On November 6, 2019, an online edition, Georgia and World released an article headlined “Father Giorgi (Razmadze): we will definitely see the next series of a dirty and smear campaign discrediting the Church and His Holiness.” Giorgi Razmadze, leader of St. Ketevan Martyr's Church, notes that western leaders are fighting against Christianity; he brings an example of former Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, who, according to him, names Orthodoxy as the key challenge facing western civilization.
Giorgi Razmadze, a clergyman: “Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, who was quite an influential political figure then, stated bluntly that Orthodoxy was the key challenge facing western civilization, because it regulated family relations and did not recognize the rights of sexual minorities.”
The reports as if former Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt considered Orthodoxy the key challenge facing western civilization represent disinformation. Fake quote was first spread by pro-Kremlin media outlets in 2014. Carl Bildt rejected the claims as false.
- კCarl Build’s quote is fake
According to EUvsDisinfo, the fake quote first emerged in 2014, when Metropolitan of Montenegro, Amfilohije Radović, while addressing a religious ceremony, attributed the following words to Carl Bildt: “The biggest mistake of Putin was his return to Orthodoxy, which is worse than Islamic terrorism.”
On May 14, 2014, Carl Bildt posted a message on Twitter, stating that the quote attributed to him was “a complete fake, propaganda from somewhere.”
According to Serbian media outlet b92.net, Amfilohije's claim is likely related to interpretations of a message posted by Bildt on Twitter on March 24, 2014, where the politician writes: “Perhaps @McFaul underestimating force of Putin’s new anti-Western and anti-decadent line. Building on deeply conservative orthodox ideas.”
- Spread of fake quote in Russian and Georgian media
Interpretations of Carl Bildt’s quotes were actively spread by Russian media outlets, including Russian news agency ИА РЕХ, which released an article on May 5, 2014 headlined “Orthodoxy is the main threat facing western civilization.” The same quote was also spread on the websites pravoslavie.ru and pikabu.ru.
The fake quote was also spread by pro-Russian actors in Georgia five years ago. News agency Sakinformi released a material in 2014 involving Carl Bildt’s fake quote.
During the same year, the fake quote triggered reactions from politicians. In particular, Gigla Baramidze of the coalition Burjanadze – United Opposition expressed concerns over Bildt’s quote, calling it irresponsible.
Prepared by Gvantsa Devidze
Regional Network of Myth Detector Lab