The Representative of the Russian Orthodox Church in the Republic of Korea, hieromonk Feofan, today received from the hands of the capital's mayor, Lee Myung-bak, a certificate making him an honorary citizen of the City of Seoul, reports ITAR-TASS. The honorary-citizen "induction" ceremony took place in Sejong, the country's main cultural center and was timed to coincide with the city's traditional holiday ĘC the "Hi Seoul Festival"—observed at the beginning of May. Two concerts by the well-known Russian singer, Nadezhda Babkina and her "Folk Song" Ensemble, are planned within the framework of the festival.
"For me this event was sufficiently unexpected, and, of course, very pleasant", Fr. Feofan told the ITAR-TASS representative. "I consider this a recognition of the labors of the Russian Orthodox Church".
The 30-year old hieromonk Feofan is the first representative of the Russian Orthodox Church in South Korea after the establishment of diplomatic relations between Moscow and Seoul. He was born in Sakhalin, where his parents, both ethnic Koreans, still live. He has higher secular education. He has been in the ranks of clergy for 9 years. He completed the spiritual seminary in Smolensk; presently enrolled in a correspondence course in the Moscow Spiritual Seminary, he has been serving as a cleric in Seoul for 6 years. There has been a noticeable growth in number of Russian citizens in the country—presently almost 12,000 people. Thus far, there is no temple.