Beijing. February 1, 2005
The second official visit to China by a hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church, Bishop MARK of Egorevsk, ended today according to ITAR-TASS.
The purposes of his trip to Beijing were care for the spiritual nourishment of Russian compatriots, consultations on holding divine services for them regularly, as well as maintenance of direct contacts with PRC religious affairs authorities, and familiarizing the Chinese public and experts with Orthodoxy in Russia, said Bishop MARK.
"I am satisfied with the results brought about by this visit", noted Bishop MARK. He added that practical measures on restoring elements of historical heritage were discussed with the administration of the Russian Federation's embassy in Beijing. Until the 1950s, the Russian Spiritual Mission was located on the territory of the present embassy of Russia and for many years also carried out the functions of the Russian diplomatic mission.
Invited by I.A. Rogacheva, Plenipotentiary Ambassador of the Russian Federation in the PRC, Bishop MARK of Egorevsk, deputy chairman of the MP Dept. of External Affairs, visited China from January 26-February 1.
In the course of the visit matters regarding the nourishment of compatriots living on Chinese territory were resolved and negotiations with PRC authorities on religious affairs were held. A Vigil was served in the evening of January 29th, on Embassy territory where earlier the Holy Hierarch Innocent's temple had been located; a Divine Liturgy -- on the morning of the 31st.
On January 31, Bishop MARK met with Xian Xianyong, director of the Fourth Department of the PRC state authority on religious affairs.
On the evening of the same day, Bishop MARK explained to those assembled at the Russian Embassy the significance of monasteries in Russian history and culture. A film about the Valaam monastery was shown.
Restoring elements of the historical heritage of the Russian Spiritual Mission in China were discussed with responsible embassy officials.