From June 19 to June 25, at the invitation of Archbishop Alexander of Baku and Azerbaijan, the Administrator of the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA, Bishop John of Naro-Fominsk visited the Diocese of Baku on the occasion of the commemoration of the heavenly patron of the capital of Azerbaijan, Apostle Bartholomew.
During the visit, Bishop John, accompanied by Archbishop Alexander and assistant to the Ruling Bishop, rector of the Cathedral of the Nativity of the Most Holy Theotokos in Baku, Archpriest Anthony Dolinin, acquainted himself with the work of the diocesan administration, and visited the famous ancient cities of Sheki and Ganja. Lastly, he visited the Cathedral of St. Alexander Nevsky (built in 1887) and venerated its holy objects.
On Saturday, June 23, the eve of the feast of Apostle Bartholomew, Archbishop Alexander and Bishop John served the All-Night Vigil in the Cathedral of the Holy Myrrhbearers in Baku. On Sunday, June 24, the hierarchs, co-served by clergy and guests of the diocese, performed a moleben and akathist to Apostle Bartholomew at the foot of the Maiden Tower, on the foundation of the chapel erected in the 19th century on the site of the martyrdom of the disciple of Christ destroyed in 1936 during the time of Bolsheviks. Afterwards, Archbishop Alexander, together with Bishop John and the host of the clergy, celebrated the Divine Liturgy in the Cathedral of the Holy Myrrhbearers in Baku. Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation in the Republic of Azerbaijan, Mikhail Bocharnikov and Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Sweden to the Republic of Azerbaijan, Christian Camill, attended the service.
On Monday, June 25, the Administrator of the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA, Bishop John of Naro-Fominsk visited the Sheikh ul-Islam and Grand Mufti of the Caucasus Allahshukur Pashazadeh. During the meeting, which took place in a warm cordial atmosphere, Bishop John and Sheik-ul-Islam Allahshukur Pashazadeh unanimously expressed satisfaction with the level of mutual understanding and friendly relations between Orthodox Christians and Muslims in Russia and Azerbaijan, which is facilitated by personal friendly relations and meetings between the spiritual leaders.