Following up on articles published by Russian Line
The Temple of All Holy Martyrs In Beijing (now
The beautiful temple of the All Holy Martyrs in Beijing, presently laying in ruins on the territory of the former Russian Spiritual Mission in China (RSMC, now occupied by the embassy of the Russian Federation), is closely tied to still another monarchal shrine -- the Transfiguration temple in Tiarlevo (next to Pavlovsk Park near St. Petersburg), which Russian Line reported yesterday in "Monarchal shrine in Tiarlevo. Following up on articles published by Russian Line." The Tiarlevo temple was built by one of the Alapayevsk martyrs, a prince of imperial blood, deacon Ioann Konstantinovich, whose honored remains supposedly found their final resting place in the Beijing temple. Moreover, the temple of All Holy Martyrs on the territory of the RSMC was built on the burial site of the 222 Chinese martyrs killed in 1900 by the Yihetuan; nearby are the burial places of the archpastors and pastors and the precious remains of the Alapayevsk martyrs which were glorified by the Russian Church Abroad.
The subject of the Alapayevsk martyrs has been repeatedly addressed by Russian Line (See Dmitry Napara, "Alapayevsk Martyrs in Beijing. Orthodox public hopes that the authorities will finally undertake to resolve the problem"; Dmitry Napara, "The exact burial place of the Alapayevsk martyrs is established. Now it's up to the authorities: church and secular", etc.
Unfortunately, a spirit alien to Orthodoxy has been into the search brought by some irreligious people. As a result, the search for relics has turned into excavation, as already reported by RL (see "Relics are not revealed to those operating without church blessing. Towards the question of locating the tombs of the Alapayevsk martyrs"; "The reckless attitude towards Russia's historical heritage must cease. Dmitry Napara comments on the situation surrounding the search for the precious relics of the Alapayevsk martyrs").
Photos of the excavation site are available. As can be seen, the work was organized most improperly. Organizers of the hurried digging (one cannot term what was done excavation) did not receive the blessing of church hierarchs, did not invite professional archeologists (not wanting, probably, to share any glory), did not invite representatives of the Public Prosecutor's Office (as is required at opening of tombs). Moreover, as the photographs make apparent, they hired pagan Chinese to search for the relics.
We have also received photos of the bone remains found in the ground which, as we've been informed, the diggers threw into loosening ground; these were picked up by Orthodox Russians living on the territory of the embassy of the Russian Federation in the PRC in order to determine whether they belonged to animals or to humans. It is unclear, on what basis, the excavators' report spoke of an occipital part and a calcaneal (heel) part!!
After all of this, one need not be surprised that the Lord did not reveal the relics and precious remains of the holy martyrs and champions of the church to the self-appointed excavators. This is the chief lesson from this story. But there is another. Perhaps the failure with the search for relics and remains is connected to the fact that the beginning was all wrong. One would think, and we have a clear divine instruction that it is necessary, first of all, to restore a shrine, a temple to God on the territory of Russia's embassy. Once prayers to the Lord begin at this holy place, and when the bloodless sacrifice is offered, then, we believe, the Lord will reveal the burial place of the holy relics and precious remains. Moreover, the restoration of an orthodox temple on the territory of a diplomatic mission would be an important example of the joint work of government and church structures. The restoration would become an obvious collaboration of the government and the church in Russia's spiritual revival.
In any case, after all that has happened, we hope in the wisdom of Russia's new ambassador to China, S.S. Razov. and in the intercession of the leaders of the Russian Orthodox Church.
Anatolii Stepanov, Russian Line