At the Department of External Church Relations in the Russian Orthodox Patriarchate of Moscow, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II met with the Chairman of the Department Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk.
The meeting was attended by the official delegation accompanying His Holiness: their Eminences Mor Severius Hawa, Archbishop of Baghdad and Basra, Mor Philoxenus Yusuf Cetin, Patriarchal Vicar in Istanbul and Ankara, Mor Dionysius Jean Kawak, Patriarchal Assistant, Mor Nicodemus Daoud Sharaf, Archbishop of Mosul, Kurdistan and Environs, Very Rev. Raban Joseph Bali, Patriarchal Secretary and Media Office Director, and Very Rev. Raban Roger-Youssef Akhrass, Director of Syriac Studies as well as Rev. Fr. Stephan and Mr. Sergey Alferov.
Metropolitan Hilarion welcomed His Holiness and the accompanying delegation and gave them an overview on the history and current work of the Department. He also talked about the spiritual revival in the Russian Orthodox Church after the fall of communism.
His Holiness expressed his joy to visit the Russian Orthodox Church and spoke about the persecution of Christians in the Middle East. He thanked the efforts of the Russian Orthodox Church to defend Christians and support them. His Holiness spoke about the ways of deepening the relations between the Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch and the Russian Orthodox Church, especially in the light of the growing need for cooperation in order to better help Christians in the Middle East.
His Holiness and Metropolitan Hilarion exchanged gifts during this visit.