On 3 April 2014, a regular session of the Interreligious Council of Russia, chaired by archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, head of the Department for Church and Society Relations, took place at the Danilovskaya Hotel in Moscow. Taking part in the meeting were representatives of Russia’s traditional religions, as well as Mr. Anton Ignatenko, representative of the Moscow Government, and Mr. Ivan Korostelev, representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
A group of the Russian Orthodox made a pilgrimage to China from March 22 to 31. This was the first ever pilgrimage to the Orthodox holy sites and monuments in China.
The pilgrims visited the Church of the Dormition of the Mother of God in Beijing, the Church of the Intercession in Harbin, the Chapel of St. John the Baptist in the Orthodox part of the city cemetery, where they prayed for Orthodox Christians buried there, and several more churches.
On 31 March 2014, archpriest Nikolai Balashov, vice-chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations, met with H.E. Slavenko Terzić, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Serbia to the Russian Federation.
The participants in the meeting discussed various developments in the life of the Russian Orthodox Church and inter-Orthodox relations.
On 31 March 2014, His Beatitude Patriarch John X of Antioch and All the East received in his residence in Balamand, Lebanon, a delegation of the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society (IOPS), led by its chairman Mr. Sergei Stepashin, the website of the Representation of the Russian Orthodox Church in Beirut reports.
His Beatitude Patriarch John cordially thanked the head of the IOPS for the humanitarian aid which the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society has been rendering to the suffering Syrian people.
The airplanes were given the names of Sts. Alexander Nevsky Dmitry Donskoy, and Mercury of Smolensk.
For the first time, three MiG-29 aircraft were blessed at the “Erebuni” airport in Yerevan, Armenia. This took place on March 14, following the return of the aircraft from repair work.
Syrian Ambassador Riad Haddad said that 98 Christian churches were partly or entirely destroyed during the military conflict in the country, its property was stolen.
At the same time, 1900 mosques, 1600 schools, 60% of Syrian hospitals were partly or entirely destroyed, all medical equipment was stolen, Haddad said at his meeting with Patriarch Kirill in Moscow.