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IMG_8983_On 24 September 2013, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia met with Archpriest Samuel Gümüs, special representative of Patriarch Ignatius Zakka I Iwas of the Syriac Orthodox Church, at the Patriarchal residence in St Daniel’s Monastery.

Taking part in the meeting were Mr. Jakob Dakin, relative of abducted Metropolitan Mar Gregorios Yohanna Ibrahim; Archimandrite Philaret (Bulekov) vice-chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations; Archpriest Sergiy Zvonarev, DECR secretary for far-abroad countries; and deacon Dimitry Safonov, head of the DECR sector for interfaith contacts.

His Holiness told the participants in the meeting about the steps that the Russian Orthodox Church has taken for the release of the eminent Christian hierarchs abducted in April this year – Metropolitan Paul of Aleppo and Iskenderun (Patriarchate of Antioch) and Metropolitan Mar Gregorios Yohanna Ibrahim (Syriac Orthodox Church).

His Holiness assured the guests that the Russian Orthodox Church has been praying unceasingly for the suffering Syrian people.

The representative of the Patriarch of the Syriac Orthodox Church said it was an alarming fact that the problem of the release of the hostages has not been solved yet. He expressed his hope that the efforts made by the Russian Orthodox Church would yield their fruit and the abducted hierarchs would be released.