Christian minorities from both Egypt and Syria are starting to look to the South Caucasus countries of Georgia and Armenia as a refuge from violence and uncertainly, Nicholas Clayton writes in an article published by the GlobalPost.
The choice isn’t as random as it may seem. Sandwiched between Turkey, Iran and Russia’s predominately Muslim North Caucasus regions, both Georgia and Armenia have ancient Christian traditions dating back to the 4th century. Their churches are closely related to the Copts and other Eastern Christian confessions.
Georgia has issued nearly 2,000 visas to Egyptians this year — almost all to Coptic Christians — after giving out just 222 last year. The country of 4.5 million now estimates about 2,500 Egyptians live there.
Armenia has gone as far as announcing the creation of “New Aleppo” — a housing development outside the capital Yerevan that has reportedly drawn interest from 600 Syrian Armenian families. Besides, Yerevan offers passports to Syrians with Armenian heritage at its consulates in Syria.