Русский | DECR Communication Service | May 16, 2015
English translation by Katherine Ilachinski

Metropolitan Hilarion celebrates Divine Liturgy at the Church of St. Innocent of Irkutsk in Labdarin

On May 16, 2015, Metropolitan Hilarion celebrated the Divine Liturgy at the Church of St. Innocent of Irkutsk in Labdarin — the administrative center of the county Ergun (district Hulunbuir) in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region of China. The Archpastor was concelebrated by DECR deputy chairman Archpriest Nikolai Balashov, and by the rector of Dormition Church on the territory of the Russian Embassy in Beijing Rev. Sergiy Voronin and the Secretary of the DECR chairman Deacon Alexander Karzan.

Some of the services were held in Chinese. More than fifty local faithful received Holy Communion.

After the Liturgy, Metropolitan Hilarion addressed the congregation with the precept of the meaning of the Sacrament of the Eucharist. —When we receive Holy Communion we feel special feelings, because when the Lord dwells in us, He warms us spiritually inside and sanctifies us, gives the spiritual strength needed to carry our life feat ", - said Vladyka.

He wished to all who came to worship-to love God and love the temple of God, so that "the Holy Orthodox Faith, which we have received from our fathers and grandfathers, you could pass on to your children and grandchildren."

Prior to the "Cultural Rrevolution" in the Three Rivers territory there were eighteen churches and one monastery, combined in Three Rivers Deanery of the Diocese of Harbin. In 1967, all the temples were destroyed.

In 1990, the People's Government of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region has recognized Orthodoxy to be religion traditionally common in the district. In 1999, at the expense of the people's government district of Hulunbuir as compensation for the ruined temples in Labdarin was built a stone church. On August 30, 2009 the church was consecrated by the oldest cleric of the Chinese Autonomous Orthodox Church living in Shanghai - priest Michael Wang. In the absence of local Orthodox priest, lay people are praying in the temple by themselves.

On the eve of May 15, 2015, a delegation from Russia visited the Hailar museum of anti-fascist war, where they got acquainted with the exposition, devoted to the Soviet, Chinese and Mongolian soldiers fight against the Japanese militarists. Then the members of the delegation arrived in Labdarin, where they visited the newly opened museum of Ergun district, a significant part of the exhibition is devoted to Russian national minority in China, its culture and the Orthodox faith, and also visited the Innokentievsky church of Labdarin.

In the evening, Metropolitan Hilarion and his entourage met with the Mayor of Ergun County A. Jin Le, the head of the United Front Department of the Party Committee of Ergun Yue Xiaobo, vice mayor of Ergun Yang Zhongwei, the leadership office for Religious Affairs of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, the city district of Hulunbuir and city district of Ergun County. At the meeting the sides discussed issues of further development of contacts between Orthodox people of Russia and China. In conversation were also involved the first secretary of the Russian Embassy in China, E.B. Yurkin and employees of the State Administration for Religious Affairs of China: the director of the fourth department of SARA Dai Chenjing, deputy director of the fourth department of SARA Zhao Yanhua, the head of the second division of the Department of International Relations of SARA Xue Chunmei and deputy chief of the first department of the fourth department of SARA Hao Zhunnan.

On May 16, Metropolitan Hilarion and his entourage also visited Asia's largest natural park near the Argun River basin near Labdarin and National Park "Xishan" of Hulunbuir district and met with the head of the united front of the CPC Municipal Committee of Hulunbuir district —Men Sunlin.