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September 15, 2017 – Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, head of the Moscow Patriarchate department for external church relations (DECR), who is on a working trip to Lebanon with a blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, met with Lebanon’s Prime Minister Saad Rafiq Al-Hariri, at the residence of the government of the Republic of Lebanon.

In the talk, which was held in a warm and cordial atmosphere, they stressed the importance of inter-confessional accord in countries in which various faiths are represented historically. Metropolitan Hilarion cited Russia as an example of age-old accord of this kind. He also noted that the model of co-existence of various ethnic and religious groups that functions in Lebanon today could serve as a model for some of the neighboring countries.

Mr. Hariri spoke about the efforts the Lebanese leaders made to maintain inter-ethnic and interreligious accord in the country. Special attention was given in the talk to the situation in the Middle East and the need to take effective measures for protecting religious minorities living in the region, who are subjected to persecution by various terrorist groupings.

Participating in the meeting were also Metropolitan Niphon of Philippople, rector of the Moscow representation of the Church of Antioch; Hegumen Arseniy (Sokolov), representative of the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia to the Patriarch of Great Antioch and All the East, Archpriest Igor Yakimchuk, DECR secretary for inter-Orthodox relations; Russia’s Charge d’Affaires in Lebanon V. Maksudov, and A. Yershov, assistant to the DECR chairman.

DECR Communication Service