Patriarch Theophilos of Jerusalem had a meeting with President of Russia Vladimir Putin in Moscow today in the presence of Patriarch Kirill of Moscow.
Patriarch Theophilos, who is the first Orthodox primate to visit Moscow after the events that led to the disruption of communion between Moscow and Constantinople, travelled to Moscow in order to receive the Patriarch Alexy II Prize.
According to the Kremlin Press Office, Patriarch Theophilos thanked the Russian president for his support to the Hagiotaphite Brotherhood saying, “I want to thank you on behalf of the Brotherhood for your interest, the protection you offer us, and your strong support, which was very important for the protection of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.”
The Russian president, who is due to visit Israel in January, thanked Patriarch Theophilos for the facilities provided by his Patriarchate to Russian pilgrims while stressing the significance of the common line for the sake of the Orthodox faithful.
“I recently met with the primates of the Christian Churches of the Middle East in Hungary. We know the difficult situation of Christians there. We need a joint effort to protect the interests of Christians. Any split will cause enormous damage to the Christian world in general and to Christians in the Middle East,” Vladimir Putin said.