A group of Chinese pilgrims arrived in Irkutsk yesterday. Joining the pilgrims today, June 29th were seminarians who arrived in Irkutsk on the 11 oclock train from Moscow. These Chinese Orthodox pilgrims, enroute from Moscow to China, made a special stop in Irkutsk, in order to meet with like-minded Siberians and to visit Lake Baikal.
The pilgrims were met by Father Archpriest Dionisy, pastor of the Orthodox parish in Hong Kong. For several years he has been dealing with the problem of the interrelations of Russia and China from a religious point of view. And, therefore, the present pilgrimage by Chinese seminarians plays important role.
As is known, the Siberian region is an important strategic zone with respect to China. But, unfortunately, no measures are being carried here for collaboration between our countries with respect to Orthodoxy. Perhaps, these seminarians will take an essential step in this direction.
This is primarily a pilgrimage,—says Fr. Dionisy of the visit. All the young men are studying at the MDA. Of course, we invited many. But only a few men could come. The pilgrims will stay in Irkutsk until Tuesday. Here they will visit temples, travel to Lake Baikal, give and listen to several lectures on the contemporary religious situation in China, which, as is known, at the present moment is in a transitional period of searching for faith.
Lectures on the subject: Orthodox consciousness and the Chinese world: from conflict to dialogue will be given on June 30, 2006 and July 3, 2006 at 6 p.m. in the national drama theater (Mukhinoy stop on the trolley). Free admission.
Information on this pilgrimage will be published on the website of Irkutsk Diocese.