Русский | interfax-religion.com | August 14, 2006 13:47

Metropolitan Kirill discusses cooperation with Chinese official on religions affairs

Moscow, August 14, Interfax— Last Saturday, the head of the Moscow Patriarchate department for external church relations (DECR) Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad met with representatives of the State Administration for Religious Affairs of China Jun Xiang and Wang Yanming in the Beijing airport.

They discussed the results of the World Summit of Religious Leaders held recently in Moscow with the Chinese delegationís participation, and exchanged opinions on the prospects of cooperation between the DECR and the State Administration for Religious Affairs of China.

The Chinese representatives showed their interest to Metropolitan Kirillís mentioning of the upcoming consecration of an Orthodox church in the capital of North Korea where he was going as head of the Russian Orthodox church delegation, a priest who accompanied the Metropolitan told Interfax.

Taking part in the talk also were Russian diplomats - minister-counsellor of the Russian Embassy in Beijing Igor Morgunov and ambassador at large Mikhail Mayorov who accompanied Metropolitan Kirill on his trip.

Another issue in the relationship between the Moscow Patriarchate and China is the restoration of the church of the Assumption on the Russian Embassy compound in Beijing. Earlier Metropolitan Kirill had discussed that matter with the Chinese ambassador in Moscow Liu Guchang and the head of the State Administration for Religious Affairs of the Peopleís Republic of China State Council Ye Xiaowen.

The Assumption church had belonged to the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in China that was active there from 1712 to 1954. Later the missionís territory was given to the USSR embassy and all missionís churches were demolished except the Assumption church that was made an embassy garage.

A principal decision to restore the church has been made, a source in the DECR MP told Interfax.