Orthodox America

  The Cry of the New Martyrs Good News from China

      The Orthodox Church in China, swept away with all organized religion by the Cultural Revolution (c. 1966-76), is "rising phoenix-like from the ashes. After an enforced break of almost 20 years, Fr. Gregory Zhu Shi Fu began regular services again on October ii, 198l, at the Church of the Holy Protection in Harbin-Nangang."

     Russian missionaries ordained the first Chinese Orthodox priest, Pr. Mitrofan Tsi, in 1883; churches, chapels and schools were established. The Church suffered several hundred casualties in the Boxer Rebellion, but its ranks swelled with Russian refugees following the Revolution, and in 1915 there were some 300,000 Orthodox in China and Manchuria. The majority fled Mao's communist rule, but there remained about 25,000 faithful in what became in 1957 the "Chinese Autonomous Orthodox Church" under Archbishop Vasili (Shuan).

    Since there are several priests who have survived the dragon's fire, it is hoped that the government, whose anti-religious laws have been relaxed in recent years, may be persuaded to open another Orthodox church in Peking and perhaps also in Shanghai. Let us hope--and PRAY.

(Information from "Orthodox News," March, 1986)

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