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    MOSCOW, January 21, 2004. /RIA Novosti correspondent Olga Lipich/ - Today Africa has about 5 million Orthodox Christians and over 1,000 Orthodox churches, Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa Peter VII told RIA Novosti after his meeting with Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Alexy II.

    "The Alexandrian altar is almost two thousand years old. For the last 70 years our jurisdiction has included all people and nations living on the continent, Greeks, Arabs, Slavs and Africans," Peter VII said.

    Some African countries have with the blessing of His Beatitude Peter VII functioning Russian Orthodox parishes and priests that "provide spiritual food for Russian-speaking residents of Africa", Patriarch Alexy II emphasized.

    He thanked the Alexandrian Patriarch for "the fatherly love Patriarch Peter demonstrates to priests of the Russian Orthodox Church in Africa".

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