31 January 2011 St Albans, United Kingdom [Miroslav Pujic, tedNEWS] The Egypt standoff intensifies as the unrest goes into the seventh day of anti-government protests. The Seventh-day Adventist Church has a number of denominational schools and congregations there. Pastor Llewellyn R. Edwards, President of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Egypt, shared with us what the situation is regarding members, church properties and the work of the church: “The members are courageous and services were conducted in the churches last Sabbath in spite of the turmoil in the country. The Nile Union Academy, the boarding high school operated by the church, has been closed temporally. Most of the students have gone home but some, that have nowhere else to go. They will remain at the academy. Although there has been gunfire nearby, they feel safe and also feel that they have support of the local community.”
According to a local source, although there is a risk from random looters, foreign workers are safe and do not need to leave. Travelling to the airport is difficult with checkpoints manned by local militias every 50 meters.
“We have talked with local militias and they told us that they are here to protect the community”, says Pastor Edwards, and continues, “you are part of the community and you have nothing to fear; we will protect you.”
As the unrest situation in Egypt continues, two Seventh-day Adventist run schools are suspending classes. The properties have not been affected by the riots, although several apartments nearby were looted, according to a local source.
“We have evacuated AVS volunteers as a precaution,” says Audrey Andersson, Executive Secretary of the Trans-European Division, and continues, “we need to remember our members, pastors, people of this beautiful country and the government in our prayers.”
Unfortunately, clashes are reported to have left over 150 people dead since rallies began, with thousands more injured. [tedNEWS]
tedNEWS Staff: Miroslav Pujic, director; Deana Stojkovic, editor
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