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On 13th December 2019, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations, met with H.E. Mr. D. Bala Venkatesh Varma, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of India to the Russian Federation.

They were joined in the meeting by Mr. Vipin Kumar, second secretary of India’s diplomatic mission, and Archpriest Sergy Zvonarev, DECR secretary for far abroad countries.

During the meeting the DECR chairman highlighted the history of relationships between the peoples of Russia and India, emphasizing their interest in each other’s culture and traditions, as well as interchurch dialogues.

The hierarch noted the centuries-old presence of Christianity in the Indian land. Metropolitan Hilarion shared with the Ambassador his concern over the plight of Christians in various regions of the world, in particular, over the fact of discrimination of Christians in India, and expressed his hope that safe environment for the religious minorities, including Christians, will be created in the country.

At the request of the head of India’s diplomatic mission, the DECR chairman told about the ministry of the Russian Orthodox Church, its canonical territory, its place and role in today’s society, its growth for the past three decades, its care for the compatriots residing abroad, and its youth work. The Russian hierarch also mentioned the difficulties facing the Orthodox world these days.

H.E. Mr. D. Bala Venkatesh Varma thanked the DECR chairman for the meaningful meeting.

DECR Communication Service