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Russian Orthodox Group to Visit Israel

A delegation of eight leaders of the Russian Orthodox Church is due in Israel later this week. The group, headed by Archbishop Oharov, is coming officially to celebrate the Orthodox Pentecost at the holy places in Jerusalem. But more than religious significance is attached to their visit. The group will meet with the Israeli Minister for Religious Affairs Yitzhak Rafael. One of the subjects on the agenda is the enlargement of the five-member permanent delegation of the Orthodox Church in Jerusalem. Meeting with other Israeli leaders are also expected. A similar delegation visited Israel last year, headed by Metropolitan Philaret of East Berlin. That visit ended with a statement urging increased pilgrimages to the holy places-from Eastern European countries. So far they have not materialized.