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On 12 November 2013, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, currently in the capital of Italy with the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, met with Ambassador Alexander Avdeyev of the Russian Federation to the Holy See.

They discussed a number of topics of mutual interest. Metropolitan Hilarion told Ambassador Avdeyev about his recent trip to Lebanon and noted that Christian minorities in certain countries of the Middle East are persecuted and need protection.

The DECR chairman also told the Ambassador of his meeting with Pope Frances who shares the concern of the Russian Orthodox Church about the mentioned situation. It is necessary to consolidate common efforts of the Church and the state in peacemaking.

That same day in the evening, Metropolitan Hilarion visited the Centre of Russian Studies established with the help of the Russian World Foundation. Executive director of the Centre, Ms. Natalia Fefelova, told him about different projects being implemented in it and invited him to see a multimedia presentation about the Centre’s work. After that, the DECR chairman met with representatives of different Russian periodicals and answered questions put by the journalists.