Pope Francis and Russian Orthodox leader to hold historic meeting in Cuba

February 12, 2016 2:04 PM

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Pope Francis and Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill will meet in Havana on Friday, the first rapprochement between the two churches in the nearly 1,000 years since Christianity split between East and West.

Despite a separation that dates back to the Great Schism of 1054, the Russian Orthodox Church has said that Islamic extremist attacks on Christian populations in the Middle East and North and Central Africa require urgent measures and closer cooperation between the Christian churches.

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