Iconostasis of the Russian Orthodox Church of the Dormition of Most Holy Theotokos, Russian Embassy, Beijing, China
Sunday morning in China’s capital city is not unlike most other days: Beijing’s more than 20 million inhabitants bustle through congested sidewalks, cars compete almost hopelessly for space on crowded roads, and hazy grey skies loom heavily over the city landscape, punctuated by soaring cranes marking new constructions.
Beijing is not exactly a city of church bells and rising spires, but nestled quietly among the trees within the protective walls of the Russian Embassy lies the Russian Orthodox Church of the Dormition of Most Holy Theotokos. Its humble but majestic onion dome and Greek cross rise above the embassy walls, a sight few could have imagined only 50 years ago, when the Orthodox church was converted by the Soviet authorities into a garage. Three years ago the “garage” was restored into what it was originally made for, a temple of God where the Divine Liturgy is offered in all the rich beauty of the Russian Orthodox tradition.
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