Русский | 'DECR Communication Service of the Russian Orthodox Church' | January 20, 2006
English Translation by Igor Radev

During the night between the 18th and 19th of January at the premises of the former residences of the caretakers of the Russian Spiritual Mission to China — now the reception halls of the Embassy of the Russian Federation in the People's Republic of China — a representative of the Church's Foreign Relations Department, priest Alexy Kiselevich, celebrated a festive Divine Service honoring the Feast of the Lord's Baptism. In the course of the Divine Liturgy, 22 people received Holy Communion. After the Liturgy, Fr. Alexy carried through the Act of the Grand Sanctification of the waters. The water that was sanctified by the priest (2 tanks, each carrying 80 liters) was divided among the present faithful in no time, and thus it became necessary to repeat the Act of Sanctification.

Although the Baptismal night in Beijing lacked the Russian cold, still it was freezing enough, but that did not frighten the faithful: more than thirty men took a dive in the sanctified waters. "Jordan" was carved in the ice of an open pool in the Russian Embassy. On January 19th during the day Fr. Alexy took confessions and gave Holy Communion in a Beijing suburb hospital to two Russian Orthodox compatriots who went to China for medical treatment. Fr. Alexy came for the Festivities to Beijing from Shanghai where he regularly celebrates the Divine Services for the Russian Orthodox community at the premises of the Consulate General of the Russian Federation.

On January 19, 2006, an official meeting happened between the abovementioned priest of the Russian Orthodox Church and the Deputy Ambassador of the Russian Federation in the People's Republic of China V. Fadeev, who is in charge of the Protocol Department of the Embassy. In the meeting, D. Napara, the head of the Russian Orthodox community of Beijing, as well as A. Povalyaev, an employee of the Embassy of the Russian Federation in the PRC, were also present. Questions about the organization and the wellbeing of the Orthodox compatriots in China were discussed together with the related issues of coordination and mutual effort of the Russian Orthodox Church and the Ministry of Exterior of the Russian Federation for achieving that goal.