On August 20, 20011, with the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, head of the Moscow Patriarchate’s department for external church relations, arrived in Istanbul. He was met at the airport by Russian Consul General A. Yerkhov and representatives of the Church of Constantinople. On the same day, the DECR chairman met with His Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople.
On August 25, 2011, His Beatitude Theophilos III, Patriarch of the Holy City of Jerusalem, received Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, head of the Moscow Patriarchate’s department for external church relations, who came to the Holy Land for a working visit with the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia. Metropolitan Hilarion conveyed to His Beatitude words of greetings and support from the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church and thanked him for the attention he gave to pilgrims who come in a great number to the Holy Land from the Moscow Patriarchate.
Optional classes on elementary Orthodoxy will be introduced in children's day care centers of the Moscow region, the Minister of Education Lidiya Antonova said at a Moscow regional teachers' forum.
"In 2011-2012, we introduce a new course on Orthodox Culture in young children's care system. New resource and reference materials will be released by September 1," Lidiya Antonova said.
Some 15,000 Orthodox Christian pilgrims carried crosses, drank holy water and prayed on Friday at a hill in eastern Poland they believe to be sacred in a colourful celebration of their faith and identity in the overwhelmingly Roman Catholic country.
The Moscow government has selected 200 land sites to build Russian Orthodox churches, First Vice Mayor Vladimir Resin said on Ekho Moskvy radio.
"Land sites have been picked for 200 churches already and construction is underway on 19," Resin said.
The construction is being funded by non-budgetary sources, on donations being accumulated in a special fund, he added.