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Russian Orthodox challenge for Hugo Chavez

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  • Bill Samsonoff
    http://www.religiousintelligence.co.uk/news/?NewsID=3158 Russian Orthodox challenge for Hugo Chavez Monday, 27th October 2008. 11:13am By: George Conger. The
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 27, 2008
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      http://www.religiousintelligence.co.uk/news/?NewsID=3158

      Russian Orthodox challenge for Hugo Chavez
      Monday, 27th October 2008. 11:13am

      By: George Conger.

      The Russian Orthodox Church has urged South American strongman Hugo
      Chavez to set forth a theological rationale for his Bolivarian
      revolution in Venezuela.

      Meeting in the Miraflores Palace in Caracas on Oct 23, President
      Chavez and the head of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for
      External Church Relations, Metropolitan Kyrill of Smolensk and
      Kaliningrad pledged closer ties between Venezuela and Russia.
      Accompanied by Russian government ministers, Kyrill's goodwill tour
      is part of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's push to expand his
      government's alliances in the developing world

      It is a sign, analysts note, of the Russian Orthodox Church's growing
      role as a proxy for Russian foreign policy. Kyrill's visit to Caracas
      is the second on a month-long tour of South American capitals. Last
      week he met with Cuban president Raul Castro and consecrated Our Lady
      of Kazan Cathedral in Havana. Other countries on Kyrill's tour
      include Costa Rica, Ecuador, Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Paraguay.

      Venezuelan state television reported that President Chavez and Kyrill
      spent two hours discussing Russian-Venezuelan relations and
      church-state relations. "Problems emerging from the phenomenon of
      globalisation" were raised, the state broadcaster said, with both
      leaders agreeing that "the idea of justice regarding political,
      social and economic problems is based on Christian values."

      President Chavez said Kyrill's visit "injects cordial energy in
      relations between our two peoples. You remind us that there are
      things more important than oil and aircraft," he said, and would
      "bring cordial relations between the two countries to an even higher level."

      Kyrill told the Itar-Tass news agency that he had presented to
      President Chavez a copy of the icon of the Derzhavnaya Mother of God,
      and had led prayers in the chapel of the presidential palace.

      President Chavez promised to build Russian Orthodox Cathedral in
      Caracas, Kyrill said, adding that he had encouraged the Venezuelan
      president to ground the social and political reforms enacted by his
      "Bolivarian" revolution in sound theology. The "social transformation
      of Venezuela" should be accompanied by a moral transformation, Kyrill
      said: one based on sound Christian ethical principles.
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