Russia's Patriarch conducts service in Samarkand church

The head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, who is currently on official visit to Uzbekistan, has conducted a service in a 1912 cathedral in Samarkand Saturday. The patriarch said he was "warmly greeted" by the people of the famous Uzbek city, and Muslim women accorded a sincere welcome to the Orthodox head. The metropolitan of Tashkent and Uzbekistan, Vikenty, accompanying the Russian patriarch during his visit, said the Orthodox church official has many fans among Muslims in Uzbekistan. Patriarch Kirill is to visit Bukhara and Tashkent later, where he will consecrate a cathedral. On Saturday, Patriarch Kirill also laid wreaths at the tomb of the late president of Uzbekistan, Islam Karimov.