MOSCOW, August 14 (Itar-Tass) — Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill congratulated Cuba’s former leader Fidel Castro upon his 85th birthday marked on Saturday.
“The Russian Orthodox Church will always with words of gratitude recall your personal contribution to the construction of the Russian cathedral in Havana and your sincere care you’d taken of the community of our compatriots,” Patriarch Kirill said in his congratulatory message.
In 2008, being a metropolitan, he consecrated the first Orthodox cathedral in the Caribbean and met with Fidel Castro.
The Russian Orthodox Cathedral is located in the historical centre of the Cuban capital. The construction project was designed by Russian architect Rostislav Vorontsov, while finishing touches were made by his Cuban counterpart Oscar Jaime Rodriguez. The cathedral occupies the area of 1,500 square meters.
Cuba’s Orthodox community exceeds 2,000. The overwhelming majority is immigrants from the former Soviet Union who are permanently residing on the island as well as diplomats and specialists.
The country’s traditional religion is Catholicism.