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Justin Welby and Russian Patriarch state support for persecuted church

Archbishop Justin and Patriarch Kirill wrote in a joint statement that they: "Thank God for the opportunity to meet in Moscow in order to with one voice before the entire world bear witness to our brothers and sisters who are persecuted for faith in Christ."

Referencing the Middle East and Africa, they said mass killings, destructions of churches and the forcing of Christians out of their homes were all factors contributing to devastating persecution.

During Archbishop Justin's the three-day visit to Russia, the two leaders cited Bible verses for support such as 1 Corinthians 12:26: "If one member suffers, all suffer together with it: if one member is honoured, all rejoice together with it."

Archbishop Justin and Patriarch Kirill also suggested: "We ought not to forget preventative measures against the ideology of extremism that has spread throughout the world under the influence of militants like an epidemic.

"We call upon the world's religious and political leaders to unite in their efforts to come up with an effective response to extremism."

The church leaders called for international leaders to speedily help refugees and those facing no guarantee of security because of war through interreligious dialogue.

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