Seventh-day Adventist Church in PNG shuts offices, schools, churches

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The entrance to an Adventist village in Papua New Guinea.

The Seventh-day Adventist Church in Papua New Guinea has closed its office as a preventative measure in light of the growing spread of COVID-19.

Following the government’s announcement of a state-of-emergency, Church president Pastor Kepsie Elodo said yesterday (March 23) the church head office in Lae and its local mission and conference offices across the country will close today (March 24) and reopen on April 14.

"I encourage all Seventh-day Adventists to continue to pray and study the Bible as families and in small groups."

Pastor Elodo said all Church-operated schools including Sonoma Adventist College will also be shut. However, all Church-run health facilities will remain open.

He added that there is a ban on staff travel up to April 30. Adventist Aviation Services has also stopped its operations for an indefinite period.

Pastor Elodo said there will be no gatherings at church for the next two weeks.

“We will support the government on the position it has taken in light of the coronavirus . . . there will be no church gatherings over the next two weeks. However, I encourage all Seventh-day Adventists to continue to pray and study the Bible as families and in small groups,” he said.

“As we study and pray, we must look forward to the coming of Jesus Christ. Please pray continually about the coronavirus and the effects it is having on humanity.”

He also encouraged everyone to tune into Hope FM to listen to messages of hope. The radio station will air sermons, health tips and awareness on coronavirus.

Meanwhile, the Church’s major evangelistic campaign “PNG For Christ”, which was planned for May 1–16, and its 16th constituency meeting scheduled for September 20–23, have been deferred until further notice.