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current situation of Chinese Autonomous Orthodox Church

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  • Bill Samsonoff
    http://www.mospat.ru/en/2012/02/28/news59158/ DECR chairman tells the students of Moscow theological schools about the current situation of Chinese Autonomous
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 5 12:48 PM
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      http://www.mospat.ru/en/2012/02/28/news59158/

      DECR chairman tells the students of Moscow theological schools about the
      current situation of Chinese Autonomous Orthodox Church

      28.02.2012

      On 21 February 2012, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of
      the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations,
      delivered a lecture on ‘An Era of New Martyrdom. Discrimination of
      Christians in Various Parts of the World’ to the faculty and students of
      the Moscow theological schools. Answering the questions after the
      lecture, the DECR chairman touched upon the issues of pastoral care for
      the Orthodox compatriots in China and the situation of the Chinese
      Autonomous Orthodox Church.

      Metropolitan Hilarion noted that the Russian Orthodox Church and the
      People’s Republic of China carry on a dialogue on the revival of the
      Chinese Orthodox Church: “Our aim in this dialogue is to give an
      opportunity to Orthodox faithful in China, our compatriots and Chinese
      people, to practice their faith freely”.

      The Archpastor said with regret that the current situation in China “is
      not very favourable”: “Many Orthodox churches in China are either closed
      or function nominally, without priests. I happened to visit such
      churches and talk to the faithful who come on Sundays to light candles
      and pray at icons. However services are not celebrated in these churches
      because there are no clerics there.”

      So far the attempts, made by the hierarchy of the Russian Orthodox
      Church to come to an agreement with the authorities of the People’s
      Republic of China about sending priests to China, were met with some
      resistance. “Today we see some progress in this dialogue. For example,
      very soon two students will be sent to Russia to study at the Moscow and
      St.-Petersburg Theological Academies. We hope they might become priests
      after graduation and serve in China”, the DECR chairman said. He regards
      this fact as “the first and cautious steps” in normalizing the situation
      of the Chinese Autonomous Church.
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