Russian Orthodox Church Abroad – 21/2/16
On Friday evening, February 12, 2016, Russians began gathering at Event Cinema in Westfield Center in Burwood, Sydney, Australia, to view the documentary Zabaikalsky Odyssey. This film premiered last December in Moscow’s Solzhenitsyn House of the Russian Diaspora.
The film covers contemporary problems facing Russians in general and those in particular who live abroad. The main challenge today, of course, is the preservation, dissemination and handing down to future generations of the national legacy, the national character and Orthodox Christian values.
The premier of the film was followed by general discussion. Peter Epov, brother of Cossack G. Epov, to whom the movie was dedicated, said “You cannot influence the natural process of assimilation if you don’t establish organizations which will support history and cultural legacy. The Russian Orthodox Church is the mechanism needed for Russian people. Recognizing the Church, baptized in the Church, attending services, a person preserves contact with his language and his national roots. Without this influence, assimilation would happen much more quickly.”
His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia and Administrator of the Diocese of Australia and New Zealand, was given the government medal “For Zeal” for his great personal contribution in strengthening relations between the Zabaikal region and Russians living in Australia by Consul General SB Shipilov on behalf of the Zabaikal Regional Administration. Honorary decrees were also given to Protopriest George Lapardin, Senior Priest of the Cathedral of SS Peter and Paul in Sydney and many other eminent figures.