The Church of Georgia is one of the oldest Christian churches, tracing its origins in tradition to the missionary efforts of the Apostle Andrew in the first century.
Historically, adoption of Christianity by the kingdom of Georgia (Iberia) is traced to the missionary efforts of St. Nino of Cappadocia beginning in early fourth century.
Initially, the Georgian church was part of the territory of the Patriarchate of Antioch.
The church was granted autocephaly by the Patriarch of Antioch in 466.
While seriously disrupted by the invasions of the various tartar tribes in the 13th and 15th centuries the autocephalous church survived until it was placed under the administration of the synodal Church of Russia in 1811.
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After the abdication of Czar Nicholas II following the 1917 February Revolution, the Georgian hierarchs restored autocephaly that was eventually recognized by the Church of Constantinople and the Church of Russia.
With recognition of the Orthodox Church by Stalin after the 1941 Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union, to gain support of the Church for repulsing the invasion, the autocephaly of the Church of Georgia was recognized in 1943 by the Church of Russia.