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    MEXICO, January 17. /RIA Novosti correspondent Ilya Protsenko/. The Orthodox Church is to award Cuban leader Fidel Castro with the order of St. Andrew, said Archbishop Athenagoras, who heads the Orthodox Church of Central America and the Caribbean Basin.

    The award, he said, is given to prominent figures around the world who help the church in its deeds.

    The order will be presented to 77-year old Castro during the visit to Cuba by Ecumenical Patriarch Varfolomey I due on January 21 to 26. It will be the first visit by an Orthodox leader of such a rank to Cuba.

    It is planned that the Ecumenical Patriarch will sanctify the St. Nicolas Orthodox Church being built in downtown Havana with the money of the Cuban Government. There are 3 to 4 million Orthodox believers in Latin America. Their number in Cuba is about 2,000. Most of them come from the republics of the former Soviet Union.

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