Home page News
His Holiness Patriarch Kirill meets with President of&n…

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill meets with President of Syria Bashar al-Assad


On 13 November 2011, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia met with the President of Syria Bashar al-Assad at the Presidential Palace in Damascus. They were joined in the meting by His Beatitude Ignatius IV, Patriarch of the Great Antioch and All the East, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, Bishop Sergiy of Solnechnogorsk, archpriest Nikolai Balashov, Metropolitan Antonio of Mexico, and Metropolitan Damaskinos of São Paulo and Brazil.

Attending the meeting were Archbishop Nifon of Philippopolis and archimandrite Alexander (Yelisov).

President al-Assad greeted His Holiness Patriarch Kirill, reminded all those present that it was from Damascus that Christianity began to spread all over the through the labours of St. Paul, and said: ‘Syria gives a wonderful example of peaceful coexistence of various religious communities consisting of people of different nationalities.”

His Holiness Kirill noted that he had visited Syria many times. ‘I know your country and your people well. Syria is a country with powerful and profound culture. Both Orthodox Christianity and Islam have taken part in its shaping, and we highly appreciate dialogue and cooperation and the example of peaceful life given by Syria.

‘The Church of Antioch led by His Beatitude Patriarch Ignatius IV and the Russian Church have maintained good relations for many centuries. I have known Patriarch Ignatius for over forty-three years, and after I have become Patriarch I decided to visit Syria and my beloved brother by all means. Today we have concelebrated the Divine Liturgy, and I was deeply moved by the atmosphere in the cathedral as so many people gathered there have shown strong and sincere liking for Russia and the Russian Orthodox Church.”

It was noted during the talk that mixed marriages are a significant factor in bilateral relations between Russia and Syria. These families live in both countries. There is the Representation Office of the Russian Orthodox Church in Damascus that takes care for the Russian-speaking staff of embassies and other foreign institutions in the country, representatives of the Russian and other companies, and those who have arrived in Syria being married to its residents. The Representation of the Church of Antioch lead by Archbishop Nifon functions in Moscow.

His Holiness added: ‘We pray for the Church of Antioch, for Orthodox Christians and all people in Syria. We wish them peace and prosperity.’

The President of Syria drew attention to the special importance of relations maintained by the authorities of the country with the Orthodox Church of Antioch, which plays a very important part in the spiritual life here, and expressed his deep concern about the persecution of Christians in certain parts of the Arab world, noting that the exodus of the Arab population from the Middle East leads to the reinforcing of religious extremism.

H.E. Bashar al-Assad is confident that His Holiness Patriarch Kirill’s visit will be highly appreciated by Christians in Syria and in the entire Middle East. ‘I welcome in advance all agreements that you will reach with His Beatitude Patriarch Ignatius,” he said.

The President of Syria believes that contacts with Christians from other countries are very important for Christians in the Middle East. He noted the importance of friendly relations and contacts between the Syrian and Russian Orthodox young people and appraised the level of mutual understanding and cooperation between Christians and Muslims in Russia.

As to the situation in the Middle East, Bashar al-Assad gave a high appraisal to the position of Russia adopted on the events in the region and at the same time expressed his concern over the growing extremist interpretations of Islam in the Middle East. He noted his anxiety about current attempts to use confessional differences in the political crisis in Syria.

His Holiness noted that crisis in the Middle East had an adverse effect primarily on the minorities, including Christian communities, and emphasized that the events in Iraq and Egypt give rise to concern.

Patriarch Kirill expressed appreciation of the nature of Christian-Muslim relations in Syria and Lebanon and said that he shares concern about the spread of religious radicalism that threatens the integrity of the Arab world.

The President of Syria stated his views on the events in Syria and in the Arab world, noting the necessity of reforms and expressing his profound concern for the actions of terrorist groups in his country.

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill believes that objective information about events in Syria is extremely important at present as many world mass media give a one-sided interpretation of these events.

The Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church highly appraised the role of the Orthodox Church of Antioch in maintaining relations between the people of Syria and Russia, noting that last year the Russian President Dmitry Medvedev awarded His beatitude Ignatius IV with the Order of Friendship. His Holiness hopes that the Church of Antioch will continue to bring a considerable contribution to the life of society in Syria and that nothing will prevent her from doing it.

Bashar al-Assad expressed his hope for considerable achievements in cooperation between the Primates of the two Orthodox Churches.

Patriarch Ignatius affirms good brotherly relations between the Patriarchs and between the Orthodox Churches of Russia and Antioch.

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill presented President al-Assad with a chalice made by the skilled craftsmen from the Urals.

Patriarch Kirill greets the participants of the XXVIII annual General Assembly of the Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy


Patriarch Kirill meets with Islamic religious leaders in Kazan


His Holiness Patriarch Kirill chairs regular session of Russian Orthodox Church’s Holy Synod


His Holiness Patriarch Kirill chairs meeting of Supreme Church Council


Patriarch Kirill congratulates Mr. Naftali Bennett on his election as head of the Government of the State of Israel


Congratulations of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill to Raul Castro Rus on his 90th birthday


Address by His Holiness Patriarch Kirill on the occasion of the 75 th anniversary of Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations


His Holiness Patriarch Kirill meets with speaker of South Korean Parliament


His Holiness Patriarch Kirill meets with episcopate of Orthodox Church of Moldova


Condolences of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill on the death of the Indonesian Christian leader Bishop Soritua Nababan


Paschal Message of Patriarch KIRILL of Moscow and All Russia to the Archpastors, Pastors, Deacons, Monastics and All the Faithful Children of the Russian Orthodox Church


His Holiness Patriarch Kirill meets Serbian minister of foreign affairs


Holy Synod members commemorate Patriarch Irinej of Serbia and late archpastors of Russian Church


Address delivered by His Holiness Patriarch Kirill at the session of the Holy Synod on 13th April 2021


His Holiness Patriarch Kirill chairs Holy Synod’s first session in 2021


Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk meets with France’s ambassador to Russia


Interreligious Working Group of the Presidential Council for Cooperation with Religious Associations holds its 11th session


Metropolitan Hilarion: The plight of Christians in many countries of the world is tragic


The DECR chairman completes his trip to the USA 


DECR chairman visits Cathedral of St. John the Baptist of Russian Church Outside Russia


DECR chairman meets with Open Doors human rights advocacy organization


Metropolitan Hilarion meets with Russian ambassador to the US


The chairman of the Department of External Church Relations meets with the former US ambassador-at-large for religious freedom and other representatives


DECR chairman speaks in Washington at international summit on religious freedom


Metropolitan Hilarion: An idea of Belarusian Church autocephaly is being promoted to destabilize situation in the country


Chairman of DECR meets with the president of St. Vladimir’s Seminary in New York


DECR chairman and ROCOR First Hierarch celebrate Liturgy at Synodal residence of Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia in New York


Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk meets with Primate of Orthodox Church in America


Metropolitan Hilarion concelebrates with His Beatitude Tikhon, Metropolitan of America and Canada, at St. Nicholas Cathedral in New York


Metropolitan Hilarion: Patriarch of Constantinople has brought the Orthodox-Roman Catholic dialogue to deadlock


Metropolitan Hilarion: Holiness is a constant striving to imitate the Lord Jesus Christ


Metropolitan Hilarion: God does not want to condemn, but to save us


Metropolitan Hilarion: The Lord always grants to us the opportunity to display our talents


Metropolitan Hilarion: The Lord has imbued the waters of Jordan with his divine presence to wash away human sins


Metropolitan Hilarion: to repent means to change your way of life


On commemoration day of St. Catherine, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk officiated at the Church of St. Catherine the Great Martyr In-the-Fields  the representation of the Orthodox Church in America


Metropolitan Hilarion: We can always show compassion for people


Metropolitan Hilarion celebrates on commemoration day of St. Varlaam of Khutyn at the church of ‘Joy to All the Afflicted’ icon of the Mother of God


Metropolitan Hilarion: We should remember that the life of each human being is in the hands of God


Metropolitan Hilarion: For God there is nothing impossible


Metropoplitan Hilarion: The cross which was an instrument of dishonourable execution becomes the symbol of salvation for millions of people


Metropolitan Hilarion: Eucharist is the wedding feast, to which Lord Jesus Christ invites each of us


Metropolitan Hilarion: Faith alone is not enough for salvation


Metropolitan Hilarion: God is willing to give everyone a wonderful gift of faith, but people must be willing to accept it


Metropolitan Hilarion: We should be mindful of the value of human life



Fields marked by * are mandatory required

Send a message