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Russian Orthodox Mission in China

33 bytes added, 12:58, April 21, 2009
Each change of the head of the mission has been identified serially. During the period to 1860 the number of changes was thirteen. Beijing being on the end of a long caravan route, communications with Russia were infrequent, only two to four times each year. This hampered the receipt of funds for the operation of the Mission.
Although hampered as missionaries by the political limitations, the succession of [[archimandrite]]s and [[bishop]]s who headed the Mission successfully introduced the cultural, ethnographical, and statistical information to Europeans through translations of Chinese literature. Among these works were the translations and compositions of Fr. [[Iakinf (Bichurin) of Beijing|Ioakinf (Bichurin) ]] and a Chinese dictionary by Fr. Daniel Siviloff. During this 150 year period the Russian Orthodox Mission was confined to the mission center in Beijing. This confinement resulted in less than two hundred conversions of Chinese which included many who were descendants of the Albasin prisoners.
The Treaty of Tianjin (Tientsin) in 1858 changed the situation of the Beijing mission radically. The treaty admitted to China representatives of foreign governments and rights of residence in China to Christian missionaries. In the new period diplomatic and religious activities of the Beijing Mission were separated. Translations of the Scriptures began to appear. The Mission head, Archimandrite Gury Karpov, participated actively in the negotiations of the Beijing Treaty of 1860 under which Russia gained lands along the Amur River. Having studied Chinese for many years he was active also in translating the New Testament into Chinese, as well as collecting earlier translations of Orthodox books for re-translation into the Chinese spoken language. He expanded preaching and lecturing in church, reaching areas beyond Beijing.

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