Link: Orthodox Church in Thailand

Orthodox Church in Thailand


Thai convert becomes Orthodox Priest


Thai convert becomes Orthodox Priest



It is rare in predominantly Buddhist Thailand to find Thai Orthodox Christians, let alone a young Thai from a Buddhist family who has committed himself to becoming a priest in the Russian Orthodox Church.

But Danai Wanna, 24, is one such person. He is preparing for ordination as an Orthodox priest, and he expects that to happen in about eight years.

Danai already has completed one year of training at a seminary in St. Petersburg, 650 kilometers northwest of Moscow. Lately, he has been on home leave in Bangkok, but he will return to Russia on Aug. 23 to continue his studies in St. Petersburg, which some people call Russia’s “northern capital.”

The young former Buddhist hails from Prachin Buri province, 134 kilometers east of Bangkok. He recently spoke with UCA News about his conversion, the Continue reading “Thai convert becomes Orthodox Priest”

Journey to Orthodoxy: Thailand

Journey to Orthodoxy: Thailand

Patriarch Kirill blesses construction of new Orthodox Church in Bangkok, Thailand


Patriarch Kirill blesses construction

of new Orthodox Church in Bangkok, Thailand

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia blessed the construction of a new Orthodox church, dedicated to St Nicholas the Wonderworker, in the capital of Thailand, Bangkok.

The foundation stone of the church will be laid on 20 December 2012.

The resolution, sent by His Holiness to Archimandrite Oleg (Cherepanin), representative of the Russian Orthodox Church in the Kingdom of Thailand, says in particular,

“I give my blessing to the construction of the building of the Church St Nicholas the Wonderworker in Bangkok, Thailand, in accordance with the submitted project. By the intercession of Archbishop Nicholas of Mira in Lycia, the Lord will bless you, clerics, laymen and all those who work at the parishes of the Russian Orthodox Church in Thailand, for this important and good deed.”

The church is planned to be built and consecrated in 2013, website of the Representation of the Russian Orthodox Church in Thailand reports.



Orthodox Monastery consecrated in Thailand


Orthodox Monastery consecrated in Thailand



On February 9, 2012, Archbishop Mark of Yegoryevsk, director of the Moscow Patriarchate’s office for institutions abroad, who is on a visit to Thailand, consecrated the church dedicated to the Dormition of the Mother of God at the Monastery of the Dormition in Ratchaburi.

With the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, Fr. Seraphim Raicha of St. Nicholas’s in Bangkok was ordained in the newly-consecrated church as hieromonk to continue his service in Thailand. Present at the service were pilgrims from various parishes in the country, officials of the Russian Embassy in Thailand and the head of the local administration.

His Eminence Mark presented Rev. Danai (Daniel) Vann with a patriarchal award, a golden pectoral cross. The right to wear it was granted to the first Thai Orthodox priest for his zealous work for the good of the Church and the Thai translation of Archpriest Seraphim Slobodskoy’s Bible chairs.

Archbishop Mark also presented Archimandrite Oleg Cherepanin, representative of the Russian Orthodox Church in Thailand, with the Order of St. Innocent of Moscow in acknowledgement of his work for many years for the good of the Church and on the occasion of his 50th birthday.

The previous day, Archbishop Mark held at the monastery an assembly of the clergy, members of the parish councils of Orthodox churches in Thailand and Cambodia, representatives of the Orthodox parish in Laos and the committee of the Orthodox Church Foundation in Thailand. Archimandrite Oleg Cherepanin made a report stating the progress made and existing problems, the main ones being an acute need for purchasing some land for building a church in Bangkok and a shortage of clergy at the acting parishes.

Members of parish councils reported on the life of their communities, describing the special features of each of them. Rev. Danai (Daniel), chairman of the committee of the Orthodox Church Foundation in Thailand, introduced the assembly to the work of the Foundation.

In conclusion, Archbishop Mark addressed the assembly thanking all the participants and stating that some problems will be settled in the course of his visit, while others will be submitted to the consideration of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia.

He also received each of the monastery brethren in individual audience for a private talk, after which he identified candidates for taking monastic vows and instructed the representative of the Russian Orthodox Church in Thailand to submit an appropriate report to Patriarch Kirill.

In the evening, Archbishop Mark officiated at All-Night Vigil at the monastery’s church of the Dormition. During the service he presented Vladimir Buntilov, assistant to the ROC representative in Thailand and lecturer at the Mahidol University in Bangkok, with a patriarchal award, the Medal of St. Innocent, Metropolitan of Moscow, in recognition of his church work, the website of the Orthodox Church in Thailand has reported.

Open Arms: Russian Orthodox Church in Thailand Seen as Welcoming, Inclusive


Open Arms: Russian Orthodox Church

in Thailand Seen as Welcoming, Inclusive



The St. Nicolas Parish of the Russian Orthodox Church was established in Bangkok in 1999, with Oleg Cherepanin, a priest from Yaroslavl Diocese of Moscow Patriarchate, being appointed its rector. The church holds services in Old Slavic, Russian, English and Thai, and has an interesting mix of parishioners, belonging to various nationalities.

Michel de Valliere was one of the first parishioners of the St. Nicolas Parish in Bangkok. He is French with Russian roots, and has been living with his Thai wife in Bangkok since 1999. His mother, Lydia, was born in Russia into the family of an Orthodox Priest. She escaped to France after the Bolshevik Revolution when the rest of her family was murdered.

By the time Lidya met Michel’s father, Alexander de Valliere, she already had French citizenship. Both parents were Orthodox and when Michel was born in 1940, he was baptized at the Orthodox Church in Giberville.

Raised in a Russian-speaking family, Michel has a deep love for Russian culture, but Thailand also occupies a special place in his heart. He first came to the Kingdom in 1990 to take charge of the Peugeot car assembly plant.

In 1996, Michel married a Thai woman, and 3 years later they decided to move to Bangkok. And that was a very special day for Michel when he got to know that there is an Orthodox church in Bangkok’s Sukhothai Road. Over the years, the church has become an important part of his life.

“My first Easter celebration in Bangkok was in 2001. I remembered how my mother prepared koulitchis and colored eggs,” Michel said. “I cooked them accordingly for being blessed at the St Nicolas Chapel.”

This has become an annual tradition for him.

Now Michel de Valliere (or Michail Alexandrovich as all Russian parishioners call him) is the Deputy Chairman of the Parish Council of Bangkok Orthodox St. Nicolas Cathedral.

Hataipat Phungpumkaew, a lecturer in Tourism and Hospitality Management at the Burapha University International College, is a Thai parishioner.

“I first came to the church in 2009 as a visitor,” Hataipat says. “My Thai friend introduced me to the Russian Orthodox Church, which was in a small house, not far from the Royal Palace on Sukhothai Road.

God called me to come to the church in early 2013, and this time I had a chance to attend the evening service.”

In an interview with RBTH, Father Oleg, the Representative of Russian Orthodox Church in Thailand, said people from all nationalities and ethnicities were welcome to become parishioners.

“From the Christian point of view, a person is saved for eternity by following Christ. This does not mean that we want to turn the Thai people to Orthodox Christianity at any cost,” he said. “Religion is not Coca-Cola. It is not a product that requires advertisements. We must give an answer to any individual who is truly asking and prepare him. We must baptise him and teach him how to be a Christian. That is why I am here”.

Hataipat Phungpumkaew was one of those who truly found herself ready.

“I decided to get baptized in 2013. All the Russian parishioners and our priests have called me Daria ever since. I quite like this name,” Hataipat says. “So many of my colleagues always questioned me on how could I become friends with Russian people. They thought Russians keep a distance from Asians.”

She, however, insists that the church and God’s love bind people regardless of nationality.

Another citizen of Thailand converts to Orthodox Christianity


Another citizen of Thailand converts to Orthodox Christianity

Archimandrite Oleg (Cherepanin), representative of the Russian Orthodox Church in Thailand and the Rector of St. Nicolas Church in Bangkok, has baptized a citizen of Thailand Apinya Pungsangsuwan. Apinya Pungsangsuwan was born in 1997 in the town of Samut Sakhorn into a family of a driver and a housewife. She has two sisters; she is currently living with her family in Bangkok and is studying in the graduation class of the Thesabanomnoi school. The girl wishes to continue her study at university and become a professional translator.

About a year ago, Ms. Apinya independently became interested in Orthodoxy and started going to the St. Nicolas Church in Bangkok. She attended catechism courses at the representative office of the Russian Orthodox Church in Thailand. On March 3, 2013, she received holy Baptism with the name Anastasia in honor of holy royal passion-bearer Grand Princess Anastasia (Romanova).