The president of South Ossetia Anatoliy Bibilov hosted on August 31 the bishop of Vladikavkaz and Alania of the Russian Orthodox Church, Bishop Leonid.
Bishop Leonid arrived to South Ossetia to inspect the construction process of a church which is being built. The church will be under the jurisdiction of the Russian Orthodox Church, although it is in the canonical territory of the Georgian Orthodox Church. The building of the cathedral is planned to be finished at the end of the year.
After visiting the construction site, the bishop thanked the government of South Ossetia and noted that the church will serve the 58th Army of Russia, which is the Russian military unit which serves on that territory, as well as border guards, Russian Embassy employees, and Orthodox followers in the South Ossetia region.
Bibilov said that the Orthodox religion and faith is what spiritually unites South Ossetia and Russia. Bibilov said he wants for the "Orthodox religion to become the basis for the republic.”
The Russian Orthodox Church recognizes Georgia's occupied regions as an independent states.
The Moscow Patriarchate formally recognizes the jurisdiction of the Georgian Orthodox Church in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, however it systematically intrudes into the canonical territory of the Georgian Orthodox Church. During divine services, the Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia is not mentioned.