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On 6th September 2019, during a meeting at the House of the Hungarian Government in Budapest, Mr. Zsolt Semjén, Deputy Prime Minister of Hungary, presented Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations, with the Order of Merit – Commander’s Cross with Star – “for tirelessly proclaiming the value of Christianity and its power in uniting the society and drawing the younger generation’s attention to these values, as well as for the work in the sphere of church diplomacy and promotion of international cooperation between Christian communities.”

This high national award was conferred on the DECR chairman by the President of Hungary, Mr. Áder János, upon the recommendation of the Prime Minister of Hungary, Mr. Viktor Orbán.

During the award ceremony, an address of greetings was read out. It said, in particular:

“In his capacity as chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations, His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion carries out the most responsible tasks entrusted to him by His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia and worthily represents the Russian Orthodox Church at the highest international forums and church assemblies. Apart from being a subordinate of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill and a permanent member of the Holy Synod, Metropolitan Hilarion is the rector of the Ss. Cyril and Methodius Theological Institute of Postgraduate Studies and the anchor of The Church and The World TV programme, in which he tells millions of viewers about Jesus Christ, the Divine Gospel and the Church.

“It would take much time to enumerate all theological monographs, patrological works, lectures and presentations by His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion. He is a Professor and Doctor of Divinity Honoris Causa of many Russian and foreign universities.

“Metropolitan Hilarion has many talents, which he devotes to God the Lord. As a gifted composer, he bears witness to Christ by his music as well. Blessed are the years of his archpastoral ministry in Hungary where he served from 2003 to 2009. In our country he found fresh inspiration for his theological and musical activities.

“Metropolitan Hilarion was born in the country where Christians had been subjected to persecutions in the recent past, and as a bishop he takes the suffering of Christians living in foreign countries to heart. He was one of the first church hierarchs who raised his voice in defence of Christians and called upon state leaders to put an end to persecution and extermination of Christians.”

DECR Communication Service