The Order of St. Andrew, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, is pleased to announce that Archon-elect Dr. Nawaf and Rim Salameh and Archon Boris and Youlianna Gurov will be presented with the Archon Sophia Award for Excellence on Saturday, October 8, 2022, at the Annual Archon Agape Luncheon. The Sophia Award for Excellence is given annually by the Order to an individual or individuals who have distinguished themselves in endeavors that serve the needs of the Holy Mother Church and the Sacred Mission of the Archons of the Great Church of Christ.
Archon-elect Dr. Nawaf and Mrs. Salameh and Archon Boris and Mrs. Youlianna Gurov were essential in facilitating the Religious Freedom Mission that a delegation of the Order undertook from June 8 to June 19, 2022. The Archon Leadership delegation visited Romania, Bulgaria and Greece, meeting with key religious and political leaders of each country in order to discuss all-important issues of international religious freedom.
In Romania, Archon-elect Dr. Salameh, a dedicated churchman and entrepreneur, coordinated meetings of the Archon delegation with Mr. Sergiu Nistor, Presidential Adviser in the Department of Culture, Religion and National Minorities; His Grace Varlaam Ploieșteanul, assistant bishop to Patriarch Daniel of All Romania and Secretary of the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church; the office of Prime Minister of Romania, Nicolae Ciuca; and with Mr. David Muniz, Charge d’Affaires, at the US Embassy in Bucharest.
In Bulgaria, Archon Gurov and Youlianna a dynamic husband and wife team dedicated to the Holy Mother Church, arranged meetings of the Archon delegation with Prime Minister Kiril Petkov, the Parliament of Bulgaria, including the President of the National Assembly (Parliament) and the chairman and multi-partisan representatives of Bulgaria-USA Parliamentarian Friendship group, as well as with Patriarch Neophyte of the Bulgarian Autocephalous Church and the US ambassador to Bulgaria Hon. Herro Mustafa.
The annual Archon Agape Luncheon is a highlight of the Order’s Annual Archon Weekend, which will be held this year in New York City from October 7 to 9. The Sophia Award for Excellence was inaugurated in 2021 and presented to Santiago Calatrava, the internationally renowned architect who designed the Saint Nicholas Church and National Shrine at Ground Zero in lower Manhattan.