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Adventist Leaders reflect on Sydney siege

Adventist Leaders reflect on Sydney siege

Sydney, Australia [Vania Chew, Record, CD EUDNews]. December 16, 2014. Adventist leaders joined the many Australians grieved by the tragic loss of hostages Tori Johnson and Katrina Dawson following Monday’s siege in Martin Place, Sydney.

December 16, 2014 | Vania Chew, Record, CD EUDNews.

Sydney, Australia [Vania Chew, Record, CD EUDNews]. December 16, 2014.

Adventist leaders joined the many Australians grieved by the tragic loss of hostages Tori Johnson and Katrina Dawson following Monday’s siege in Martin Place, Sydney.

“What a heartbreaking conclusion to the #sydneysiege. Devastating for the families of the deceased and for the hostages, police and their families who have been injured and traumatised by these events. Our prayers go out to all involved,” said Pastor Michael Worker, president of the Greater Sydney Conference.

“The hearts of Seventh-day Adventists across Australia go out to those who have had to endure hours of fear and uncertainty as hostages. We grieve with the loved ones of the innocent victims who lost their lives,” agreed Pastor Ken Vogel, general secretary and Public Affairs and Religious Liberty director for the Australian Union Conference.

“As Australians together, we reach out in love and support to all concerned. While the immediate crisis is over, we recognise there is a long road ahead for those directly affected. They will remain in our prayers.”

The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) Australia was on standby to provide emergency accommodation to those affected by the siege.

“The Australian Government calls upon ADRA for assistance in times of emergency,” said Braden Blyde, communication coordinator for ADRA Australia. “We provided accommodation for at least one person affected by the Martin Place lockdown.”

Thousands of supportive messages for Australian Muslims have flooded social media after some expressed concerns over Islamophobic backlash following the siege.

The #illridewithyou hash tag has gone viral on Twitter, used to demonstrate that individuals are willing to accompany anyone on public transport needing support and protection.

This flood of support has moved South Pacific Division communication director James Standish.

“Adventists have been the victims of prejudice in Australia particularly during the unjust imprisonment of Lindy Chamberlain—and it's important for us to stand up against prejudice against others,” said Mr Standish.

Pastor Vogel also expressed his gratitude on behalf of the Church to the “authorities who worked so carefully and thoroughly to resolve the matter with a minimum of casualties”.

“This experience is a stark reminder of the state of our world and why we continue to look forward to the promised return of Jesus, the Source of peace and genuine love.”

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