Home page
Department

Department

On March 31, 2009, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia relieved Bishop Hilarion of his duty as administrator of the dioceses of Vienna and Austria and Hungary and appointed him chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s department for external church relations and permanent member of the Holy Synod with the title of Bishop of Volokolamsk, Vicar to the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia.

Learn more
Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk

Basic Information

Founded by a decision of the Holy Synod of April 4, 1946. It is the oldest synodal institution of the Russian Orthodox Church.

The DECS is among the executive bodies of the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia and the Holy Synod. Its status and tasks are defined by the Statute of the Russian Orthodox Church and the Statute of the Department. The Department is accountable to His Holiness the Patriarch and the Holy Synod, which annually approve the program of its activities.

The chairman of the Department for External Church Relations has the status of a permanent member of the Holy Synod.

Fields of concern

The DECR maintains the Russian Orthodox Church’s relations with:

  • Local Orthodox Churches

  • Non-Orthodox churches and Christian associations

  • Non-Christian religious communities

  • Governmental, parliamentary, public organizations abroad

  • Inter-governmental, religious and public international organizations.

In addition, by the Holy Synod decision of April 20, 2005, a Commission was formed under the Department for External Church Relations for the Affairs of Old Rite Parishes and Relations with the Old Believers communities.

The DECR is responsible for informing His Holiness the Patriarch and the Holy Synod about events and activities taking place outside the Russian Orthodox Church and affecting its interests and for drafting church-wise documents and decisions affecting the sphere of inter-Orthodox, inter-Christian, interreligious, international relations and other issues within the terms of reference of the Department. 

The DECR runs a website and publishes the scientific-theological and church-public academic magazine ‘Church and Time’.

The structure of the Department

The structure of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations includes the following;

  • Secretariat for inter-Orthodox relations

  • Secretariat for Interreligious Relations

  • Secretariat for the far abroad

  • Protocol section

  • Communication Service

  • Publications section

  • Language Service

There is also a Commission for the Affairs of Old Rite Parishes and Relations with the Old Believers communities


The 25th meeting held by the Working Group for cooperation between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation

19.05.2022

Two churches of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church closed in Rovno region

18.05.2022

The first session of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad took place after the repose of Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York

18.05.2022

Patriarchal condolences on the death of Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York

18.05.2022

Patriarch Kirill: Our flock is both in Russia and Ukraine and we ardently pray for the restoration of peace

18.05.2022

Establishment of an all-German Orthodox youth organization

17.05.2022

Communion restored between the Serbian Orthodox Church and the Macedonian Orthodox Church - Ohrid Archbishopric

16.05.2022

Metropolitan Hilarion meets with leaders of a major inter-Cristian humanitarian organization

13.05.2022

Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk visits Exarchate of the Orthodox Church of Jerusalem in Cyprus

13.05.2022

Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk meets with Archbishop Chrysostomos of Cyprus

12.05.2022

Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk holds negotiations with head of the DECR of the Malankara Church

11.05.2022

Volyn authorities intend to ban the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the territory of the region

11.05.2022

DECR chairman meets with representative of the Armenian Apostolic Church Catholicosate of Cilicia

11.05.2022

Community of the seized church in the Ukrainian village of Pereniatyn prays in a chapel

11.05.2022

Russian Orthodox Church delegation attends Orthodox Pre-Assembly of World Council of Churches

10.05.2022

Interview by Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk to the Orthodoxie.com

26.02.2022

Hegumen Nikon (Golovko): We should not tacitly tolerate the oppression in the Holy Land

29.01.2022

His Beatitude Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem gave an interview to the Russian newspaper "Izvestia"

29.01.2022

“The tasks before us are large and interesting,” Metropolitan Hilarion said about the work of the Scientific and Educational Theological Association

13.01.2022

Metropolitan Hilarion: Churches will have to make non-standard decisions

12.01.2022

Metropolitan Leonid of Klin: We will not break the local conventions and traditions of African parishes

12.01.2022

Metropolitan Hilarion: We believe that the schism can be healed by the conciliar wisdom of the Church

02.01.2022

The creation of a Patriarchal exarchate in Africa. An interview with the metropolitan of Klin Leonid

31.12.2021

Metropolitan Hilarion: the Patriarch and the Pope will discuss how Christians are to survive

23.12.2021

Metropolitan Hilarion: The threat to the presence of Christians in the Holy Land cannot but cause concern to the Russian Church

16.12.2021

An interview of Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk to RIA Novosti

26.10.2021

Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk: Every day we lose about a thousand people due to coronavirus

26.10.2021

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill answers questions put to him by Forbes France.

26.10.2021

Metropolitan Hilarion: To reveal Christ to people is our most important missionary task

08.10.2021

Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk: The Churches are seeking unity on the issue of climate change.

04.10.2021

Interfaith Dialogue and Peace among Religions

21.12.2021

Presentation of the DECR Chairman at the interreligious meeting on Religion and Education

06.10.2021

Dostoevsky and the Gospel

20.09.2021

The topic of autocephaly is the only one worthy of a pan-Orthodox Council, believes the Serbian Orthodox bishop of Bačka Irinej.

17.09.2021

The Metropolitan of Kykkos Nicephorus: “The unilateral decision by Patriarch Bartholomew on Ukraine threatens pan-Orthodox unity with a schism of monstrous proportions”

17.09.2021

Constantinople’s claims to power as a threat to Church unity

16.09.2021

Presentation by His Holiness Patriarch Kirill at the opening of the ‘World Orthodoxy: Primacy and Conciliarity in the Light of Orthodox Dogmatic Teaching’ conference

16.09.2021

The Orthodox Understanding of the Eucharist

06.09.2021

"Freedom and Responsibility as Viewed by His Holiness Patriarch Kirill". Address by Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk (International Hellenic University online seminar, 16th February 2021)

16.02.2021

Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk gave an online lecture for the Theological Institute of St. John of Damascus, Balamand University

31.01.2021

Address by Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk at a session of the Interreligious Council of Russia attended by Mr. Miguel Moratinos, High-Representative for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations

21.01.2021

Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk greets participants and guests of XIV International Festival ‘Russia Abroad’

08.11.2020

Opening address of Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk to participants in the panel discussion on Russki Mir Online

03.11.2020

Speech by His Holiness Patriarch Kirill at the session of Supreme Church Council on 11th December 2019

11.12.2019

Deputy Prime Minister of Hungary attends presentation of Metropolitan Hilarion’s book

28.11.2019

Feedback

Fields marked by * are mandatory required

Send a message
Рус Укр Eng Deu Ελλ Fra Ita Бълг ქარ Срп Rom عرب