to address the event, apologize for the attack,
and pledge to put an end to religious discrimination.
After the Second Chechen War in 2000, many Chechen refugees fled to the nearest country for
shelter, Georgia. The Chechens do not have a good track record with the Georgian people.
Chechens have always been viewed as invaders of Georgia. The Chechen people came to

Georgia and lived in the mountains of the Pankisi with no resources. It was at this time that the
Central Baptist Church was confronted with the issue and decided to take action. Bishop
Malkhaz Songulashvili reached out to colleagues hoping to raise a meager amount of $500 U.S.
dollars. The next morning when the bishop checked his email he had received over $15,000 to
support the Chechens living in the mountains. In total, the efforts raised around $300,000
which allowed the church to continue supporting the Chechen people as well as other
marginalized groups in Georgia for the next 7 years. For this relationship and aid to the Chechen
people, the Community of the Nail of Crosses invited the Central Baptist Church to be an official
member. In 2006, the church changed its name to the Peace Cathedral. The Peace Cathedral
now makes effort to make everyone feel welcome and to promote peaceful relations between
religious groups and to continue fighting for the marginalized members of society.


The Peace Cathedral uses a liturgy in mostly Georgian with partial usage of English when there
are English speaking members, as well as French, Arabic, and German.
The cathedral practices the ordination of women into the church and are avid practitioners of
the involvement of women in leading roles conducting the practices of the church. This is evident
through the examination of Bishop Rusadan’s life and the role that she plays in the Peace
Cathedral as Bishop. By allowing women to be ordained in the deacon, pastoral, or bishop role,
it gives people the chance to see God’s creation as not hierarchical but more egalitarian. This
means everyone is equally precious to God because of the diversity of the church and isn’t set up
with individuals being prior to other members.
The church draws its resources from the liturgical tradition of Eastern Orthodox Churches and
adapts them to the needs of the contemporary faithful.
The E….. anaphora that has been used by the church on a regular bases was created in 2014
and has been inspired by John Chrisostoph, Donald Reeves, Shota Rustaveli and Jalaladin Rumi.
There are three stances that makes the Cathedral distincts both in the country and entire East
It upholds three fold ministry of Bishops, priests, deacons and ordains both men and women in
these orders.
It is deeply committed to interfaith peace and partnership. Under the same roof of the
Cathedral there are spaces set aside as Peace Mosque, Pease Synagogue, Peace Place for all
religious or none.

It affirmes(?) all the marginalized groups in the city, including members of the LGBTQ
community both liturgically and theologically.
It has been in the tradition of the Peace Cathedral to react to every exposure of bigotry and
hatred with projects of beauty The rise of islamophobia, anti semitism and xenophobia was
confronted by the Peace Cathedral by yet another project of beauty: the Peace Project.
The Peace Project entailed construction of Peace Mosque, Peace Synagogue and Peace Space
under the same roof of the Cathedral.
The Cathedral introduced a fundraising principle: Muslim could not contribute funds for the
Pease Mosque, Jews and Christians could. Similarly, Jews could not contribute funds to the
Peace Synagogue, Muslims and Christians could.
Owing to the support of Jews and Christians The Peace Mosque has been completed and is
open to worshippers. And owing to the support of Muslims and Christians The Peace Synagogue
has been completed and is open to worshippers.
Now the Peace place is being constructed under the same roof of the Cathedral, where Yezidis,
Buddhists, Hindus and others will have a space for worship.