courtesy Adventist World and Euro-Asia Division News
A Seventh-day Adventist pastor serving in Italy has been awarded Romania’s Order of Merit for his philanthropic work and community involvement during the current pandemic. Corneliu Benone Lupu, who serves the Seventh-day Adventist Romanian community in Italy, was appointed to the National Order of Merit with the rank of Knight, according to a decree signed by Romania’s president, Klaus Iohannis, on August 6, 2020.
The recognition was shared with Athanasius of Bogdania, vicar bishop of the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of Italy. According to the official release, both Romanian citizens working in Italy will be decorated “as a sign of great appreciation and gratitude for the solidarity and dedication shown in their intense social and philanthropic activity in favor of Romanian citizens living in the territory of the Italian Republic.” The government release added that the assistance work carried out by both members of the clergy “helped limit the impact that the current epidemiological crisis has had on the Romanian community and especially on vulnerable social groups.”