Русский | 'DECR Communication Service MP'


In the course of his archpastoral visit to South-East Asia, Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad, chairman of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, arrived on November 6, 2001, in Beijing. He was met at the airport by Mr. S. Goncharov, Russian Federation Ambassador-Councilor in the People's Republic of China.

From the airport Metropolitan Kirill went to the Russian embassy. He met there with the embassy staff, Russians working in China, journalists and students studying in Beijing. Present at the meeting were also Chinese citizens, descendents of the Albazines Russian Cossack war prisoners from the Albazin burg who were brought to Peking in the 17th century together with their priest, Father Leonty. All the subsequent generations of the Albazines traditionally remained Orthodox and settled near the Russian Orthodox Mission in Peking (see details on After the Exarch of South-East Asia, Archbishop Victor (Svyatin) of Peking, left for Russia in 1956, it was the first meeting of the Chinese Orthodox with a hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church.

Metropolitan Kirill led a prayer singing at the Veneration Cross erected in the territory of the embassy in 1997, invoking the Holy Spirit as is customary at the beginning of a task and commemorating the Orthodox martyrs who shone forth in the Chinese land and conducted a requiem service for them. Present at the service together with numerous believers was the Russian Ambassador I. Rogachev.

In his pastoral address to the congregation, Metropolitan Kiril shared his deep spiritual joy over the opportunity to pray together with the Chinese Orthodox, among whom were descendents of Chinese holy martyrs, including a granddaughter of Archpriest Sergiy Chang, relatives of Archpriest Ioann Du and others. Archpriest Alexander De, the oldest cleric of the Chinese Orthodox Autonomous Church, was unable to attend due to illness. His Eminence Kirill stressed that the devotional link between the Orthodox in Russia and China was never interrupted. He also spoke about the situation of the Russian Orthodox Church in Russia today and answered numerous questions about the future of Orthodoxy in China.

In the territory of the embassy, Metropolitan Kirill was shown the Red Fanza, the former chapel of the heads of the Russian Orthodox Mission in Peking. It is dedicated to St. Innocent of Irkutsk and used for services by visiting priests. He also saw the garage which used to be a church of the Dormition.

Ambassador I. Rogachev received Metropolitan Kirill at his residence. He gave a high appraisal to the visit of Metropolitan Kirill to Beijing as taking place in the year marking the 45th anniversary of the granting of autonomy to the Chinese Orthodox Church and expressed his support for the initiative of the faithful to build a church in the territory of the Russian embassy.

Later that day Metropolitan Kirill flew out to Hong Kong.