Primate of the Russian Church points to importance of active Orthodox presence in Asia

In his report to the Bishops' Conference, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia made a special mention of the importance of active efforts for developing Orthodox presence in Asia. Addressing the clergy who assembled on 2 February 2010 at the Councils Hall of the Church of Christ the Saviour, His Holiness gave them the following information: a church dedicated to the Holy Trinity was consecrated in June 2009 in Ulan-Bator. Its foundation stone was laid by Patriarch Kirill in summer 2001 when he was DECR chairman. A church of All Saints was consecrated in Pattaya during the celebration marking the 10th anniversary of Orthodoxy in Thailand in December 2009. The foundation stones were laid for a church of the Trinity in Phuket and a church of the Dormition in Ratchaburi. An Orthodox church of the Dormition of Our Lady as a spiritual memorial to the Russian Orthodox Mission was consecrated last October in the territory of the Russian Embassy in China.

For all that, His Holiness remarked, there was still a complicated situation in the Chinese Autonomous Orthodox Church. ‘This theme is a matter of our long-standing dialogue with the Chinese state bodies', he informed the gathering. It was also discussed a year ago during Patriarch Kirill's meeting with the director of the Chinese State Administration for Religious Affairs, Mr. Ye Xiaowen, who led a Chinese official delegation to Moscow for the Patriarchal enthronement. In November 2009, a visit was made to China by a delegation of the Presidential Council for Cooperation with Religious Organizations, which included representatives of the Moscow Patriarchate and was led by Archbishop Hilarion of Volokolamsk. There were talks with the leaders of the State Administration for Religious Affairs in which a mutual understanding was reached concerning the development of Russian-Chinese contacts and cooperation in the sphere of religion and the training of Chinese Orthodox students by the Russian Orthodox Church.

His Holiness Kirill also pointed out as important the development of frontier cooperation with China in religious sphere in the Far East, Transbaikal Region, Kazakhstan and Kirghizia. The chairman of the Department for External Church Relations has been charged with coordinating role in this area.

Source: DECR Communication Service