BYU Jerusalem Center students leave early amid political unrest

JERUSALEM — Students who were studying at the BYU Jerusalem Center left Nov. 13 because of political unrest.

BYU spokeswoman Carri P. Jenkins said the 174 students have all arrived home. Each student had already earned university credit for the program, which usually ends the second week of December.

She said that although the students were not in any danger traveling to various sites and studying in the Holy Land, they were limited in where they could go because of the conflict.

She emphasized that the students were not evacuated, noting they all traveled on a commercial carrier, and emphasized they were never in any danger. "The center was never threatened," she said. "The decision was made that this was a good time to leave."

BYU officials, she added, have not yet made a decision as to whether students will be able to study at the Jerusalem Center this winter.

It is the first time BYU students have returned early since the university started its program in the Holy Land in 1970. The program was canceled in the fall of 1991, during the Gulf War, she said.

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