BAGHDAD: Adventist Church Again Damaged by Bombs

hree explosions in Baghdad have damaged the Adventist church in that city for the fourth time in two years. The blasts took place on the evening of October 24 outside the Palestine Hotel, which is located only 250 meters (820 feet) from the church.
“When I heard the first explosion I went up to the roof of my house to see the location,” says Basim Fargo, secretary of the Adventist Church in Iraq. “While I was looking at the smoke, I heard the sound of the second explosion. After two minutes I heard the third and biggest explosion, with lots of smoke everywhere.”

Plywood sheets covering the stained-glass windows damaged from previous bomb explosions were blown off, and a large window in the parents’ room was shattered. No services were being held at the time, and no injuries or deaths among church members have been reported. Newspapers have stated, however, that at least 20 people were killed by the blasts.

As news of the bombings reached Mike Porter, president of the Adventist Church in the Middle East, he wrote a message of support to the members in Iraq: “We are sorry to hear that the church has been damaged yet another time. It must be so difficult living with such uncertainty all the time. We are praying that, somehow, the country will soon move ahead.”
                                                                               --Middle East Union Communication Department/AR

National Geographic Highlights Adventists’ Healthful Lifestyle
National Geographic magazine’s November 2005 issue featured Adventists, the Adventist health study, and Loma Linda University (LLU) in the cover story titled “The Secrets of Living Longer.” According to the article, three groups of people—2,400 people in the mountainous area of Sardinia, Italy; Okinawans in Japan, and Adventists—are reputedly some of the longest living and healthiest people in the world. 

The backgrounds of the Adventist lifestyle and the Sabbath, as well as the results of the 1976 Adventist Health Study by Loma Linda University, were described by the article’s author, journalist Dan Buettner.

“In the end the study reached a stunning conclusion,” says Gary Fraser, a professor of Medicine and Epidemiology at LLU’s School of Public Health, in the article. “The average Adventist lived four to ten years longer than the average Californian. That makes the Adventists one of the nation’s most convincing cultures of longevity.”

The feature emphasizes that having faith in God, taking time off work, and celebrating life contribute to a healthful lifestyle, and it shares the story of Marge Jetton, an active 101-year-old from Loma Linda. It also includes stories and photos of other active Adventists.

“This article has verified once again the incredible legacy that our church has in its health practices. Our research activities have documented these advantages, and they need to be continued,” says LLU chancellor Richard H. Hart. “Nearly 85,000 church members have returned completed surveys for Adventist Health Study-2 [AHS-2], which is currently being conducted by LLU; however, there are an additional 54,000 questionnaires that have been requested by members, but not yet returned.

“The larger the study, the more powerful the results,” Hart added. “This is our opportunity to help exemplify to others the benefits of living a more healthful lifestyle.”

To participate in Loma Linda University’s AHS-2, call 1-877-700-7077 or go to                                                                                           —Loma Linda University Public Relations Department/AR.

ARM Works to Restore Church Properties Affected by Hurricanes 
Adventist Risk Management, Inc., (ARM), the risk management and insurance service of the Adventist Church, reports that about 100 locations may have suffered damage resulting from hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and numbers have not yet been tabulated for Wilma. Though the estimated cost of hurricane damage will not be known for several weeks, conferences have received advance payment of funds from ARM to help them begin the cleanup and recovery process. Arthur F. Blinci, ARM vice president, reports that Gencon Insurance Company of Vermont (GICV), the denominationally owned insurance company, is the insurer of all conferences impacted by these storms, and storm-related damage assessments are under way in each area.

During the 2004 hurricane season, Adventist Church facilities in more than 400 locations in the North American and Inter-American divisions were damaged. GICV made payments in excess of $14.2 million to assist the church in the recovery of those storms.

For more information about ARM, go to For disaster-response information, go to ARM’s new Web page at
                                                                                    --ARM Corporate Communication Department/AR.

Andrews University Receives $324,000 Research Grant
The National Institute of Justice—the research arm of the U.S. Department of Justice—has recently awarded a team of researchers from Andrews University and the MayaTech Corporation a $324,000 grant to study the impact of recently enacted laws restricting the sale of over-the-counter medications containing chemicals such as ephedrine and pseudoephedrine. The researchers are to document state methamphetamine precursor laws and analyze the relationship between state precursor drug restrictions and the reduction of small toxic labs (STL), or homegrown “meth” labs.

Methamphetamine, a highly addictive central nervous system stimulant, poses a “significant threat to public safety,” according to the National Drug Intelligence Center (NDIC), and specifically endangers children living in close proximity to STLs.

While many states have already passed legislation meant to curb over-the-counter methamphetamine precursor availability, similar laws remain pending in several other states. Similar legislation is being considered in the U.S. Congress.

Duane McBride, chair of the Behavioral Sciences Department and director of the University’s Institute for Prevention of Addictions, will serve as the principal investigator of this 20-month-long investigation.

"This is an opportunity to work with state and national policy makers to help define the best policy approach to reduce the number of clandestine labs across the United States,” said McBride.

Andrews University is an Adventist institution located in Berrien Springs, Michigan.
                                                                                          --Andrews University Communication Department/AR.

West Jamaica Conference Elects New President
The Executive Committee of the West Jamaica Conference recently voted the appointment of Glen O. Samuels to serve as president of the church in that region. Samuels succeeds Balvin Braham, who was elected associate director of the Ministerial Association and Youth Department of the Inter-American Division, headquartered in Miami, Florida. Samuels was formerly Ministerial secretary of the church in West Indies.

Nearly 62,000 Adventists worship in 191 churches and congregations in the West Jamaica region.
                                                                                          --Inter-American Division Communication Department/AR.

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