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NEWS AND NOTES: Affairs in China (July 14-28, 1900)

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  • Nelson Mitrophan Chin
    http://orthodox.cn/localchurch/americanorthodoxmessenger/190007pg290-292_en.htm Originally published in Russian by American Orthodox Messenger July 14-28,
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 2, 2008
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      Originally published in Russian by "American Orthodox Messenger" July
      14-28, 1900. Vol. 4. No. 14. pg. 290-292
      page images from the archives of All Saints of North America Orthodox


      Affairs in China

      English translation by Katherine Ilachinski

      Our readers no doubt already know what is happening now in China, on
      which now attention of the whole world is focused. According to one of
      the best connoisseurs of China, Mr Pozdeeva, often repeated in it
      anti-Christian movements are triggered mainly by widespread
      anti-Christian and anti-European literature. The seat of this
      literature is in province of Hunan. From this center, it spreads on
      all fronts in the form of posters, lampoon, cartoons, brochures and
      books of various sizes. These works are published on voluntary
      donations from mandarins and persons of merchant class. It is
      unspeakably painful and difficult - said Mr. Pozdeev in his book about
      Mongolia - to relay the content of the brochures and pictures: there
      is so much blasphemy, anger, insults and very obscene ignorance. It is
      known that the ancient Romans depicted Christ the Savior in the form
      of a donkey crucified on the cross; the Chinese went further and
      portray Him as a hog standing or crucified on the cross. The Europeans
      are portrayed in cartoons as rams and goats; their customary name is
      devils or green hats, in China a symbol of horn bearer. Favorite
      accusations against the Europeans are accusations of poking out of
      eyes from the living and dead Chinese. These eyes, according to
      Chinese writers, are used to extract silver from lead. Then the
      Europeans are accused of castrating the Chinese, drawing their brains,
      and so on.

      These products are used by photographers for various chemical goals.
      Sadly the whole ridiculous delusion is printed not only in cheap
      popular street publications, but is even repeated by senior high
      ranking administrators in their official records to the Chinese
      government. This propaganda on one hand is a major obstacle to the
      spread of Christian preaching in China, and on the other hand it
      fantasizes Chinese mob and incites various riots against foreigners.

      At present time developments in China are increasingly worrisome.
      Officially, the war between China and other countries have not yet
      been announced, but actually it has begun already for a month and the
      fighting has shed a lot of blood. The biggest losses of people from
      the European side were suffered by Russia: they represent already
      hundreds of dead and wounded. It is evident that either the Russians
      get the most difficult tasks from the actions of the European squad in
      China or the Russian show more dedication. In taking of Taku and
      Tianjin and in saving of the international detachment, send to Beijing
      to rescue besieged in the European missions, our troops showed the
      usual resilience and courage, recognized by all allies. But taking an
      active part in hostilities in Europe against China, Russia, but,
      officially declares that it intends to limit its participation
      exclusively to help the Chinese Government in restoring order in the
      country impaired by "Boxers". Further Russia does not intend to go and
      hopes to continue to maintain their centuries-established peaceful
      friendly relations with China.

      According to American newspapers, anti-Christian and anti-European
      Movement has now engulfed the entire northeast China, Manchuria and
      Korea, and the Chinese are already beginning to attack Russian cities
      - Blagoveshchensk, Khabarovsk, Harbin, and others. How accurate are
      these news - it is hard and difficult to judge the justice of the
      statements of these newspapers about mobilizing an allegedly huge army
      by the Russian Government for war with China.

      The situation of diplomatic missions in Beijing has not yet been
      determined precisely. One day the newspapers state that all members of
      European missions in Beijing are beaten and they give details of their
      deaths, horrific details. The following day the same newspapers print
      telegrams that all Europeans in Beijing, (except for the German envoy,
      about whom it is already known for a fact that he was brutally
      murdered by "Boxers"), are still alive, but they are under siege in
      the building of an English embassy and can not make it for too long
      unless assistance arrives. But the European publishers do not trust
      the latest news: they think that this news - is propaganda of the
      Chinese who are wishing to reassure Europe, to buy time for final
      preparations for war. There is no positive news in local, or in the
      Russian press about our spiritual mission in China. There are quite
      accurate news about the mass killing of Christian and missionaries of
      other Christian confession, but about the Russian mission, we know
      only that on May 25 "Boxers" burned the Orthodox Church in the village
      of Dongding'an.

      Meanwhile, we know that our Orthodox mission in China has five
      churches - two in Beijing and one each in the cities of Hankou and
      Kalgan (modern-day Zhangjiakou) and in village of Dongding'an. In
      addition on the Russian cemetery near Beijing and on the shores of the
      gulf of Pechiliysk, in Jin Shan-zu, where Russian families move from
      Beijing and Tianjin in the summer, there are two houses of prayer.
      Finally, in the mission there is a printing house, three schools - two
      male and female, in Beijing and one in Dongding'an - and a house for
      helping Orthodox Chinese widows and orphans.

      In the report of 1897-98 there were Orthodox people present in mission
      churches: Russians temporarily living in China, in Beijing, about 30
      souls of both sexes, in Hankou about 50 and about 40 in Kalgan;
      Albazinians - descendants of long-standing Russian settlers in China -
      315; Chinese -- 103, about 578 souls of both sexes. The mission
      included: its head Archimandrite Innokenty, two hieromonks Nikolai
      Drobyazgin and Avramy Chasovnikov, one priest Nicholas Shastin, and
      one deacon Vasily Skrizhalin, and moreover, several natives catechists
      and teachers in schools. What became of all these missionaries, with
      their Orthodox flock, with churches and different agencies of the
      mission - difficult to say definitely. Based on the news of the
      destruction of the church in Dongding'an and telegrams about the
      burning and destruction of churches and other institutions of the
      mission of other confessions, it is possible to think that all our
      churches in China with everything that was in them were destroyed.

      But what can one say about people? Organizations of Protestant,
      Catholic and other Christian missions have lists of their leaders,
      perished by martyrdom in China. There are no names of our
      missionaries, there is no talk about martyrs or confessors of
      Orthodoxy, but can it give us some good hope? Hardly. In their
      uprising against the Europeans, who forcibly and not squeamishly by
      any means were imposing on them (Chinese) their civilization and
      religion, which they (Chinese) do not recognize and do not find good
      and necessary for themselves, in the haze of aroused wild passions,
      wild thirst for blood, the Chinese have hardly spared modest workers
      of Orthodox ideas, barely remembering that these workers are not like
      the usual type of European missionaries culture bearers, who brought
      and killed them with opium, as they have forgotten, raising hands on
      Russia, that also during centuries they lived with Russia in peace and
      did not seen any evil from her, nor the slightest infringement on
      their political and social life and on their way of lifeĀ…
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