Primate of Russian Orthodox Church meets with religious leaders of Shanghai
On 15 May 2013, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia met with religious leaders of Shanghai at the headquarters of the Council of Churches of China. Taking part in the meeting were Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations; Bishop Sergiy of Solnechnogorsk, head of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Administrative Secretariat; Mr. Vladimir Legoyda, chairman of the Synodal Information Department; archpriest Nikolai Balashov, vice-chairman of the DECR; protodeacon Vladimir Nazarkin, assistant to the DECR chairman; and Mikhail Kuksov, head of the Patriarch’s Personal Secretariat. Among the participants in the meeting were also H.E. Mr. Andrey Denisov, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to the People’s Republic of China, and Mr. Andrey Smorodin, Consul General of the Russian Federation in Shanghai.
Representing the People’s Republic of China in the meeting were Mr. Zhang Lebin, deputy chairman of the State Administration for Religious Affairs; Mr. Zhao Weixing, director general of the Shanghai Administration for Ethnic and Religious Affairs; Mr. Xiao Hong, deputy director of the International Department of the State Administration for Religious Affairs; Mr. Wang Xinhua, inspector of the Shanghai Administration for Ethnic and Religious Affairs; Mr. Xue Chunmei, head of the Second Division of the International Department of the State Administration for Religious Affairs; Mr. Xu Yanbing, head of the International Department of the Shanghai Administration for Ethnic and Religious Affairs; Mr. Gao Feng, chairman of the China Christian Council; Mr. Shen Xuebin, chairman of the Shanghai Committee of the Three-Self Patriotic Movement of the Protestant Churches in China; Mr. Kan Baopin, secretary general of the China Christian Council; Mr. Jue Xin, chairman of the Shanghai Buddhist Association; Mr. Ji Hongzhong, chairman of the Shanghai Daoist Association; Mr. Jin Hongwei, chairman of the Shanghai Islamic Association; and Fr. Anthony Chen Ruiqi, director of the “Light of Truth” Shanghai Catholic Publishing House.
The religious leaders warmly greeted the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church and told him about the life of their communities.
Patriarch Kirill told the participants in the meeting about the activities of the Russian Orthodox Church and about the role it plays in the life of Russian society today, having mentioned that the Church is “a spiritual and cultural basis of the life of Russian people.”
As His Holiness noted, the Russian Church maintains good relations and develops cooperation with representatives of other religions, for instance, some social programs are being implemented.
Patriarch Kirill reminded all those present that the Russian Church has existed in China for over three hundred years. Patriarch Kirill hopes that the status of the Chinese Autonomous Orthodox Church will be restored and the Chinese Orthodox faithful, along with Protestants, Catholics and representatives of other religions in China, will have an opportunity to work for the benefit of their country and their people.
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