Русский | 'DECR Communication Service MP' | Nov 9, 2005 14:39
English Translation by
Nina Tkachuk Dimas
First stage of reconstructing the church of the Life-giving Trinity in Ulan Bator is completed

Holy Trinity parish in Urga (the old name of Ulan Bator) was founded in 1864, but in 1921, its priest-in-charge, Fr. Fyodor Parnyakov, was brutally tortured and killed by the White Baron Ungern von Shtenberg who had seized Mongolia. Ungern, a convert to Lamaism, strove to create a huge Buddhist state within the confines of Asia, a state which would be capable of destroying European civilization; and, Mongolia was the forepost of Lamaism.

With the death of the priest in charge, life in Trinity parish gradually died away. Until 1927 Orthodox priests still came here periodically to conduct divine services and various rites. Later the temple was completely closed. A food store now stands at that site.

But by divine providence , the church in Ugra was to be reborn, even if it weren't on the same spot. The Orthodox temple now stands across from the former one — on the other side of the street, which nowadays bears the name of Marshall Zhukov.

Many Russian residents of Ulan Bator, even after seventy years without their temple, nevertheless have preserved not only their native language, but also the Orthodox faith, and at the earliest opportunity asked the Russian Orthodox Church to provide spiritual services.

In 1997 the reviving Orthodox community was services by clerics of the Buryat deanery of the Chita diocese. On January 19, 1998 the newly appointed priest-in-charge of Holy Trinity parish, archpriest Anatoliy Fesechko, arrived in Ulan Bator, and headed this parish until June 2005. Just prior to his arrival the Russian company Vneshintorg transferred a building within the Trade representation to be used by the Russian Orthodox Church.

An ordinary residential building was gradually transformed into a parish complex. At present, there are over 100 permanent Orthodox parishioners who live and work in Mongolia. But as the country's only Orthodox parish, it provides spiritual help and support to over 5 thousand Russians, as well as citizens of other countries working in this republic.

The parish's house church and belltower were erected in 2000. The parish building's other premises are presently being reconstructed. Russian companies in Mongolia are participating in the reconstruction: "Oros Baushin", "Genghis Khan Bank", "Zarubezhstroy", UM-Trade — and also Serbian construction companies "Euro Zigi" and "N&K Engineering"; "Osokh Empeks", a Chinese company; and, Mongolia's "Monzavya". Reconstruction aid was provided by the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Mongolia, the joint-stock companies "UBZhD" and "Master Hands" , as well as private individuals, Orthodox believers from Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, USA, and the parishioners of Moscow's parish of the Life-Giving Trinity in Khoroshevo.

The small house temple in honor of the Holy Trinity, the building façade, belltower and cupolas, main entrance and stairs have been repaired. Within the parish building, a spacious hall was created for holding meetings, teas, lectures, viewing of Orthodox films, concerts of spiritual and classical music, formal receptions of the Russian Orthodox Church in Mongolia.

Next projects: the design and construction of St. Sergius of Radonezh temple adjacent to the parish building; reconstruction of the prosphora bakery, premises for manufacturingwax candles, as well as guest facilities, classrooms for a future school, grounds' improvement: planting trees, organizing a hothouse. The temple should become the center of the spiritual and cultural life of Orthodox faithful of various nationalities and representatives of other religions, which respect and are sympathetic towards Russia and the Orthodox Church.

The first stage of the reconstruction was to be completed by the Holy Day in honor of the Kazan Icon of the Theotokos, during Russia's first nationally observed day of national unity. Celebratory events also took place in the Trinity parish in Ulan Bator. An all night vigil was served during the evening of November 3rd, and a Divine Liturgy on November 4th. Employees of the Russian Embassy, workers of Russian enterprises in Mongolia, and Orthodox believers who are permanent resident of Mongolia also prayed and received Holy Communion during the divine service.

A holiday reception was also held in the parish home's Fireplace Hall. In attendance at the reception were Russia's Plenipotentiary Ambassador in Mongolia , O.M. Derkovsky and his spouse; the representative of the Government of Moscow, M.A. Ortynsky with his spouse; the Plenipotentiary Ambassador of the Czech Republic Ziri Nekvasil and his spouse; Bulgaria's Charge d' Affaires ad interim, Mircho Ivanov; other diplomats, the representative of the "Goszagransobstvennost (government property abroad)" organization, I.V. Tarasenko; directors of Russian schools and heads of enterprises which had participated in reconstructing the temple.

A children's choir from the "Erel" school opened the festive reception by performing a number of works of Russian composers.

Thereafter, priest Alexey Trubach, the new priest-in-charge of Trinity parish addressed the attendees. He extended holiday greetings, explained the history of the holiday and presented souvenir gifts to those who had been most active in reconstructing the temple.