On January 17, 2014, during the grand reception held on the occasion of the name-day of Metropolitan Anthony of Mexico, Central America, Venezuela and the Caribbean Island (Patriarchate of Antioch), Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk was awarded Mexico’s Order of the Legion of Honour, one of Mexico’s highest insignia awarded by the President of Mexico to Mexicans and foreigners for significant achievements they made in various spheres of public activity. The Legion of Honour is awarded to Metropolitan Hilarion “in recognition of his outstanding achievements as head of the Moscow Patriarchate’s department for external church relations”.
Metropolitan Hilarion was also awarded the Order of the Mexican National Academy, the country’s leading scientific research center.
In his speech after the awarding ceremony, the DECR chairman stressed the need for consolidated efforts of all the world leading powers to stop as soon as possible the bloodshed in the Middle East and to protect Christians in the Middle East region, who are subjected to discrimination and persecution. He assured the gathering, which included natives of Lebanon and other Middle East countries as well as ambassadors of the Middle East states, that the Russian state and the Russian Orthodox Church will continue doing all that depends on them to see to it that the persecution of Christians is stopped and the Middle East settlement process takes a peaceful course.