Thursday, October 22, 2015

First man in China ordained in 60 years

BEIJING (USA Today) — In the latest sign of warming ties between Moscow and Beijing, the Russian Orthodox Church ordained its first Chinese priest in 60 years, with the blessing of China's atheist, Communist rulers.

The rare move in the politically sensitive area of religion, which is tightly regulated in China, underscores how the two nations have moved closer at a time when each faces growing friction with the United States.

Yu Shi, a former banker also known as Aleksandr from the northeastern city of Harbin, took his vows at a ceremony in a church in St. Petersburg, Russia, this month following three years of training in a seminary there, church spokesman Dmitry Petrovsky told USA TODAY.

A video of the event posted on social media shows Yu, dressed in white robes, entering the Church of St. John the Evangelist in a procession of ornately dressed clergymen and speaking Chinese as he vows to devote his life to God.

He then kneels before a bishop in gold brocade who asks the congregation to pray “that the Holy Spirit and the grace of God descend ” on Yu, 42, who is married and has one daughter.

Petrovsky said Yu’s ordination was carried out with the full knowledge of China’s Communist authorities and that Yu would be allowed to work in the mainland when he completes his education.

“He will serve in the Church of the Protection of the Mother of God in Harbin,” Petrovsky said. China’s Religious Affairs Bureau declined to comment.

The ordination follows major deals signed by Russia and China on gas, aerospace and infrastructure in the last two years, as they find a common interest in opposing what they consider American hegemony in world affairs.


  1. Here's a beautiful video of the ordination. Glory to God for all things!

  2. Not quite true. Fr. Anatolius Kung was recently ordained in Khabarovsk to serve as assistant priest at the Chinese Orthodox parish in Hong Kong. Although he is not serving a parish on mainland China, he is from the PRC and the first Chinese Orthodox priest ordained in the last 60 years. Fr. Alexander is the second, but will be the first ordained to serve a parish on the mainland with the permission of the authorities.