Patriarch Kirill arrives in Lebanon
On November 13, 2011, in the course of his official visit to the Orthodox Church of Antioch, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia arrived in Lebanon from Syria.
His Holiness was met at the airport in Beirut by Metropolitan Elias of Beirut, Mr. Farid Makari, vice-president of the Lebanese Parliament, Mr. A. Zasypkin, Russia’s ambassador to Lebanon, Mr. V. Koval, Ukraine’s ambassador to Lebanon, Mr. Nikolaos Fouyas, minister-counsellor of the Greek embassy in Lebanon, and Archpriest Anatoly Yegorov, rector of the Russian parish in Beirut.
In his remarks to reporters of the local and overseas TV networks, Patriarch Kirill said in particular,
‘I have been to Lebanon both at a time of peace and prosperity and at a time of war. I remember very well the time when the capital of Lebanon resembled Stalingrad destroyed during World War II. Now flying up to Beirut and seeing again a great number of lights and restored buildings, I rejoiced in the sight. The Lebanese people have used the time of peace to restore their cities and their country. I would like to congratulate you on these great achievements.
‘I have come for an official visit to the Orthodox Church of Antioch after my ascension to the patriarchal see of Moscow. According to the old tradition, a newly-elected patriarch visits his fellow-primates of Local Orthodox Churches in the order established by the Orthodox Church. So today I have an opportunity to come to the Orthodox Church of Antioch. I have come from Syria to Beirut in order to pray together with the Orthodox faithful and to communicate with your people and your statesmen. I will also have an opportunity to visit the Balamand University and meet my compatriots.
‘Primatial visits are very important as through them relations between Local Orthodox Churches are maintained on the highest level. The relations between the Churches of Antioch and Russia have a long history which shows that we have always been together, in joys and sorrows. I hope that this visit will contribute to the development of good relations between both our two Churches and our nations’.
Asked about his impressions of the meeting he had on the same day with President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, Patriarch Kirill said,
‘Today I have had an opportunity to meet with President Assad. I am not acting as a political leader or a diplomat or a political envoy of Russia or any other country but as Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church. And my principal concern in this connection is what is going on in the Middles East with regard to the situation of Christians. For many years, Syria has been an example of peaceful, calm and benevolent co-existence and cooperation between the Muslim and Christian communities. Naturally, we have apprehensions about what may happen. We saw what happened in Egypt and in Iraq. We see violence committed against Christians and growing Christianophobia. We see the destruction of relations which have taken so much effort and time to build. I very much hope that nothing like that will happen in Syria or Lebanon or any other country in the Middle East and in North Africa or in the world. The topic of Christian-Muslim relations is very important including for us in Russia. We have never had religious wars. For a thousand years we have lived in peace. We have developed a special style of relations between Orthodox people and Muslims. We cherish them and believe that it is only peace between religions, between cultures and ethnic groups that can preserve peace on our planet’.
DECR Communication Service
- 17.11.2011 17:43(Russian) «Интерпретация поездки Патриарха Кирилла в Сирию как поддержки режима Асада безосновательна»
- 16.11.2011 12:43His Holiness Patriarch Kirill completes his official visit to the Patriarchate of Antioch
- 16.11.2011 10:43Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church addresses faculty and students of the University of Balamand
- 16.11.2011 09:59Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church visits Balamand Monastery in Lebanon
- 16.11.2011 03:11His Holiness Patriarch Kirill meets with Maronite Patriarch Béchara Boutros Raï
- 15.11.2011 15:59(Russian) Состоялась встреча Святейшего Патриарха Кирилла с представителями ливанской государственной власти и общественности, отмеченными наградами Русской Православной Церкви
- 15.11.2011 02:50Patriarch Kirill meets with President of Lebanon
- 14.11.2011 23:53Patriarch Kirill celebrates thanksgiving at St. George’s in Beirut
- 14.11.2011 16:19Patriarch Kirill arrives in Lebanon
- 14.11.2011 16:05(Russian) Состоялась встреча Святейшего Патриарха Кирилла с Верховным муфтием Сирии и министром вакуфов Сирийской Арабской Республики
- 14.11.2011 12:28His Holiness Patriarch Kirill meets with President of Syria Bashar al-Assad
- 14.11.2011 03:16(Russian) Святейший Патриарх Кирилл принял участие в открытии фотовыставки, посвященной взаимоотношениям Антиохийского Патриархата и Русской Православной Церкви, и презентации издания книги «Свобода и ответственность» на арабском языке
- 13.11.2011 22:30Primates of the Antiochian and Russian Orthodox Churches celebrate at the Cathedral of the Assumption in Damascus
- 13.11.2011 20:15Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church meets with Prime Minister of Syria Adel Safar
- 13.11.2011 16:47His Holiness Patriarch Kirill meets with compatriots in Damascus
- 13.11.2011 01:58(Russian) Слово Святейшего Патриарха Кирилла на молебне в Успенском соборе Дамаска
- 12.11.2011 22:55(Russian) Святейший Патриарх Кирилл посетил Успенский кафедральный собор Дамаска
- 12.11.2011 15:57(Russian) Начался официальный визит Святейшего Патриарха Кирилла в Антиохийский Патриархат
- 11.11.2011 13:17Patriarch Kirill goes on official visit to the Patriarchate of Antioch