Russian Orthodox Church’s Patriarch Kirill discusses Syria with Pope Francis

Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and all Russia has discussed US-led airstrikes on Syria with Pope Francis in a phone conversation, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church told reporters on Saturday. “We have come forward with this initiative knowing that the Christians cannot stay aside seeing what is happening in Syria,” Patriarch Kirill said. “That was a significant peacemaking dialogue,” TASS quoted him as saying. The Middle East is the place where Christianity arose, and such conflicts that are taking place there, “cannot but create threats, including for the Christian presence,” the patriarch stressed. He added that in the conversation with Pope Francis, they shared concerns about the situation in Syria and spoke on how “Christians should influence the situation in such a way that violence ceases, that the war stops and there would not be again those terrible victims.”