Quite a change from Khrushchev's: "Gagarin flew into space, but didn't see any god there."
Moscow, March 6 (Interfax) - Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia decided to decorate first woman-cosmonaut and State Duma MP Valentina Tereshkova with a church order for Glory and Honor (1st degree).
Such a decision was taken regarding how much Tereshkova made for "Motherland and the Russian Orthodox Church," the Patriarch said in his message dedicated to the cosmonaut's jubilee, the Moscow Patriarchate reports at its website.
"Your life is connected with the history of Cosmonautics. Having made a solo flight in space in 1963, at dawn of outer space exploration, you are still a symbol of high spiritual treats of a Russian woman ready for selfless heroism not only in Russia but in the whole world," the document reads.
Today Tereshkova celebrates her 75th birthday.
Order for Glory and Honor is the second important order of the Russian Church and was set up in 2004. State and government heads, leaders of international and intergovernmental organizations, state, public and religious figures are decorated with it for significant contribution in interchurch and interreligious cooperation, in strengthening peace and friendship among nations.
This order is given more seldom than other awards of the Russian Church.
Among its holders are Patriarch Alexy II, newly elected President Vladimir Putin, Cuban leader Fidel Castro, head of the Muslims of the Caucuses Allahshukur Pasha-zade, Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev.