Because of the cooperation between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Russian Federation's Ministry of Foreign Affairs which has developed during the last decade, priests of the Russian Orthodox Church conduct divine services for Orthodox compatriots on the territory of the Russian Spiritual Mission in China.
At the present time efforts are being made on the territory of the Russian Embassy in China to restore historical elements of the Russian Spiritual Mission in China; there is a Sunday school and a strong church community is involved in charitable activities.
For a number of years, Beijing's Orthodox community of Russian compatriots has organized among high school pupils at the Russian Embassy the gathering and transportation of humanitarian aid (clothes, footwear, toys) to Russian children's shelters at monasteries and temples. Thus far, 8 cargo shipments (about 300 kilo each) have been sent to the Kovalevsky hildren's home (Kostroma region), the Martha-Mary charitable monastery (Moscow), Holy Trinity charitable monastery in the Saraktash settlement, to orphanages at the churches of Christ's Nativity (Kaluga Region) and the Great Martyr Nikita (Pavlovo-Posadsky area of Moscow), the Sergiev Posad home for mentally retarded children, Moscow Children's Home. This charitable activity was covered in the Orthodox church press.
The charitable undertaking was also highly regarded by the Russian Orthodox Church administration. In February 2005, the Holy Patriarch Alexy of Moscow and All Russia sent a letter thanking the pedagogical collective and the pupils at the Russian Embassy school in Beijing.
I sincerely thank all of you for the charitable aid which you collected for many years and sent to various children's orphanages in Russia. I want to thank other participants of this charitable action -- the management of the Russian Embassy and representatives of Russian air transport companies. It is gratifying that, being far from your homeland, you aspire to develop what St. Isaac the Syrian calls a "merciful heart", as though continuing the works of the members of the Russian Spiritual Mission in China, which used to be situated on the territory of the present embassy school. It is important to educate children not only intellectually, but also in virtue, for "the wisdom that is from above, is full of mercy and good fruits" (James 3:17).
Addressing the pupils in particular, I wish to remind you that through your simple gifts of love, those of your peers who are deprived of parental care, come to believe in human kindness and mercy which are so characteristic of a Christian soul.
I wish all of you good health, God's help in your work and in all your kind undertakings.
Calling God's blessing upon you,
PATRIARCH OF MOSCOW AND ALL RUSSIA