In his message to Mr. Franklin Graham, President of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia expressed his condolences over the passing of his father, pastor Billy Graham, renowned Protestant preacher. The text of the letter is given below.
Dear Mr. Graham,
I would like to extend to you my condolences over the death of your father – Rev. Billy Graham, an outstanding Protestant preacher whose name has gone down in the history of Christianity in America.
I happened to know the deceased personally; people listened to him and respected him not only in the USA but also far beyond his native land. He did much for the protection of the weak, persecuted and oppressed. Enjoying a high moral authority in the American society, he tirelessly called people to preserve the Christian moral tradition, to live their lives according to the faith.
Your father loved and respected the Russian Orthodox Church. It made it possible for us to carry out joint projects, including those aimed to protect persecuted Christians in the Middle East and North Africa.
I wish your family fortitude in your bereavement.
PATRIARCH OF MOSCOW AND ALL RUSSIA