Moscow, November 23, Interfax — The Russian Orthodox Church has stressed that it is not planning to open its parishes in China, but is interested in restoring the normal activities of the Chinese Autonomous Orthodox Church.
"China is not a territory for our Church's mission, but the territory of the Chinese Autonomous Orthodox Church and we want to deliver this message in every way, including to the Chinese authorities," head of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad said at a research conference in Moscow on Friday.
Orthodox believers in China, including the Russians living in that country, "from the canonical point of view, are precisely the flock of the Chinese autonomous orthodox church," Metropolitan Kirill said.
The Moscow Patriarchate "has never raised an issue of registering parishes in China," he added.
Regrettably, when talking to their Chinese colleagues, some politicians make baseless statements about "the rights of the Russian Orthodox Church in China," Metropolitan Kirill said.
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