Русский | DECR Communication Service| February 2, 2010
English translation by Katherine Ilachinski

Primate of the Russian Church noted the importance of active development of the Orthodox presence in Asia

In a report at the Bishops' meeting, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, stressed the importance of active development of the Orthodox presence in Asia.

Addressing the bishops, who gathered on Feb. 2, 2010 in the Hall of Church Councils in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, His Holiness presented the following data: in June 2009 the temple of the Holy Trinity in Ulan Bator was consecrated, the beginning (laying of first stone) of which His Holiness Patriarch Kirill, being the chairman of DECR, performed in the summer of 2001, and in December 2009 as part of celebrations to mark the 10th anniversary of Orthodoxy in Thailand the consecration of a temple in honor of All Saints in Pattaya took place, the laying of Trinity Church in Phuket and the Dormition Church in Ratchaburi; in October, an Orthodox church in honor of the Dormition of the Theotokos was consecrated - spiritual monument of Russia?s Spiritual Mission in Beijing, situated on the territory of the Embassy of Russia in China.

In this case, said his Holiness, all the more difficult is the position of the Chinese Autonomous Orthodox Church. "This theme is the subject of our many years of dialogue with the government of the People's Republic", - told the Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia .

This theme was discussed a year ago at a meeting of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill with the head of the State Administration for Religious Affairs of China Ye Xiaowen, who arrived in Moscow for celebrations of the enthronement of the Patriarch as the head of the official Chinese delegation. In November 2009 a visit to China of the delegation of the Council for Cooperation with Religious Associations under the President of Russian Federation with participation of representatives of the Department for External Church Relations of Moscow Patriarch, headed by Archbishop Hilarion of Volokolamsk took place. The negotiations were held with the leadership of the State Administration for Religious Affairs, they reached understanding on the development of Russo-Chinese contacts and cooperation in the religious sphere and the preparation of the Russian Orthodox Church of Chinese Orthodox students.

His Holiness also called an important development of cross-border cooperation with China in the religious sphere in the Far East, Transbaikal, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. The coordinating role in this area was entrusted to the chairman of the Department for External Church Relations.