"Let books be your dining table, / And you shall be full of delights. / Let them be your
And you shall sleep restful nights" (St. Ephraim the Syrian).

Monday, August 30, 2021

Russian Orthodox Presence in Hong Kong

It is, perhaps, an "Orientalist" mentality that leads some to assume the "ethnic" churches of the East never bother with peoples not a part of their ethnos beyond their borders, but this is false in all sorts of instances going back centuries. It is still false today as a new book, set for early September release, reminds us: The Russian Orthodox Community in Hong Kong: Religion, Ethnicity, and Intercultural Relations by Loretta E. Kim and Chengyi Zhou (Lexington Books, 2021), 301pp.  

About this book the publisher tells us this:

Hong Kong has been a unique society from its establishment as a political region separate from mainland China in the nineteenth century under British colonial rule until the present day as a special administrative region of the People’s Republic of China. A hub of interregional and international migration, it has been the temporary and long-term home of people belonging to many racial, ethnic, and cultural groups. This book examines the evolution of the community established by clergy and congregants of the Russian Orthodox Church. This community was first developed in the 1930s and then revived after a hiatus of over two decades from the 1970s to the 1990s with the founding of the Orthodox Parish of Apostles Saints Peter and Paul (OPASPP) at the turn of the twenty-first century. This study demonstrates how the OPASPP has become a vital provider of knowledge about Russian language and culture as well as a religious institution serving both heritage and convert believers. The community formed by and around the OPASPP is important to foster Sino-Russian relations based on individual-to-individual contact and mutual exposure to Chinese and Russian cultures in a region of China which allows spiritual and social diversity with minimal political constraints.

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