Georgia is located in the south of the Caucasus, between the Black and Caspian Seas. The Mother of God is considered the principal protector and intercessor of Georgia since the country was first allocated to her to preach in.
The Church of Georgia is one of the oldest Christian churches, tracing its origins in tradition to the missionary efforts of the Apostle Andrew in the first century. Historically, adoption of Christianity by the kingdom of Georgia (Iberia) is traced to the missionary efforts of St. Nino of Cappadocia beginning in early fourth century.
According to tradition, the Apostle Andrew, the First Called, preached in Georgia in the first century. Tradition relates that he came with the Holy Mother’s Uncreated Icon, that is the icon of the Theotokos not made by human hands.
The active history of Christianity in Georgia begins with the missionary activities of Nino of Cappadocia beginning in 303. By 317 her message reached the rulers of the eastern and western kingdoms of Georgia when King Mirian II of Iberia (Eastern Georgia) and Queen Nana of Western Georgia adopted Christianity as the state religion. The Christianization of Georgia progressed over the next several centuries.
As part of the late Roman (Byzantine) Empire Georgian Christianity was heavily influenced by its form of practice. Initially, the churches in Georgia were part of the Apostolic See of Antioch. The Church of Georgia became autocephalous when the Patriarch of Antioch elevated the bishop of Mtskheta to the honor of Catholicos of Kastli in 466, an elevation recognized by the rest of the Church. Subsequently, the Catholicos was given the added title of Patriarch in 1010, making the title of the primate of the Georgian Church the Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia.
Georgia has a long history of religious harmony within its borders despite the historical conflicts with the surrounding nations. Different religious minorities have lived in Georgia for thousands of years.
The Georgian Constitution provides freedom of religion