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  • » 01/23/2004, 00.00

    TURKEY – CUBA

    Bartholomew I lands in Havana, while arrests of Christians continue



    Istanbul (AsiaNews) – The Greek Orthodox patriarch, Bartholomew I, was received Wednesday, Jan. 21, by Fidel Castro at the Havana Airport.

    The ecumenical patriarch went to Cuba to consecrate the Greek Orthodox church which, though authorized in 1950, was never opened, but was used as a children's theater. The visit will last 5 days. 

    This is the first time that a patriarch has visited Cuba after Castro took power in 1959. Now island's two thousand Greek Orthodox residents will have the chance to attend Sunday services and every type of religious function in this church. Having completed proper restoration, the church will be consecrated on Jan. 25 by the patriarch himself, who annointed Castro a member of the Order of St. Andrew, the highest honor given by the Greek Orthodox Church. The visit is surely a sign of major advances in relations between Castro's regime and the Orthodox faith, even if violence and arrests are still the commonplace in Cuba.     

    One of the main targets of such repressive policies in Project Varela, carried out secretly by Christian groups living on the island. Project Varela anticipates the possibility of a referendum, according to which openness and freedom is sought for citizens wanting to participate in the country's politics and economy. The project seeks from authorities greater freedom of expression and enterprise, total amnesty for political prisoners, and a transformation of the electoral system to include new and free general elections. In recent weeks the government arrested 75 activists and is threatening the arrest and expulsion of anyone working for Project Varela.
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    See also

    24/01/2004 ORTHODOX CHURCH - CUBA – TURKEY
    Behind-the-scenes of an Orthodox church in Havana
    Signs of openness, political moves, nostalgia for relations with Russia, reconciliation with the Orthodox community of Latin America: this is the mixed bag of reasons bringing Bartholomew I to Cuba.

    26/11/2016 11:38:00 CUBA - VATICAN
    Fidel Castro, father of the Cuban revolution, has died

    His body will be cremated today. He led the island for 50 years. In 2008 he passed the presidency to his brother Raul. He attempted to export the Marxist revolution to Latin America and Africa. Some economic and social achievements at home, along with a heavy oppression of human rights. The disappearance of myth after the fall of the USSR. The Catholic Church and the Popes, catalysts of a transformation on the island nation.



    23/07/2009 TURKEY
    Despite Europe's request, Ankara continues to waver on Religious Freedom
    The head of EU enlargement has said that the accession process of Turkey also depends on the Halki school, an institution for the formation of the clergy of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, closed since 1971. The government remains silent, while the debate grows in the media. The real issue is the recognition of the status of the Patriarchate.

    14/07/2007 TURKEY
    Nationalists force the cancellation of a concert wanted by the Patriarch of Constantinople
    Following pressure form extremist groups, the Turkish authorities revoke permission for an event which was due to close the II Conference of Orthodox Youth tomorrow. “Disapproval” expressed by the academic and diplomatic world: a “damaging” move for the image of the country.

    25/01/2016 00:12:00 ORTHODOX
    Chambésy: despite some slowness, preparations for the 2016 pan-Orthodox Synod are underway

    Because of Turkey’s political situation and tensions with Russia, the Synod originally planned for Istanbul will now take place in Switzerland at Pentecost. The agenda includes eight points on which there is agreement. The other two – the Orthodox diaspora and the hierarchy between the Churches – have failed to elicit an agreement. Other Churches have been invited to send representatives.





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