The Russian Church didn't pick a shrinking violet to name a medal after. This is a rather strong message to send for sure.
(mospat.ru) - The medal of St. Mark of Ephesus was instituted on 6 April 2016 with the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia as an award of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations (DECR).
St. Mark of Ephesus, an outstanding defender of Orthodoxy, is an example to the DECR, the eldest Synodal institution of the Russian Orthodox Church. The year 2016 marks the 70th anniversary of the DECR.
The medal will be awarded to the ordained and secular persons for achievements in external church activities; for cooperation between the church and secular authorities in international activity; for upholding consent and civil peace in society; for considerable contribution to the inter-Orthodox cooperation; for support of the compatriots living abroad; for contribution to the strengthening of peace and friendship among countries and nations; for active participation in church and secular diplomacy.
St. Mark of Ephesus, in whose honour the medal was instituted, is commemorated on February 1 (January 19 old style). The medal was designed by artist Sergei Kurakin.