On September 14, 2010, Deputy Chairman of the Department for External Church Relations Abbot Philip (Ryabykh) met with the delegation of China's State Administration for Religious Affairs (SARA), headed by the Director of the Fourth Department of SARA Liu Jinguang.
The Chinese delegation included Deputy Inspector of the Fourth Department of SARA Wang Yanming, deputy head of Religious Affairs Office of Heilongjiang Province Zhang Kaifeng, deputy head of the Harbin Office for Religious Affairs Yang Haixin and a representative of the Orthodox community of Shanghai Fu Xiyang. On the part of the Russian Orthodox Church in the meeting was also attended by members of the DECR D. Petrovsky.
With the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, the delegation visited Russia as guests of the Russian Orthodox Church. The visit was the practical realization of understanding on the training of Chinese students in the Orthodox theological schools of the Russian Orthodox Church, which was reached between the Council for Relations with Religious Associations under the President of the Russian Federation and the PRC State Administration for Religious Affairs.
Welcoming the guests, Abbot Philip stressed the importance of practical implementation of bilateral intergovernmental agreements on the development of relations between the traditional religions of Russia and China. The representative of the Church praised the efforts of the Chinese state to normalize the situation of Orthodoxy in China, which is celebrating this year its 325 anniversary. Deputy Chairman of the DECR also thanked the representatives of Heilongjiang Province and Harbin for assistance in organizing the Pascha services at Holy Protection Church in Harbin, which was served by a priest of the Russian Orthodox Church for his compatriots. Abbot Philip expressed the hope that such a practice will develop in other Orthodox churches in China.