SOCIETY FOR THE RESTORATION OF THE CHRISTIANITY IN BATUMI IN 80-90S OF XIX
The Russian Empire conquered the entire Caucasus in the 1860s. Began to pursue Russian colonial policy. This mainly meant the assimilation of the conquered peoples. In the Muslim regions conquered by the empire, they began to pursue a Russian Orthodox missionary policy.
As a result of the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-1878, the United Russian-Georgian Army with the great support of the local population was able to liberate Adjara from the long domination of Turkey and return it to its homeland.
The newly annexed corner and its population immediately came to the attention of the Russian Church, particularly in the attention of "Society for the Restoration of the Christianity in the Caucasus." One fact is noteworthy, particularly, when the united army of Russian-Georgians entered in Batumi, it was accompanied by ecclesiastical figures of both Russian and Georgian nationalities. One of them was the Georgian ecclesiastical figure Davit Dumbadze. The Greek Orthodox Church of St. Nicholas and the parishioners of St. Nicholas greeted the army in Batumi with the ringing of church bells.
This was the first time the bells had rung, because the Turks had not allowed churches to ring the bells. To celebrate this event, a solemn banquet was held in Batumi, which was attended by representatives of both secular and ecclesiastical authorities.
At this banquet, the head of the Greek church Alex delivered a speech and praised this historic event. Moreover, he mentioned Davit Dumbadze with a great love, who had visited Batumi at the several times as a civilian. He had been meeting representatives of Greek and other churches in Batumi and was informed about the situation in Batumi. He was also interested in the state of the Christian faith, he was meeting the Christians of Batumi and consoling them, telling them that this region would soon be liberated from Turkish domination. We knew that - continues Alex - David Dumbadze was a member of the Christian missionary community and we provided him with information about the situation of Christians. Alexi said that he would be very grateful if the priest Davit Dumbadze together with others would be awarded a medal for the dedication he showed in carrying out this great historical event.
Keywords: Society for the Restoration of Christianity in the Caucasus, Russo-Turkish War.