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Carrying a cross and — at times — a shield, Orthodox priests have placed themselves in the line of fire amid the turmoil of Ukraine's bloody uprising.

On Thursday, several priests stood alongside protesters in central Kiev, performing blessings and delivering the last rites to those who were killed.

A priest stands in the lobby of the hotel Ukraine near bodies of anti-government protesters killed during clashes with riot police on Feb. 20.DAVID MDZINARISHVILI / Reuters

A short walk uphill from the black smoke and violence of Independence Square, injured protesters lay beneath icons and candles on the floor of St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery on Wednesday.

The Ukrainian Orthodox Church has actively supported the calls of the protesters for Ukraine to shift its alliances west towards the European Union, Reuters reports.

People rest inside Mikhailovsky Zlatoverkhy Cathedral (St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery), which serves as a temporary shelter and a first-aid post for anti-government protesters, in Kiev on Feb. 19.DAVID MDZINARISHVILI / Reuters
An Orthodox priest walks under fire during clashes between anti-government protesters and riot police in central Kiev on Feb. 20.SERGEI SUPINSKY / AFP - Getty Images