Vladimir Putin Discusses Plight and Persecution of Christians in Middle-East With Patriarch of Antioch

In the evening Vladimir Putin talked to Patriarch John of Antioch and All The East. His congregate is the Syrian Orthodox community. His residence is in Damascus.

They discussed the situation of Christians in the Middle East. The Patriarch of Antioch thanked Russia and the President personally for the efforts in resolving the situation in the region and especially in Syria. Delegations of local Orthodox churches came to attend the celebrations marking the 100th anniversary of restoring the Patriarchate. In the afternoon they took part in a joint service at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior.


The Universal Orthodox Church consists of 15 local churches. They stem from the territorial division. Each of them is administratively independent and headed by its Primate.

The Russian Orthodox Church is the biggest.

The Antiochian Church is one of the oldest, founded in the 1st century by the Apostles Petr and Pavel. It embraces Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Kuwait, and all the countries of the Arab Peninsula except for Jordan. Services are held in Arabic. The Church is headed by Patriarch John X. His residence is in Damascus.

The Alexandrine Orthodox Church was also founded in the 1st century. It embraces the countries of Northern, Central and Southern Africa. Here services are held in a variety of languages, including Greek and English. It is headed by Patriarch Theodore II. His residence is in Alexandria, Egypt.

The Serbian Orthodox Church was founded in the 4th century. It achieved autocephalous status in 1219. It embraces ex-Yugoslavian countries. Services are held in Serbian and Church Slavonic. Patriarch Irinej became its Primate in 2010, his residence is in Belgrade.

The Romanian Orthodox Church was founded in the 4th century as well, to become autocephalous only in the 19th century. It is on the territory of Romania. Patriarch Daniel has been heading it for 10 years. His residence is in Bucharest.