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Three Georgian Witnesses in traditional dress pose with two visiting delegates at the convention.

NOVEMBER 22, 2018
GEORGIA

First Special Convention Held in Tbilisi, Georgia

Brothers and sisters in Georgia welcomed attendees from 18 countries to the “Be Courageous”! Special Convention held in the capital, Tbilisi, on July 20-22, 2018. This theocratic event, the first ever in Georgia, was marked by rich spiritual food, warm hospitality, and displays of the region’s vibrant culture and enduring history.

The convention originated from the Olympic Palace, an arena located in Tbilisi, with a peak attendance of 7,002. The program was streamed to approximately 80 other locations throughout the country, bringing the total attendance to over 21,500. A highlight of the convention was the baptism of 208 new brothers and sisters.

In addition to the spiritual program, the delegates enjoyed exhibitions of Georgian culture. Local Witnesses treated the visitors to performances of ethnic dances and music, tastes of the local cuisine, and tours of the ancient city of Tbilisi.

Tamaz Khutsishvili, a representative at the branch office in Georgia, stated: “The landscape of religious freedom in our country has not always been so favorable. But in this case, with the fine cooperation of the local authorities, it was an unforgettable experience to have the opportunity to welcome so many of our brothers and sisters to enjoy this peaceful event with us.”—Romans 15:7.

 

A peak of 7,002 attended the special convention held at the Olympic Palace on July 20-22, 2018. An additional 14,912 enjoyed watching the program, which was streamed live to various locations throughout the country.

Brother Stephen Lett, a member of the Governing Body, delivered the concluding talk each day.

A highlight of the special convention was the baptism of 208 brothers and sisters. This baptismal pool was placed near the natural rock wall that forms part of the interior of the Olympic Palace.

Live video was streamed to approximately 80 different locations.

Georgian sisters welcome an international delegate. One of the local sisters is wearing a hat made of sheep’s wool that is typically worn in Georgia’s mountainous regions.

A delightful program was arranged on July 17 and 18 at the Château Mukhrani, located in the village of Mukhrani, near Tbilisi. The program featured a live performance of traditional Georgian music and dance and two videos relating the theocratic history of Georgia.

Local Witnesses perform the Adjaruli (named after Adjara, a region located in the southwestern corner of the country, near the Black Sea). The dance is accented by the vibrant traditional Georgian costumes from that area.

Local brothers sing a traditional song in an ancient Georgian vocal (polyphonic) style.