Wuhan Orthodox Church Restoration Enabled To Promote Cultural Exchanges Between China and Russia

Wuhan Orthodox Church
1/3Wuhan Orthodox Church
Wuhan Orthodox Church
2/3Wuhan Orthodox Church
Wuhan Orthodox Church
3/3Wuhan Orthodox Church
By Alice WangAugust 12th, 2015

The Orthodox Church restoration completion ceremony, also called "Wuhan Sino-Russia cultural exchange center" opening ceremony, was held in front of the Orthodox Church on the morning of August 6. Russian plenipotentiary Babic, Hubei Province vice governor Gan Rongkun and other government officials participated in the opening ceremony.

Representatives on behalf of China and Russia delivered speeches respectively in the church restoration completion ceremony. Shao Weimin, the vice mayor of Wuhan said that Hankou Orthodox Church was the common wealth of the Chinese and Russian people left by history and now it was the "Wuhan Sino-Russia cultural exchange center" to send out the bright light of culture, to explore the history of cultural exchange of two great nations, and to play a significant role in promoting cultural fusion between Wuhan, Hubei Province and Russia. Russian plenipotentiary Babic expressed his gratitude to senior Chinese leaders for the cost they paid for the project and the effort they made. Babic also proposed to further implement the consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries and hoped to further deepen the cooperation in humanities, so that it can develop by leaps and bounds.

Hankou Orthodox Church (also known as the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral) was established in 1893 by the efforts of Russian Orientalist, Dmitriev. The church was located in the British concession in Hankou at that time, and later Dmitriev was appointed Consul General in Shanghai. During the period of "Cultural Revolution", the church was expropriated as a warehouse. In 1998, the church was listed as an officially protected site in Wuhan City, and now it has become a place for citizens to hold wedding ceremony and other special activities. 

According to a report in 2013, Hubei government intended to dismantle the church because that the church was located in the area of Yangtze River tunnel construction. Now according to the request of the Moscow and the Russian Orthodox patriarch Kirill, Hubei government is implementing the agreement about the protection and restoration of the Orthodox Church in Hankou reached by the plenipotentiary of the Russian president in the Volga River coast of the Federal District and China State Councilor Yang Jiechi.

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