Basil (Shuang) of Beijing

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His Grace Bishop Basil (Shuang) of Beijing was the first ruling bishop of the Chinese Autonomous Orthodox Church.


Ignaty Shuang, the future bishop, was born in Beijing on December 23, 1888. Little is known about his early life. He later completed theological seminary at the Spiritual Mission, Beijing, and was ordained to the diaconate on May 11, 1915, by Bishop Innocent (Figurovsky).

Dcn Ignaty, after 33 years serving as a deacon, was ordained in 1948 to the priesthood.

On August 30 of that year, he was also tonsured a monk with the name Basil. Hieromonk Basil was then elevated to Hegumen and was appointed spiritual director of Holy Dormition Monastery and Holy Protection Monastery, a male and female monastery, respectively.

In July 1950, Hegumen Basil was elevated to archimandrite, and in December of the same year, Archimandrite Basil was appointed director of the Catechetical School of the Mission, in addition to being made a member of the administration of the East-Asian Exarchate.

Greater honour was to come to Archimandrite Basil when, in 1951, Patriarch Alexius I offered Archim. Basil the bishopric of Tianjin, but this was declined by Archimandrite Basil, who gave the reasons of unworthiness and infirmity (being 69 years old). At this point, Archimandrite Basil was the dean of the Holy Dormition Cathedral, Beijing, and was temporary administrator of the Diocese of Beijing. In February of this year, Archimandrite Basil was appointed a member of the Council of the Spiritual Mission.

As a result of political agreements, during 1956, between the People’s Republic of China and the Soviet Union, all foreign members of the church in China were required to leave the country. Implementing this political edict the Holy Synod of the Church of Russia, on November 23, 1956, granted autonomy to the Church of China. With agreement of the government of the People’s Republic of China, Arch. Basil was consecrated Bishop of Beijing on May 30, 1957 at the Transfiguration Cathedral in Moscow by Metropolitan Nicholas of Krutitsy and Kolomna, Archbishop Victor of Krasnodar and Kuban (who was the last head of the Russian Mission to China), and Archbishop Makarius of Mozhiak.

Bp. Basil reposed on January 3, 1962. He was not succeeded due to the anti-Orthodox Christian position of the Chinese government and the persecutions of the Cultural Revolution in 1960s.

Succession box:
Basil (Shuang) of Beijing
Preceded by:
Victor (Svyatin)
Bishop of Beijing
Succeeded by:
see vacant
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