On April 2, the memorial evening was held in the assembly hall of the St. Petersburg Theological Academy. Its theme was spiritual missions in the countries of the Asia-Pacific region and African countries. After the opening remarks, the audience watched a video about the life of Orthodox communities on the territory of the Patriarchal Exarchate of Southeast Asia. A report on the current state of the mission in Indonesia was made by students of the preparatory department for foreign students: Sejati Moses, Shakti Gerasim and Simanjuntak Sergiy. In their message, they spoke about the current state of the mission of the Southeastern Exarchate in Indonesia: The preaching of Christianity in Asia is traditionally associated with the name of the Apostle Thomas, one of the closest disciples of the Savior of the World. Today, the clergy of the exarchate, serving in 13 countries and five time zones, are united in 4 dioceses – Singapore, Korea, Thailand and the Philippines-Vietnam. The exarchate employs 75 clerics serving in 79 parishes and spiritually nurturing tens of thousands of parishioners. Most of the communities consist of local residents, Russian compatriots make up about 20%. Striving for the formation of national Orthodoxy, Metropolitan Sergius pays special attention to the training of priests from among the local population, therefore seminarians from South-East Asia study in theological schools in Russia. Special attention was paid to translation activities in Indonesia: students read several passages from the Holy Scriptures in Indonesian. “By reading examples of poems in Tagalog, you can appreciate the beauty of writing and the skill of the authors, regardless of whether you are familiar with Tagalog or not. However, we have a great opportunity to get in touch with the amazing Tagalog poetry in the original,” said the host of the evening, a first–year student of the church-practical department of the magistracy, reader Ivan Ivanov. One of the most striking examples of a poetic text in Tagalog called “The Test of our Life” was read by a student of the preparatory department for foreign students Joasaf Nunez. In the second part of the evening, the main agenda was the topic of the mission of the Russian Orthodox Church in the countries of the African continent. Before the reports, a fragment of an interview with Patriarchal exarch Metropolitan Leonid (Gorbachev) about the current state of missionary service in African countries was shown. “Talking about the mission and the history of African countries is not new for our Theological Academy. In the 60s of the XX century, Metropolitan Nikodim (Rotov) of Leningrad and Novgorod opened the Faculty of African Youth. And from that moment on, students from African countries arrive to study in the Northern Capital,” said the evening’s host, reader Ivan Ivanov.The students’ reports alternated with various musical numbers. It is impossible to talk about the culture of other countries without ever coming into contact with it. In order to include all listeners in the rich culture of Africa, students of the preparatory program for learning the Russian language from the countries of the Patriarchal Exarchate of Africa performed the song “joy for the world”.
Reference: Lenten Memorial Evenings is an annual educational project of the Department of Church History under the leadership of Candidate of Theology, Associate Professor Dmitry Andreevich Karpuk. These evenings highlight the history of the St. Petersburg Theological Academy and the activities of its graduates. SPbDA Press Service