2016-02-17 10:00:00

Paraguay president deems Patriarch Kirill, Pontiff to be world's main religious leaders

Asuncion, February 17, Interfax - The development of relations between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church has a global meaning, Paraguay President Horacio Manuel Cartes Jara has said.

"The world is looking forward to it," Cartes told Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia in Asuncion.

He noted that the patriarch was visiting Paraguay seven months after the country had been visited by Pope Francis.

"Hence, within a period of about six months, Paraguay has been visited by two religious leaders, the main ones in the international context," the president said.

In his opinion, the firm rejection of religious fundamentalism and persecution of Christians "should unite as never before the Catholic and Orthodox Churches, which have plenty of common features because of the same root - Jesus Christ."

Cartes noted the contribution made by Russian immigrants in culture, art, education and agriculture and focused on the merits of Russian soldiers.

"The names of these Russian heroes, many of whom died in the Chako War [with Bolivia in 1932-1935] protecting the Paraguayan flag, were carved in bronze. The people of Paraguay will never forget them," he said.