Japanese Orthodox clergy unharmed, Russian clergy and nuns not evacuating

March 17, 2011

Orthodox Cathedral in Sendai
Orthodox Cathedral in Sendai
Priest of the Japanese Autonomous Orthodox Church Nicholai Dimitriev, who serves in the city of Hakodate, has reported that contact has now been made with all the Orthodox priests in the country. All are unharmed, reports the official website of the Moscow Patriarchate, citing the journal Foma.

Fr. Vasily Taguchi, earlier missing, made contact with other clergy on Thursday morning.

According to Fr. Nicholai, there are has been no serious damage to the churches in Tokyo and Hakodate, while the churches of Yamada and Sakari were completely destroyed.

"In Sendai, where the second hierarchical cathedra is located, the situation is complicated—the entire coastal zone was destroyed. Nevertheless, the church here miraculously remained unharmed, and Bishop Seraphim and his flock are well," noted Fr. Nicholai.

In the Tokyo cathedral, some windows were shattered, and in the Hakodate church, the iconostasis has cracked.

Fr. Nicholai said that the faithful there need Bibles, prayer books, and crucifixes, which they lost together with their homes. He said that books in Russian could be used, since there are many Russians among the faithful, and in fact many of the Japanese Orthodox know enough Russian to read the prayer books.

The clergy of the Russian Orthodox Church in Japan will continue to serve there. "We will continue serving in Tokyo. All is up to God's will," announced the rector of the Russian Orthodox Church in Japan, Archpriest Nicholai Katsiuban to the Khabarovsk diocesan press service.

The service also reported that the two sisters of the St. Sophia women's monastery in Tiba prefecture, Mother Ksenia and Mother Magdalena, also do not intend to evacuate. "We will not leave the monastery. We are at our post," they told diocesan representatives over the phone. The nuns have learned the Japanese language, and read the main daily prayers in Japanese.


18 марта 2011 г.

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