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On 16 February 2018, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations (DECR), met with Mr. Jean-Frederic Poisson, president of the Christian Democratic Party of France.

They were joined at the meeting, which took place at the DECR premises, by Mr. Xavier Moreau, responsible for the Party’s foreign policy; Archpriest Sergei Zvonarev, DECR secretary for far abroad countries; and hierodeacon Yaroslav (Ochkanov) of the same secretariat.

Metropolitan Hilarion warmly greeted the guests at the Department which is in charge of international contacts of the Russian Orthodox Church.

The French politician talked about the challenges facing society in France, including those pertaining to migration, and about the problems experienced by the Catholics in the country caused by the trend for ousting religion from public life.

Metropolitan Hilarion told the guests about the life of the Russian Orthodox Church at present, her relations with the Roman Catholic Church, and about the meeting of Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill in February 2016 and their Joint Declaration. Special attention was paid to the dire situation of Christians in the Middle East, preservation of Christian values in Europe, and the situation in Ukraine.