Sept. 25 - Georgian Orthodox Christian priests added their voice and prayers to the protests sparked by a prison abuse video. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
Members of Georgia's Orthodox clergy took to the steets of Tbilisi, joining protests sparked by a video of prison abuse, which was broadcast on two opposition TV channels a week ago. The video shows groups of guards beating prisoners, and raping inmates with objects. The Church in Georgia, is seen as one the most trusted institutions of the country, and the priests often use their considerable influence, providing guidance in the lives of the believers. The abuse scandal, has sharply raised the stakes for President Mikheil Saakashvili, who has promised to leave the presidency next year and needs victory for his party in the October parliamentary election to keep a hand on power.