Father Alexander was born on January 17, 1923, in the territory of the Russian Orthodox Mission in Beijing to an Albasian family. His entire life was bound up with the Russian Orthodox Church and later with the Chinese Autonomous Orthodox Church. In his youth, he attended the mission's school, in 1950 he was ordained priest by the head of the mission, Archbishop Victor (Svyatin) of Beijing and China. He served in churches in Beijing before they were either closed or destroyed during the Cultural Revolution.
The funeral service for Archpriest Alexander Du Lifu, the last Orthodox priest in the Chinese capital city, took place on December 18, 2003, at the Catholic cathedral at Nantang in the southern part of Beijing. It was conducted by Rev. Dionisy Pozdnyaev of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relation. Father Alexander was buried at the city cemetery Babaosang. Many Orthodox Chinese, Albasians and Russians residing in Beijing came to accompany Father Alexander on this last journey.
During his last forty years, though deprived of an opportunity for serving because of the absence of churches, Father Alexander gave spiritual guidance to the Albasian faithful privately. Since 1997, the late pastor participated on a regular basis in divine services conducted by visiting priests in the Russian Embassy in Beijing.
Among those who came to pay the last respect to Father Alexander were representatives of the Embassies of Russia and Cyprus, the Russian Club in Beijing, the City Department for Cults and correspondents of several foreign news agencies. The Catholic Archbishop of Beijing, the Most Rev. Michael Tesang, sent a wreath to be laid on the late pastor's grave.
The Orthodox community in Beijing, which is three hundred years old, has to live today in a difficult situation, without a pastor and a church.