The Archbishop of Canterbury today (October 18, 2016) met for the first time with His Holiness Kirill, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, amid "tensions" between Russia and the United Kingdom that have intensified by Syria's ongoing civil war, according to the Christian Today website.
Justin Welby welcomed Patriarch Kirill for a private meeting at Lambeth Palace along with the two men's respective delegations. The two discussed the persecution of Christians around the world -- especially in the Middle East.
They provided a statement on their meeting that said, "It was acknowledged that tensions currently exist between the Governments of their two countries," but that "Archbishop Justin and Patriarch Kirill agreed that the first loyalty of the Christian Church is to the Lord Jesus Christ..."
Kirill is in the UK at the invitation of the Russian Diocese of Sourozh in Great Britain, which is celebrating 300 years of the Russian Orthodox Church in England.