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March 26, 2018 – Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, head of the Moscow Patriarchate department for external church relations (DECR), met with the chairman-elect of the Russian Union of Evangelical Christians-Baptists (RUECB), Petr V. Mitskevich, and the president of the Baptist World Alliance (BWA) Ngweda Paul Msiza. Participating in the meeting were also V. Ignatenkov, RUECB first vice-chairman, S. Belov, assistant to the RUECB chairman for the World Council of Church and mass media, as well as Archimandrite Philaret (Bulekov), DECR vice-chairman, and Ms. Ye. Speranskaya, adviser, DECR secretariat for inter-Christian relations.

Metropolitan Hilarion congratulated P. Mitskevich on his election to the important post of chairman of the RUECB and stressed that, despite doctrinal differences Russian Baptists share the stand taken by the Russian Orthodox Church with regard to the need to preserve traditional Christian values and the institute of the family. The talk concerned religious education, preservation of moral values and social work as spheres in which it is possible for the Orthodox and Baptists to conduct dialogue, to share experience and to maintain a certain cooperation.

The BWA president Ngweda Paul Msiza gave a high value to the work of the Russian Orthodox Church, especially to that of His Holiness Patriarchate Kirill for his tireless work for peace.

In conclusion, it was agreed that in today’s world Christians should devoted themselves to the cause of reconciliation in which people of difference confessions should become together an ‘area of reconciliation’ and call people of other religions to dialogue. Special attention should be given to Christians in the Middle East and other parts of the world where the followers of Christ are subjected to persecution and have to leave their homes and countries in which their ancestors lived for centuries.

DECR Communication Service