12:23 GMT27 February 2020
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    Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill has flown from Punta Arenas, Chile, to Antarctica where he will hold a ritual at Russia’s Bellinghausen Station, the first time a Russian patriarch has visited the South Polar region.

    PUNTA ARENAS (Sputnik) – Last week, the Patriarch met with former Cuban President and leader of the historic Cuban Revolution Fidel Castro and also took part in a historic meeting with Pope Francis.

    The leaders of two Christian churches discussed a number of issues, including persecution of Christians in the Middle East.

    “Last evening, the patriarch arrived to Punta Arenas from Asuncion [Paraguay] to leave today for the Antarctic on the invitation of Russian explorers. Here he will be the first to hold a holy ritual at the only permanent cathedral in the Antarctic, at the Holy Trinity Orthodox Cathedral at the Russian Bellinghausen Station on the island of Waterloo,” patriarchic press secretary Father Alexander Volkov said.

    The program of the patriarch's Latin American trip includes a visit to Cuba, Paraguay and Brazil.

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