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EGYPT: Amidst Turmoil, Salesians Will Not Retreat

(MissionNewswire) Salesian Missions has released a statement regarding the situation of Salesians in Egypt, in response to the turmoil and protests against the government and President Hosni Mubarak.

Initially, a retreat to Alexandria had been planned for the Salesians in Egypt. Given the great uncertainty of the situation, the Salesians decided to stay in their own communities and to retreat to three Salesian houses instead.  Currently, all the Salesians in the communities in Egypt are well. There have been close calls, as just the other day, a tear-gas canister fired from the street came into a Salesian courtyard in Alexandria.

“Certainly we are following developments with some anxiety and we hope that soon things will quiet down,” Fr. Spreafico writes. “However, everyone is convinced that these events have seriously de-stabilized the country and now its future is uncertain. We Salesians have been in Egypt since 1896 and we love this country.”

In Egypt, the Salesians have a community in Alexandria and two houses in Cairo belonging to the Middle East Province which also includes Turkey, Iran, Syria, Lebanon and Israel. There are 16 Egyptian Salesians, 13 working in the Province and three others elsewhere.  “We are thinking very specially of them at this delicate and difficult time for the country,” Fr Spreafico concludes.

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