On November 4, during his visit to the diocese of Kazan and Tatarstan, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk visited the Russian Islamic Institute.
He was accompanied by Archbishop Anastasy of Kazan and Tatarstan, Mr. Sevastyanov, executive director of the St. Gregory the Theologian Charity, Father Ioann (Kopeikin), assistant to the DECR chairman, and Deacon Dimitry Safonov, a staff member of the DECR.
At the entrance to the institute, Metropolitan Hilarion was welcomed by its rector Prof. Dr. P. Mikhametshin, and Mufti Ildus Faizov of Tatarstan. Metropolitan Hilarion was taken on a tour of classes and the library. Then he had a talk with the rector. Dr. Mukhametshin informed him that the institute, which has existed since 1998, is attended by young men and women from 45 regions in Russia and the CIS, who study theology, economics, linguistics and journalism. Some graduates are sent for studies to Islamic universities abroad. They discussed ways of academic cooperation between the RII and the Sts Cyril and Methodius Church Post-Graduate School, which is directed by Metropolitan Hilarion.
Metropolitan Hilarion then read a lecture to professors and students on ‘The Topicality of Orthodox-Islamic Dialogue in the World Today’. After the lecture he answered questions from the audience, after which he answered questions from Kazan TV correspondents.