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On 20 February 2014, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations, met with Metropolitan Mar Gewargis of Baghdad and all Iraq (the Assyrian Church of the East). The meeting took place at the DECR premises.

The hierarchs discussed the situation in Iraq after the events occurred in 2003, as well as the situation of Christians in the country and prospects for overcoming the crisis. Among the issues raised at the meeting was the social and political situation in Syria. Metropolitan Hilarion told the guest about the initiatives of the Russian Orthodox Church, aimed at defending Christian minorities in the Middle East.

Taking part in the meeting were also Hieromonk Stefan (Igumnov), DECR secretary for inter-Christian relations; Rev. Alexander Vasiutin, a DECR staff member; and Rev. Samano Odisho, rector of the Assyrian Church of St. Mary in Moscow.