|Doctrines|| ||On all major issues the
Orthodox Church of China is in agreement with other Eastern Orthodox
churches (See Eastern Orthodoxy.)|
|History|| ||The Orthodox tradition was
transplanted onto Chinese soil in 1686 when a group of Cossacks serving in
the Chinese imperial guard brought their chaplain with them. However, it
was only in the next century that Eastern Orthodoxy was permanently
established in China. This was achieved when Missionaries from the
Russian Orthodox Church set up a mission in Peking in 1715. During the
next two hundred years missionary activity was relatively slow; by 1914
the church had only acquired about 5000 converts.|
The situation changed in 1917 following the Russian revolution which caused hundreds of thousands of Russians to flee Russia into China. By 1939 there were an estimated 300,000 adherents of Eastern Orthodoxy in China.
The situation changed again in 1949 when a Communist government was established in China under Mao Tse Tung and foreign missionaries where expelled from the country. Fortunately, for the Orthodox Church in China the Russians had by that time established a seminary to train Chinese priests. In 1950 the first Chinese orthodox bishop was consecrated; a second was consecrated in 1957.
The Orthodox Church, like other traditions, was driven underground 1966 when institutional religion was abolished by the state and the excesses of the Cultural Revolution were beginning to take place. Since that time it has been difficult to obtain information about the state of the church. It is to be hoped that recent changes in Chinese politics will enable members of the Orthodox Church of China to practice their beliefs unhindered by state interference.
|Symbols|| ||Virgin Mary as Theotokos,
Christ as Pantocrator. (See Eastern
|Adherents|| ||It is extremely
difficult to estimate the number of adherents within the church since it
has been operating underground in recent decades. Estimates in its size
vary from 10,000-20,000 (Ware 1963,14).|
main centre for Eastern Orthodoxy in China has been Harbin where the
Eastern Orthodox theological seminary was established.|