The head of the Russian Orthodox Church has awarded Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov with an order for "glory and honor."
Patriarch Kirill gave the order to Zyuganov in Moscow on June 27, one day after the longtime communist leader celebrated his 70th birthday.
Kirill said Zyuganov -- who in 2010 called for the re-Stalinization of Russia and has called the Soviet Union "the most humane state in human history" -- deserves the award as "one of the most famous Russian politicians who has expressed interest in the welfare of the nation and the protection of traditional moral values."
Zyuganov has been the head of Russia's Communist Party since 1993.
During the Soviet era, the Communist Party severely supressed the Orthodox Church, killing and jailing its priests and thousands of followers while destroying churches and confiscating church property.