Since it is so difficult to find, here it is.
Tbilsi, Georgia (AP) Assailants attacked a group of Jehovah's Witnesses in the former Soviet republic of Georgia and set fire at the home of one of its members, disrupting plans to held a religious congress there, a lawyer for the group said Friday.
Supporters of Vasily Mkalavishvili, a defrocked Georgian Orthodox priest who rails against evangelical groups, blocked off roads leading into the town of Kaspi, 45 miles west of the Georgian capital, Tbilisi, where Jehovah's Witnesses planned to hold a meeting, said lawyer Manuchar Tsimintiya.
The crowd stopped buses heading into town Friday and tried to force passengers to make the sign of the cross, which is a tradition in Orthodox Christianity but not among Jehovah's Witnesses. Those who refused were atacked verbally and treated roughly, in some cases dragged out of the buses by force, Tsimintiya said. Police did not intervene he said.
In a separate pre-dawn attack Thursday, unidentified assailants broke into the yard of Ushangi Bunturi, a Jehovah's Witness in Kaspi who planned to host the congress, and burned a stage that was to be used for the event. Later, on Thursday night 25 followers of Mkalavishvili broke into the yard, burning religious literature and damaging some equipment, Tsimintiya said.
Local law enforcement officials had approached Bunturi several times, asking him to refuse to host the Jehovah's Witness congress because they couldn't guarantee security, Tsimintiya said. The authorities forced Bunturi to sign a letter taking full responsibility for the event, but he added a footnote sayhing he had been forced to sign the letter.
About 1,000 Jehovah's Witnesses had been expected to gather at Bunturi's house, where they have held congresses since 1996.
According to the Interfax news agency, the U.S. Embassy released a statement saying it had expressed concern to Georgia's leadership about the disrutption of the congress. After President Eduard Shevardnadze met Fridaynight with U.S. Ambassador Richard Miles and a visiting U.S. Congressman, Lloyd Doggett, a Texas Democrat, a Georgian official said Shevardnadze and the government "strongly condemned the rampage," Interfax reported.
The U.S. Embassy could not be reached for comment.
Mkalavishvili, a fiery speaker who was defrocked seven years ago by the Georgian Orthodox Church, opposes the activities of Baptists, Pentecostalists and other evangelical Christian groups that have sprung up in Georgia since the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union.
His followers have frequently attacked Jehovah's Witnesses, disrupted their meetings, and burned books and brochures printed by the group.
More than 70 percent of Georgians are Orthodox Christians, though only a fraction of that number regularly attend church.