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    Venezuelan president proposes new Russian church in Caracas

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    Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has proposed building a new Russian church in Caracas, the chief spokesman for the Russian Orthodox Church said Friday.

    CARACAS, October 24 (RIA Novosti) - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has proposed building a new Russian church in Caracas, the chief spokesman for the Russian Orthodox Church said Friday.

    "We do have small churches here. But the president has proposed building a Russian Orthodox church that would be consistent with the level of bilateral relations," Metropolitan Kirill told journalists after meeting with Chavez at the presidential residence.

    "Let us pray and work for the idea we have just spoken about to come true... In this church, people will pray for Venezuela and Russia, for their families, and for their children," Kirill said.

    At the meeting, Chavez invited Kirill to consecrate the new church as soon as it is built.

    Latin American countries began one month of 'Russia Days' on October 17. The program aims to develop and strengthen political, spiritual, cultural, scientific, trade-economic and social ties between Russia and the region. Cuba, Costa Rica, Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Paraguay are participating.

    Chavez and Kirill also agreed to develop Russian-Venezuelan religious links.

    Ninety-six percent of Venezuela's population are Roman Catholics.

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