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China ordains Orthodox priest

by Hannah Tooley

The announcement came after the Moscow Patriarchate's foreign minister met Chinese leaders from the State Administration for Religious Affairs.

According to Asia News the priest will serve in Harbin and two more ordinations are expected in the future.

This is thought to be the first time in sixty years that China has ordained a Russian Orthodox priest.

Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, the head of External Church Relations in the Moscow Patriarchate, visited China earlier in the month and found the progress constructive.

This trip came a few days after the Chinese President Xi Jinping travelled to Moscow for the 70th anniversary of the Soviet victory over the Nazis.

Following a meeting with the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, the Chinese leader met with Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill who praised China's values in "role of culture, traditions and the moral factor in shaping the lives of people and individuals."

Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk said: "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 at the Church of the Intercession," which is currently undergoing restoration.

"Until now it had no priest. Now, God willing, it will have a priest".

It was agreed that the other two preparing for possible ordination will study in Russia.

"I hope that Orthodoxy will grow in China with the help of God," added the Patriarchate's foreign minister.

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