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On 12 November 2019, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External  Church Relations (DECR), met with H.E. Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka, Ambassador extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka to the Russian Federation.

They were joined in the meeting by Ms. Sanja Jayatilleka, the Ambassador’s wife; Ms. Olesia Romanova, assistant to the Ambassador, and Archpriest Sergy Zvonarev, DECR secretary for far abroad countries.

Metropolitan Hilarion warmly greeted the guests and told them about the growth of the Russian Orthodox Church during the last thirty years, its role and place in society, its work with the youth, interreligious dialogue in Russia, and activities of the Interreligious Council of Russia that unites traditional religious communities, and its cooperation with society and the state.

Dialogue with the Roman Catholic Church was a separate matter of the talk. The DECR chairman informed the guests about the historic meeting of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia with Pope Francis in Havana in February 2016, cooperation, joint projects and common views of the Russian Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church on many issues, including pertaining to Christian ethics and family values.

At the request of the Ambassador, Metropolitan Hilarion told him about the experience of the Moscow Patriarchate in discussing socially important issues, also in the framework of the World Russian People’s Council, as well as about trials that the Russian Orthodox Church and Russian society had to undergo in the 20th century.

At the end of the meeting memorable gifts were exchanged. Metropolitan Hilarion expressed good wishes of success to the Ambassador in his responsible ministry.