Русский | "Foma-center" | January 25, 2006


English Machine Translation
China - mysterious east country with the philosophy and culture. But also here there was a place for Orthodoxy. About a life of arrivals in territory of modern China, history and the present of Chinese Orthodoxy tells Kira pozdnjaeva.

Ss Peter and Paul's Church in
Hong Kong (with about. Dionisiem)
(Irina Chudnovoj's photo)

All has begun that my husband then just imposed priest Dionisy, for the first time has made sacrament of the Christening, and its first godson became the neighbour-Chinese, arrived to Moscow boiling from changes to be engaged in business. John - so have named the godson - hardly spoke Russian, the husband did not know also a word on-eeoaenee, but they stayed hours talking on one it clear language. Happens also such. Then John has invited the husband to China.

Business was in November. Weather stood rainy and as it was rainy for some reason on a shower is there was a first trip of the husband abroad, and I very much for it worried. However week has flown by quickly, and it has returned - happy, with burning eyes and a full suitcase of the Chinese souvenirs bought on all "travellers" of 500 dollars, intended for more prosy needs.

Behind a window the rain struggled with a snow; was darkly and uncomfortably. And on dimly shined Moscow kitchen, on the table laid by an oilcloth there were one behind another small Chinese miracles - handbells with long thin handles, graceful dolls from the rice flour, covered transparent kolpachkom, thick turtles, boxes for the crickets, painted by unusual Chinese landscapes matte butylochki. Silk rolls were developed, and before eyes there was that a freakish mountain ridge and the old man going on them in a wide-brimmed hat with a faggot behind a back, zagljadevshajasja on a pond with gold small fishes a young beauty, the long-armed weeping willows which have stood as if an orchestra before a wave of a conductor's baton...

So at us in the house China has lodged. First there were tens books about Celestial, textbooks and self-instruction manuals of the Chinese language, chajnitsa with green tea in buffet and constant soya sauce.
In due course we learned about Celestial more increasing and more. It was found out, that in China there was Orthodoxy, yes not simply existed - it has given our Church of 222 sacred martyrs which, unfortunately, nezasluzhenno have been forgotten.

In XVII century the cossack one hundred protected frontier fortress Albazin on coast of the Cupid, after long osady has been captivated and withdrawn in capital Celestial. Emperor has taken pity on brave soldiers and granted to them a place for residing, the Chinese wives and the salary. Among captured there was also a priest - father Maxim Leontev. Soon about albazintsah have heard in Russia, and Iao?I has entered negotiations with emperor Kansi directing to Beijing Russian Spiritual Mission for spiritual okormlenija Orthodox. And as in China at that time there was no representation of foreign powers, diplomatic functions were simultaneously assigned to Mission also. So members of the Russian Spiritual Mission which have located China in the beginning of 18 centuries, steel not only the first diplomats in Celestial, but also the first Russian kitaistami, brought the enormous contribution to a world science. Formally problems of Mission included care about spiritual needs only descendants albazintsev, but the real purpose was the statement of Orthodoxy on the Chinese ground. And for this purpose our missionaries should study all over again local culture, traditions and language.

For the Chinese Orthodox Church 1900, when China sotrjaslo the antiEuropean revolt of boxers became especially memorable. Together with other Christians have suffered also Orthodox - 222 Chinese martyrs among whom there were also children, have given the lives for belief.

Revolution of 1917 has splashed out numerous streams of refugees on the Chinese coast. On all country Orthodox temples opened. At this particular time many Chineses, close having adjoined to alive display of Orthodoxy, have addressed to belief.

But in 1949 formation of the Chinese National Republic has entailed serious changes in a life of Chinese Orthodoxy. According to new laws, in territory of China there could be only national religious organizations. And it meant, that the Chinese Church should prove the viability irrespective of Russian. The first bishops-Chineses have been imposed, and in 1957 the Chinese Independent Church was formed. All this quite corresponded to historically developed missionary practice of the Russian Orthodox Church always aspired formation of independent national Churches.

However the Chinese Cultural revolution which has begun in 1966, has put an end to that so was carefully created two centuries. Temples have been closed all. Rare services and treby were made on apartments. Believers were exposed to prosecution and public violations. Reverence of the Chinese martyrs has been almost forgotten. In 50th years the huge territory of Russian Spiritual Mission has been transferred to Embassy of the USSR. In the same years outflow of Russian emigrants from China has begun.

Group albazintsev during
Pilgrimage in Albazin
(Jonathan Wong's photo)

In 80th years when the Cultural revolution has been publicly condemned, the government of the Peoples Republic of China tried to be rehabilitated before believers, having made it some indulgences. Some temples in the north of the country have been again opened. However the Church and could not recover after the transferred impacts. Last Chinese priests in due course have died, and temples have remained empty. In fact the law forbade to serve foreign priests in them. However, on holidays the remained believers still gather there for a pray. But them every year becomes ever less and less...

Here with such information luggage the husband has gone to the Department of External Church Communications, has been employed and almost at once is sent to China on the international conference. It passed far enough from capital, but the husband has bought the ticket for a train and has gone to Beijing to come into the Russian Embassy, and is more true - to visit former Russian Spiritual Mission.

The Youth can climb fondly naprolom. " Hello! I the Russian Orthodox priest, wish to look former Mission ". It is possible for itself to present the person of the security guard! Generally, on territory of Embassy of people start up only in the special, in advance stipulated occasions. But here there was almost a miracle - a gate was left by any diplomat as it has appeared, the believing church person who has frozen with surprise, uvidav the alive priest with a beard, in podrjasnike at walls of Embassy. The life of the Beijing Orthodox community also has begun with this fatal meeting.

All over again father Dionisy occasionally navedyvalsja to Beijing also spent services in Embassy. Gradually these visits have become frequent, divine services by a wordly grade in absence of the priest began to be adjusted. In territory of Embassy was will erect a memorable cross. Requiems in places of a burial place of our compatriots were made, there, where it was authorized.

There was a Beijing choir - the blessing of melodious parishioners has appeared much. Here only the majority of Russian in Beijing temporarily - comes to an end business trip, and the person leaves. There were such moments when it was necessary to catch only at a head - who will sing for a following holiday?! But after a while from nowhere, there was a new chorister.

In 2001 in Beijing for the first time after a 40-years break have served really Pascha. For me it there was also a first meeting with China about which I knew so much but which never saw. The husband acquainted me with streets, palaces and parks as with the old friends, furtively looking to me in eyes - whether it was pleasant?

That trip was unusual. It has begun with a sandy storm, from a malicious wind, and full despair - yes what Pascha, when here SO?!!! And then potekli days of the Holy Week when one service as if sprouts in another, and all our feelings and ideas refract in a view of Divine Revival. It was absolutely imperceptible, that we pray not in a temple, and in an ambassadorial hall for receptions, where instead of an iconostasis - high Chinese little tables with icons, and instead of the image of the Savior on gornem a place - an old roll with the branch of plum drawn on it. All was the present. There was a full sensation, as the nature listened to a divine service rhythm - with each service the sky more increasing and cleared up more, trees were dismissed simply on eyes. Religious procession with a shroud on Great Friday accompanied with the strongest aroma of a lilac as if also it has brought gifts raspjatomu to the Lord. subbota-struck suddenly a heat and hubbub of birds in hot silence - pererosla in silent and joyful Pascha night. There was a black high sky, entirely usypannoe stars, hundreds sparks of candles, easter cakes and krashennye eggs, long prihodskie a sit-round gathering and a rainbow around of the sun to morning.

Kliroshane (a photo
Jonathan Wong)

Pascha of 2003 when in Southeast Asia epidemic of an atypical pneumonia was played was memorable also. We vigorously spoke relatives and friends, that in Beijing only three ill, that for million city it is simply frivolous. But before our start real figures have been promulgated, and it has appeared, that the account goes on thousand... The Question to go or not for the husband did not stand at all - more likely on the contrary, it was obvious, what exactly because there is dangerous, the pray, support is especially necessary to people, and to go it is necessary by all means.

Beijing reminded any besieged city from a film - unusually and pugajushche empty, deserted. Rare passers-by closed persons masks. On city there went the machines spraying medicines. It was empty and in Embassy - have closed school, recommended to not leave ambassadorial small town, for members of families of diplomats additional flights for sending to Russia were organized. And more all frightened the doomed mood of people. It became really terrible. To support spirit services and spring - joyful, careless, reminded that in a life not too all and is bad helped only.

And there has then come Pascha with its unearthly pleasure and has finally dispelled all fears. As people were grateful to the father that it has arrived! We have so grown bolder, that in the whole days walked on palaces and parks, enjoying unusual rest for Beijing.

In due course it became obvious, that it is impossible to be limited only okormleniem fellow citizens. We have adjusted communication with the big community of ethnic Russian in the Inner Mongolia; have found descendants albazintsev - about 50 their families to this day live in China. Unfortunately, to pray to them while there is no place - authorities do not allow to visit to the Chinese citizens foreign divine services, and the temple should be beaten out" still.

The Attitude of the Chinese authorities to religion is ambiguous. On the one hand, changes in China should mention and this sphere of a life - for creed now anybody in prison do not put. On the other hand, authorities are afraid of activization of numerous sects and consequently concern to any religious organizations with the big vigilance. Especially to "not local".

The Problem

In 2004 on blessing svjashchennonachalija Russian Orthodox Church in Hong Kong Sacred Peter and Paul's Brotherhood, being has been based by the successor of the Piously-Peter and Paul Orthodox temple operated in Hong Kong till 1972. The primary goals of the Brotherhood are support of communities of the Orthodox compatriots living in the Peoples Republic of China and Hong Kong, and assistance to revival of Orthodox Church in China.

The Brotherhood for 2004-2005 had been rented premises for carrying out of divine services in Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, the Sunday school is opened at arrival to Hong Kong, a number of projects in the field of publishing and an information work is carried out. All the carried out projects are realized due to donations of private persons and the organizations.

In forthcoming 2006 the Brotherhood plans to continue the activity. At the same time, the certain complexities of material character puts us before a problem of search of means for realization of some projects.

Brothers and Sisters! We Address to you with the request for rendering the feasible help to the Brotherhood of Sacred Apostles Peter and Paul in Hong Kong. You can become a member of the Brotherhood and receive the detailed information on our projects, having informed us as with you to communicate on:

fax: +852 22909125
phone: +852 94385021
post address: B2, 1st Floor, Sincere Insurance Bld., 4-6 Hennessy Rd., WANCHAI, HONG KONG

Priest Dionisy Pozdnyaev

The Significant part
The Beijing arrival
(Jonathan Wong's photo)

In 2003 under the request of the Russian community living in Hong Kong, the husband has been sent there for the organization of arrival of Russian Orthodox Church. In Hong Kong Greek church Constantinople Patriarchy for a long time operates, but people would like to pray on the native language. And summer of 2003 we have got over from Moscow to Hong Kong. And therefrom up to Beijing a hand to submit, therefore services in the Russian Embassy in China are spent now on a regular basis.

Though in 1997 Hong Kong has ceased to be the British colony and has been allocated in Special Administrative District Peoples Republic of China, it is separated from China by border and in its territory former laws operate basically. Earlier I thought, that Hong Kong is the such Chinese city which only has been very arranged well. It has appeared, that beyond China here it is necessary to run about. Here, certainly, everywhere Chineses, hieroglyphs, the Chinese kitchen, but all carries cleanly Hong Kong cosmopolitan shade. Hong Kong is a city with very strongly pronounced own person; it you will not confuse with any another! I very much have grown fond of it. For its original rest is with a kind it vain enough, populous, but actually, very late, peace, not oppressive. That here it is possible to find any niche - from European and Chinese up to the most unimaginable etno; any culture, any style get on here " as morkovka with a peas ". Has grown fond for the biggest plus of a life on island - of the sea which is visible from everywhere. For kreshchenskie rains and the winter full of colors. And most of all, likely, that this city so has reminded me my Baku childhood - in fact at all seaside southern cities is something the general.

Constructing or getting a separate church building, unfortunately, could not to be both speeches - the ground and the real estate on this titbit of a land are so dear, that of them and to dream it is not necessary. Search of suitable office premise long enough last. Yet there was no temple, services passed in the Greek church - in arrival of the Apostle and the Evangelist Luke which settles down in one of offices in city centre. Here do not serve evening services before holidays, therefore for the period of Night services the temple was entirely in our disposal, and we could serve in Russian; and the Liturgy sent all together in English with Greek and Russian "inserts".

As father Dionisy considers as an overall objective of the stay in China missionary work, the temple has been decided to equip in the Chinese style, how much it is comprehensible, certainly. The wooden iconostasis weaved from geometrical patterns behind will fit silk. When in an altar light is lit, it reminds the Chinese small lamp. Strict long-legged little tables too were very successfully entered in an interior of the Orthodox temple. The temple has turned out unusually cosy, it mark all coming. The second room of our premise the library, it - borrows the main place prihodskih meetings and employment of Sunday school.

Simply Hong Kong
(Irina Chudnovoj's photo)

Hong Kong - not "Russian" from foreign cities, therefore and arrival at us not too big though people appears more and more and more. Fortunately, cleanly "Russian" arrival it has not turned out - we have Chineses, Americans, Irish, the Frenchman. On Sundays the service is conducted in Russian and English, and in everyday lives all depends on the one who has come on service.

The Choir has developed practically at once, still before there was a premise - there are skilled choristers, there are those who only have started to study to sing. In the Greek church the service is sung with all people. We have decided to follow the tradition standard in Russia. I remember, how we worried, when sang on the first service. As diligently and touchingly our English-speaking children deduced in Russian " Izhe Cherubs "! And as solemnly and a little reading of 33-rd psalma unusually sounded: " I will Bless the Lord at All Time... ".

First time was tjazhelovato with English language. There are at least four translations of divine service texts, and most beautiful of them has appeared, as usual, the most complex - even at for whom English - native. We had far not all necessary notes, it was necessary to shift English words on Russian music - I only have then understood, that it for a long time became a part of singing practice, and the majority of collections consists of such transpositions. Changeable church chanting were especially heavy on the Night service, where many. But very much it would be desirable, that also English-speaking parishioners had an opportunity to pray in the language, let even by such "flours". For some reason it seemed to me, that it should be very difficultly stand long services in not clear language. Gradually into our divine service life enters also Chinese - while on SHestopsalmii and hours. But who knows, maybe, in the near future somebody will restore or will write music and for the Chinese texts?

Besides arrivals to Beijing and Hong Kong there is still an arrival in boundary with Hong Kong the Chinese city of Shenchzhene. More recently to Shanghai for constant service there has arrived one more Russian the father, father Alex. In September opening arrival to Guangzhou is planned.

All arrivals in territory of China while are opened only for our compatriots and for Orthodox foreigners. Only the Hong Kong arrival, owing to the special status of Hong Kong, has the right to the open sermon among Chineses. And that Orthodox Chineses in other parts of the country could profess the belief, it is necessary to create Chinese arrivals with the Chinese priests.

Last years there was an opportunity to send the Chinese students for training in the Russian spiritual schools. And let not all from these children become priests or icon painters, but they have an opportunity to join the present church life, spiritual tradition to inform it up to others.

The Material is published in 7 (30) number "Fomy" 2005 Magazine it is possible to order in edition, and also to subscribe.