Russian Patriarch Kirill made an official visit to the United Kingdom, ostensibly to improve relations with Russia. It came as Russia warships are steaming towards a possible confrontation with the British Navy in the English Channel. Speaking at a news conference at the Luton airport before departing the country, Kirill called on the world to wage a “holy war” against terrorism.
"Today's war against terrorism should be a common cause,” he said. “It is not only Russia's concern, it a concern of all countries and we must get united to exterminate this evil.” He remarks came on October 18, at the end of a four-day visit.
Kirill averred that none of the people of Britain showed him the least "hostility" despite the uptick in tensions between the West and Russia over issues such as the latter country's invasion of Ukraine and its involvement in the war Syria. "I felt a very warm and kind atmosphere," he said.
Kirill consecrated the Cathedral of the Dormition of the Mother of God during a visit to Kensington, west London, following the church's refurbishment.
He also met Queen Elisabeth II and the Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury. His visit came during a commemoration of 300 years of the presence of his church. It began with just a small chapel at the Russian embassy.