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The Georgian Patriarchate has condemned the release of the program on Azerbaijani ARB TV channel broadcast in St. George Cathedral on Kurmukhi village, News Georgia reports.

The cathedral is located in the territory of Saingilo, a historical province of Georgia, which was once part of northeastern Kakheti, currently being under the jurisdiction of Azerbaijan.

The cathedral was built at the end of the 12th and beginning of the 13th century.  The patriarchate was outraged by the scene of the travel show “Fernando is in the city,”whose host travels throughout Azerbaijan, meeting with the residents of different corners of the country. In the episode, a young man by the altar of the Georgian cathedral performs the “Ave Maria” of Franz Schubert in a comical manner.

The Georgian Patriarchate named the occurrence “improper,” demanding the Azerbaijani government, spiritual leader of the country and Chairman of the Caucasian Muslims Office Haji Allashukur Pashazade to react.

“We express our concern about the attitude, which was shown towards the St. .George Cathedral in Kurmukhi village of Kakheti region in Saingilo. In particular, the program “Fernando is in the city” was released on entertainment TV Channel ARB, one of whose episodes was shot in Kurmukhi cathedral, when a young man “performs” improperly the aria “Ave Maria” by Schubert,” the statement says.

According to the Patriarchate, this is already the second case of “improper treatment” to the St. George Cathedral. In 2015, scandal was sparked by a video shot in Kurmukhi church by ATV.

“Unfortunately, this is already the second case known to us, when these monuments are treated improperly. We want to recall that it was exactly here that ATC shot a video of profane content in 2015. Kurmukhi church possesses great grace and power. This is recognized both by the Orthodox Christians and Muslims,” the statement reads.

Some time after the publication of the statement, the video of ARB TV channel was blocked on YouTube and is no longer available for viewing. 

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