President Saakashvili of Georgia praised
Patriarch Ilia II of the Georgian Orthodox Church as having helped the country sustain its 'identity.' He said that in the 1970s, when Patriarch Ilia II took office, the country's school system was focused on the then-prevalent Soviet culture, not that of its own history- but all that began to change.
From the article:
Saakashvili then compared Ilia II with Ilia Chavchavadze, a 19th century Georgian public figure, who is one of the most respected figures among Georgians, by saying that the Patriarch did the same in 1970s what Chavchavadze did in 19th century, when the latter managed to establish "new Georgian identity" based on multi-century traditions.