58 indigenous Evenks baptized in Russian Far East

58 indigenous Evenks baptized in Russian Far East
58 indigenous Evenks baptized in Russian Far East
58 indigenous Evenks baptized in Russian Far East
58 indigenous Evenks baptized in Russian Far East

The missionary efforts of the Blagoveschensk Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church among the Evenk people in the Russian Far East have borne considerable fruit lately, as more than 50 people were united to Christ in His Church in two recent mass Baptism celebrations.

The Evenks are a Tungusic people of Northern Asia, recognized as one of the indigenous peoples of the Russian North, with a population of 38,400 according to a 2010 census. Contact with the Russian Empire starting in the 17th century pushed the Evenk people eastward, and they suffered language erosion, traditional decline, and identity loss especially under the Soviet regime. Today, few people can speak the Evenki language, and they face serious issues such as suicide and alcoholism.

In late July, Fr. Alexander Donesenko, M. Mosyonov, and Viktor Selivanovsky, the head of the diocesan missionary department, traveled to the northern Amur village of Bomnak, taking a particle of the relics of the Holy Martyr Boniface and a hand-painted icon of the Albazinian Mother of God with them, reports the press service of the Blagoveschensk Diocese.

A moleben to St. Boniface with the blessing of the waters was served in the local house of culture on July 30, and the missionaries spoke about the fundamentals of the Orthodox faith and the main sacred objects of the Amur Oblast.

The same day, a mass Baptism of residents of Bomnak was celebrated in the waters of the Zeya reservoir. 34 people received the holy Sacrament, mainly children. A missionary Liturgy was celebrated the next day, with an explanation of the service.

The missionaries also distributed 40 Gospels and several dozen icons to the local parishioners, and a box full of Orthodox books and Orthodox leaflets in the Evenk language to the local parish.

Another 24 Evenks were baptized in the village of Zarya, near Tynda, by Igumen Anthony (Grischenko), the rector of the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Tynda, with the help of Selivanovsky.

The Baptisms were celebrated in the local house of culture, and the newly-illumined were gifted icons, Gospels, Orthodox journals, and leaflets in the Evenk language. Selivanovsky also spoke about the purpose of the Christian life, the Sacraments of Baptism and Communion, the purpose of churches, the intercession of the saints, the life of St. Innocent (Veniamin), the Albazinian Mother of God, and the meaning of the Incarnation of the Word of God.

Following the Baptisms, Fr. Anthony explained the important consequences of the renunciation of satan and union with Christ that takes place in the waters of Baptism.

The missionaries also delivered groceries for the socially vulnerable to the local administration.

120 local indigenous people were baptized in February 2017 in the village of Essey in the Krasnoyarsk Krai. The village is considered the cradle of Christianity of the Evenkia district, after local Yakuts and Evensk adopted Orthodoxy there in 1852.

Source: Orthochristian