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President Castro welcoms Greek Orthodox Patriarch.

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  • Thomas P
    Voice of America News, January 22, 2004 Patriarch of Constantinople Visits Cuba The Patriarch of Constantinople is in Cuba, the first Orthodox Christian leader
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 27, 2004
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      Voice of America News, January 22, 2004

      Patriarch of Constantinople Visits Cuba

      The Patriarch of Constantinople is in Cuba, the first Orthodox
      Christian leader to visit Latin America.

      On Sunday, Patriarch Bartholomew will consecrate a church, said to be
      the first church of any faith built in Cuba since Fidel Castro's
      communist government came to power 45 years ago.

      President Castro, dressed in his familiar olive-green uniform,
      greeted the black-robed patriarch upon his arrival from Turkey
      Wednesday. A group of children sang Greek hymns.

      Organizers of the visit say Patriarch Bartholomew will present Mr.
      Castro with the Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle to thank his
      government for building the cathedral.

      The patriarch is regarded as the highest dignitary of the Greek
      Orthodox Church and is considered to be the successor to Bartholomew
      the Apostle. Fourteen patriarchs represent some 250 million Orthodox
      Christians around the world. An estimated 2,000 practicing Orthodox
      Christians live in Cuba. Many of them are immigrants from countries
      of the former Soviet Union.

      Cuba's government began to tolerate some religious expression in the
      early 1990s and allowed a visit by Pope John Paul in 1998. Most of
      Cuba's Christians follow the teachings of the Catholic church.

      Thomas
      Marth Mariam Church/ St. George Church Thumpamon
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