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(ANS) – The Russian Orthodox Church, the largest of the world’s eastern Orthodox communions, is expanding into Cuba and is expected to break ground this month in the center of Havana, according to the church’s Moscow leaders. There are an estimated 8,000 Orthodox Christians in Havana . The temple of Saints Constantine and Helen in Havana , Cuba , hasn’t heard a sermon in years, says an internet report on GreeceNow. Instead, the Greek Orthodox Church has been the home of a children’s theater company. The report says that when Archbishop Athenagoras was elected to head the newly-established Holy Metropolitanate of Panama and Central America in 1996, the Greek Orthodox liturgies were taking place at borrowed premises. The Castro government agreed on the construction of a new Greek Orthodox church, the first religious structure to be built in all of Cuba in 43 years. On Sunday January 20, 2004, in the presence of Cuban government representatives and foreign diplomats, the Archbishop and Kostoulas placed the foundation stone of what is to be Saint Nikolaos (or Nicholas), the new Greek Orthodox church. “In recent years many churches were returned to their respective congregations,” explained Archbishop Athenagoras speaking to GreeceNow from Panama . “But this is the first time that the government has allowed the construction of a new church.”