originally published in Russian by BLAGINFORM.ru
Blagoveshchensk, August 4, 2012
English translation by Katherine Ilachinski
Orthodox from Harbin arrived in Blagoveshchensk
BLAGINFORM - Amur regional center was visited by members of the Chinese community of Holy Protection Church in Harbin City, who came to experience the parish life of Amur co-religionists.
Friendship of Blagoveschensk inhabitants with the Orthodox from Harbin started during a trip to China, organized by the Department of Pilgrimage of the Annunciation diocese.
- The program of our pilgrimage trip "Orthodox Harbin" includes a visit to the only existing temple in the city - in honor of the Protection of the Most Holy Mother of God; it is usually open on Sundays, - said the head of the diocesan pilgrimage service Olga Anikin. - After the service, which is conducted by believers without a priest, we had lunch with representatives of the Chinese Orthodox and the Russian club in Harbin. As a result of getting to know each other, they were invited to visit Blagoveshchensk.
Ten parishioners of Holy Protection Church responded to the invitation, together with the parish warden. At customs, the guests were welcomed by the heads of departments of the pilgrimage and missionary sections of the diocese. A Russian interpreter helped to overcome the language barrier, who was provided courtesy of Russian-Chinese Chamber of Commerce.
In the premises of the Diocesan Administration the Chinese women changed, from familiar pantsuits to dresses and skirts, with scarves appearing on their heads. They were to visit the main temple of the diocese - the Annunciation Cathedral.
Clerics of the Cathedral held for the guests a short tour of the church grounds, first was a monument of the original founder of the Amur region - Count Muraviev from Amur and St. Innocent (Veniaminov), the tomb of the first Amur priest, and the Church of St. Nicholas - a copy of the historic temple of the mid-19th century.
A separate excursion topic was the story of the miraculous icon of the Mother of God of Albazinsk "the Word was made flesh," in front of which the Orthodox Chinese lit candles. Priest Andrei Boukreev and Protodeacon John Chumak served a moleben with blessing of the waters before the icon.
In conclusion, the Orthodox Chinese were invited to dinner at the dining hall of the cathedral, where the priest recalled how necessary is preparing for the sacrament of Communion, because the guests expressed their intention to partake Holy Communion in the Annunciation Church during Sunday worship.