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On 31 March 2011, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia met with H.E. Luis Alberto Molina Quadra, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Nicaragua to the Russian Federation. Attending the meeting held at the Patriarch’s residence were Rev. Sergiy Zvonarev, DECR secretary for far abroad countries, and Miguel Palacio, a staff member of the same secretariat.

Ambassador Molina Quadra conveyed greetings from the leaders of his country to His Holiness Patriarch Kirill, underscoring that Nicaragua is a Christian country and that ‘We are Christians’ is a slogan of the government. He continued to say that they are revolutionaries, but with Christ in their hearts and expressed his gratitude for an opportunity to meet with the Patriarch. The Ambassador shared his reminiscences of the time when he studied in Kiev and was introduced to the Orthodox tradition. His Holiness said that Kiev was a cradle of Russian Orthodoxy and mentioned a rich history of cooperation between the peoples of Russia and Nicaragua, adding that many Nicaraguans have been educated in the Soviet Union, and many Russian-speaking people live in Nicaragua at present.

His Holiness said that Nicaragua was a country seeking to develop its economy and establish social and economic justice. The Russian Orthodox Church always speaks about justice addressing society. Indeed, it is necessary to develop effective economy and not to forget social justice, as a great destructive potential aimed at the change of the system can develop without it. His Holiness added that such conflicts bring about great sacrifice of the people as was the case with Russia in the 20th century.

As to Nicaragua, His Holiness said that Somosa’s dictatorship and lack of justice had brought about revolutionary events and expressed his joy over the present period of peaceful life in the country. “It is very important to make the peaceful period to promote economic growth and consolidation of social justice in society. The Latin American countries are suffering from the world economic crisis, and its consequences are affecting the life of common people,” Patriarch Kirill said.

His Holiness wished the government and people of Nicaragua success in the solution of economic problems and emphasized the importance of maintaining principles of social justice.

Also discussed was the life of the Russian-speaking diaspora in Nicaragua numbering several hundred Russian Orthodox Christians. His Holiness noted the importance of spiritual support of these people and added that a Russian Orthodox priest could visit Nicaragua from time to time to meet with the Russian community.

“The number of the Russian-speaking Orthodox people in Latin America is increasing,” His Holiness said while speaking about life of the Moscow Patriarchate’s parishes in the Latin American countries and mentioned the recently opened parish in Peru and the Orthodox church built several years ago in Havana on the initiative of Fidel Castro, adding that when he consecrated the church he saw the Russian and the Cubans rejoicing at the event.

His Holiness noted that the Russian Orthodox Church was interested in the dialogue with Christians in Latin America. “The South and Central America is a dynamically developing continent, and Christian tradition plays an important part in the life of people there. In this, Latin America has something in common with Russia. We consider the dialogue with the Latin American countries and with Christians of the region very useful,” Patriarch Kirill said.

In the end of the meeting, His Holiness and the Ambassador of Nicaragua exchanged gifts.