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Head-first baptism video goes viral

by Aaron James

Patriarch Ilia II has been roundly criticised for the way in which he's been baptising the children (below), with people calling his methods "cruelty", "abuse", "evil", "shameful" and "insane" in the comments section.

News agencies including Euronews have also been covering the baptisms:

According to AP, 600 children were baptised in Tbilisi Trinity Cathedral last week as part of the country's drive to increase the birth rate.

Patriarch Ilia II is baptising every third child of Orthodox families, and every child thereafter, to encouragement parents to have more kids.

He becomes a godfather to every one and since the initiative began in 2008 he now has 29,000 godchildren.

Georgia is approximately 78 per cent Christian.

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