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Odd Religions in China: Russian Orthodox Chruch in Harbin

Paul Simon says: " Harbin used to be quite a place; it was a city of about 400,000 White Russian exiles until after WWII, when the Soviet Army liberated the area from Manchu-kuo/Japan. At that time all these Russians were sent to prison camps in Siberia. Harbin had about 25 Eastern Orthodox churches, several Protestant Churches, and a beautiful Turkish Mosque. Many of the buildings remain, but except for a few half-Russians and phenomenally elderly old White Russians (maybe 50 or so), the old population is long gone. China's last Eastern Orthodox congregation is still quietly active there; the Priest and parishioners are very old and will be gone soon. There is also an interesting Eastern Orthodox group, heavily sinicized, in Beijing. They don't have a church building anymore, but claim to be descended from Cossaks who came to Beijing in the 1600's. The South China Morning Post had a feature on them 2-3 weeks ago".

Ronald Hilton - 2/13/02