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Russian patriarch, Queen Elizabeth II discuss situation of Christians in Europe

The Patriarch also met with Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby in the Lambeth Palace in London

LONDON, October 18. /TASS/. Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia and Queen Elizabeth II discussed at the meeting at Buckingham Palace in London on Tuesday the situation of Christians in Europe, the patriarch’s press secretary, Alexander Volkov, said on Tuesday.

"Various issues were discussed at the meeting, including that Patriarch Kirill told the Queen about the revival of Church in Russia over the past 20 years, the construction of churches, the development of theological science, the growing number of eparchies, and in general about the spiritual growth in Russia now," Volkov said.

"The discussion was also devoted to the situation of Christians in Europe," he said, adding that "the Patriarch is very enthusiastic about the results of this meeting."

At the beginning of the meeting, the Patriarch greeted the Queen and congratulated her on her 90th birthday marked this year. "He gave her the Icon of Our Lady Skoroposlushnitsa in the Russian jewelry traditions. The Queen gave him in return the portraits of herself and her husband," he said.

Later the Patriarch met with Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby in the Lambeth Palace in London. Speaking on the meeting, Volkov said: "We have a rather comprehensive platform for dialogue with the Anglican Church. First of all, this dialogue is based on the issue of preserving the traditional viewpoint on the Christianity and those challenges now posed by the aggressive secular society before the Church in Europe that concern both the Russian Orthodox Church and the Church of England."

The visit of the Patriarch to the United Kingdom on October 15-18 is devoted to the 300th anniversary of the presence of the Russian Orthodox Church in the British Isles.