First time in many years China allows an Orthodox Priest to be ordained

The Chinese Orthodox Church – 25/5/15
English translation by Katherine Ilachinski

An ethnic Chinese, who for several years studied in Russia to be ordained.

BEIJING, May 17. / TASS Correspondent Andrei Kirillov /. China, the first time in more than half a century allowed a Chinese Orthodox priest to be ordained. Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Department for External Church Relations (DECR) of the Moscow Patriarchate informed TASS correspondent on Sunday about this event. He is in China during the 4th session of the Russian-Chinese working group on contacts and cooperation in the religious sphere.

“We had very constructive talks with the State Administration for Religious Affairs. We agreed on the ordination to the priesthood of an ethnic Chinese who studied for several years in Russia. We hope that he will serve in Harbin in the Holy Protection Church, which will become truly operational. Till now there was no priest there. Now, God willing, there will be a priest, “- said Vladyka Hilarion. “We also agreed that two more students will learn from us with the prospect of their eventual ordination, – he said. – I hope that, with the help of God, Orthodoxy in China will grow.”

On Saturday, Hilarion served the liturgy in the Church of St. Innocent of Irkutsk in Labdarin (Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region, China), where many believers gathered. Representatives of the government district and the cities of Hulunbuir, Hailar were present. Parishioners in Labdarin are descendants of Russian, who settle in the area of Three Rivers in the late XIX century.

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