On June 18, 2012, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, head of the Moscow Patriarchate’s department for external church relations, arrived in Beijing for the 2nd consultations of the Russian-Chinese group for contacts and cooperation in religious sphere.
On 16 June 2012, the first-ever Orthodox liturgy was celebrated in Pinar del Rio, the Cuba’s westernmost province. Rev. Dimitry Orekhov, rector of the Church of the Kazan icon of the Mother of God in Havana, officiated, website of the parish reports.
Compatriots living in Pinar del Rio, parishioners, and staff of the Russian Embassy attended the Liturgy. The choir of the parish in Havana sang.
On June 17, 2012, DECR Chairman Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, after the Divine Liturgy celebrated at the church of Our Lady the Joy of All the Afflicted in Moscow, conveyed 20 thousand copies of Holy Scriptures for free distribution to military units and penitentiaries. The copies were printed with the support of the St Gregory the Theologian Charity. Present at the ceremony were Bishop Irinarch of Krasnogorsk, chairman of the Synodal Department for Prison Service, Archpriest Dimitry Smirnov, chairman of the Synodal Department for Cooperation with the Armed Forces and Law Enforcement, and Archpriest Vladimir Silovyev, editor-in-chief of the Moscow Patriarchate Publishers.
With the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan Amfilohije of Montenegro and the Littoral and His Beatitude Archbishop Anastasios of Tirana and Albania also this year, according to the tradition, priests of the Metropolitanate of Montenegro and the Littoral on Holy Trinity day served the Divine Liturgy in the church of Holi Trinity in Vraka, Shkoder on Sunday, June 3, 2012.
On June 13, 2012, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia met with Archbishop Leo of Karelia and All (Finnish Autonomous Orthodox Church), Archbishop Kari Mäkinen of Turku, primate of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Finland and Bishop Teemu Sippo of Helsinki (Roman Catholic Church).
Present at the meeting were also Finland’s ambassador to Russia Hannu Himanen, Rev. Dr. Kimmo Karijainen, director for international relations of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Finland, and Mr. Tuomo Pesonen, director of the information service of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Finland.
Present from the Russian Orthodox Church were DECR Chairman Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, Archpriest Igor Yakimchuk, DECR secretary for inter-Orthodox relations, Archpriest Sergiy Zvonarev, DECR secretary for the far abroad, Archpriest Dimitry Sizonenko, DECR acting secretary for inter-Christian relations, and Archpriest Victor Liutik, Moscow Patriarchate representative in Finland.
On Saturday, May 12, 2012, His All-Holiness received Four Freedom Award from the Franklin D. Roosevelt Foundation in Nieuwe Kerk in Middelburg (Netherlands). The Freedoms Medals are presented to men and women whose achievements have demonstrated a commitment to those principles which President Roosevelt proclaimed in his historic speech to Congress on January 6, 1941, as essential to democracy: freedom of speech and expression, freedom of worship, freedom from want, freedom from fear.