Русский | DECR Communication Service | May 21, 2014
English translation by Katherine Ilachinski

A photo exhibition "Russian in Shanghai. 1930's" opened in the building of the Shanghai Cathedral of the Mother of God "Surety of Sinners"

Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation, in conjunction with the Museum "Moscow House of Photography" with the support of the publishing house "Alfaret" State Literary Museum, and with the assistance of the Russian Foreign Ministry and the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, prepared photo exhibition "Russian in Shanghai. The 1930's."

The exhibition began on May 20, 2014 during the visit to China by Russian President Vladimir Putin and in agreement with the Chinese side deployed in the building of the temple in honor of the icon of the Mother of God "Surety of Sinners" — in the former cathedral of the diocese of Shanghai Chinese Autonomous Orthodox Church.

The base of the exposition consists of materials from the album "Russian in Shanghai", which was published in this city by V.D. Zhiganov in 1936. There was 300 copies of album printed. This unique encyclopedia of Russian expatriates in Shanghai of 1920-1930 was reprinted by Petersburg publishing house "Alfaret" in 2008. Part of the exhibition, dedicated to the service in the Cathedral of Shanghai in May 2013 by the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill, was given by the Press Service of the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia.

Use of the building of the cathedral for humanitarian projects related to Russian presence in Shanghai, is part of the joint efforts of the Russian Federation and the Russian Orthodox Church in keeping the monuments of Russian spiritual presence in China and the normalization of the situation of the Chinese Autonomous Orthodox Church.


The Cathedral in the honor of the Icon of the Mother of God "Surety of Sinners" in Shanghai was founded in May 1933 and was designed by Russian architect and artist J.L. Lihonosa by donations of Russian emigrants. Construction of the church was completed under Bishop John of Shanghai (Maximovich, now glorified among the saints) in 1937. Height of the temple - 35 meters, capacity - about 2,500 people (cathedral choir also could accommodate 300 people).

After the death in 1965 of the last bishop of the Chinese Autonomous Orthodox Church Bishop Simeon (Du) of Shanghai, the Cathedral during the Cultural Revolution was closed for worship. Later it was used as a warehouse, in its extension there was a restaurant, and the building was transferred to the disposal of the stock exchange. In the early 2000's, the building of the cathedral was supposed to be used as a nightclub. Thanks to the efforts of the top political leadership of the Russian Federation, of the Russian Orthodox Church, the Russian club in Shanghai and the Consulate General of Russia in Shanghai improper use of the temple was abandoned. China has refurbished the building of the cathedral, in the course of the work was uncovered frescoes in the dome. The building is currently used as an exhibition hall. The building is considered a historical landmark of the city and is protected by the Shanghai municipality as a monument of history and culture.

On May 15, 2013 during the first-ever visit of the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church in China, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, at the big gathering of believers conducted in the cathedral the Divine Liturgy along with members of the delegation of the Russian Orthodox Church (bishops and clergymen), as well as two living Shanghai oldest clergy of the Chinese Autonomous Orthodox Church: 90-year-old priest Michael Wang Quansheng and 88-year-old Protodeacon Evangel Lu Yaofu.