Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill has thanked all residents of Ukraine who preserved their belief in the Moscow Patriarchate during the years of a religious split, according to Interfax-Ukraine.

"I'm addressing you and those who, through the strength of their belief, preserved the unity of the church here, on Ukrainian land. The whole Russian Orthodox Church bows to you and expresses the patriarch's gratitude to you for your brave stand for your beliefs, and for your loyalty to God and the Savior!" he said on Thursday after conducting a divine liturgy in Sviatohirsk Monastery in Donetsk region.

The sermon by the patriarch was interrupted for several minutes by thousands of people who gathered near the monastery shouting "Our Patriarch is Kirill."


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