Current Events

Austria Looks South

The International Herald Tribune wrote on December 31, 2005:

“Austria, once an imperial power in southeastern Europe, is reasserting its economic influence in its former territories and intends to encourage political change in the region when it takes over the European Union presidency Sunday… Austria never really abandoned Central Europe or the Balkans. Even after the collapse in 1918 of the Austro-Hungarian Empire–which at its height stretched from Silesia in what is now Poland to Transylvania in Romania–Vienna remained a beacon for writers, composers and artists from across the region. When Stalin put up the Iron Curtain in 1948, Vienna took on a new status, providing a refuge for people fleeing the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, the failed Prague Spring of 1968, and persecuted Jews fleeing from the former Soviet Union. But it was in the summer of 1989, months before the collapse of the Berlin Wall, that Foreign Minister Alois Mock of Austria and his Communist Hungarian counterpart, Gyula Horn, took the action that was to change the face of Europe. On an abandoned stretch of land that marked the Austrian-Hungarian border, Mock and Horn literally cut through the barbed wire that divided Western and Eastern Europe and allowed 700 East Germans to reach the West without being shot. This breach, later widened after negotiations between Hungary and West Germany, allowed tens of thousands of East Germans to leave the country and precipitated the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Cold War.

“The breach also opened new investment opportunities in the East. But because of the Balkan Wars of the 1990s, Austrian companies concentrated on Eastern and Central Europe. Only now are they venturing into the Balkans, anticipating the boom that EU membership for Romania and Bulgaria, planned for 2007, will bring to the region. Austria’s Economy Ministry says the increase in investment has been enormous. Total investment by Austria in southeastern Europe–Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia, Romania, and Serbia and Montenegro–reached E5.9 billion, or $6.9 billion, in 2004, an increase of 57 percent over the previous year. In the same period, Austrian investment in Eastern Europe rose 17 percent…

“And it is not just trade that is on the rise. Politics is playing an ever more important role, with Austria sometimes at loggerheads with its 24 EU partners over the bloc’s policies toward its southern neighbors. In early October, Austria stood alone among the EU members in resisting the start of accession talks with Turkey. In return for its support, it insisted that the EU start negotiations with Croatia as well. After days and nights of intense talks, the EU agreed that both countries could begin accession negotiations.”

Many Austrians and Germans are descendants from the ancient Assyrians, as the Bible and historical records reveal. And the Bible contains startling prophecies for modern Assyria in these end times. It is therefore important for us to watch developments in Germany and Austria.

Iran’s Nuclear Power

AFP reported on January 4, 2006:

“A day after Iran notified the UN atomic watchdog of its decision to ‘start research on the technology of nuclear fuel in a few days,’ the country’s chief official for the nuclear file, Ali Larijani, said the decision was ‘not negotiable.’ His comments followed similar remarks late Tuesday by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who was quoted by state television as saying Iran would not ‘step back’ on its decision to resume nuclear fuel work.The increasingly hardline tone from Iranian leaders came despite calls from the International Atomic Energy Agency, Europe and the United States to maintain its suspension of enrichment-related activities.

“Germany, a member of the EU-3 negotiating team that also includes Britain and France, said it viewed Iran’s latest announcement with ‘concern,’ and added that it could ‘throw into doubt the exploratory talks’ to be held in Vienna on January 18. France also urged Iran to withdraw plans to resume research on its nuclear programme, warning that future talks could be put on hold… A Western diplomat said that Tehran’s gesture ‘is the sign that shows Iran’s negotiations with the EU are on their last legs.'”

The Guardian reported about another concern in its article, dated January 4. It was pointed out: “The Iranian government has been successfully scouring Europe for the sophisticated equipment needed to develop a nuclear bomb, according to the latest western intelligence assessment of the country’s weapons programmes. Scientists in Tehran are also shopping for parts for a ballistic missile capable of reaching Europe, with ‘import requests and acquisitions … registered almost daily’, the report seen by the Guardian concludes.”

USA vs. Iran

Der Spiegel Online reported on December 30, 2005:

“Recent reports in the German media suggest that the United States may be preparing its allies for an imminent military strike against facilities [as early as 2006] that are part of Iran’s suspected clandestine nuclear weapons program… DDP [a German news agency] also reported that the governments of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Oman and Pakistan have been informed in recent weeks of Washington’s military plans. The countries, apparently, were told that air strikes were a ‘possible option,’ but they were given no specific timeframe for the operations.”

State of Emergency in California

AFP reported on January 4, 2006, that “Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger broadened the state of emergency in storm-hit northern California as flood waters subsided… ‘Conditions of extreme peril to the safety of persons and property exist,’ Schwarzenegger said in his written decrees. ‘The series of storms brought unusually heavy rains that caused flooding, mudslides, the accumulation of debris, washed out and damaged roads, and the loss of human life.’… Damage estimates climbed past 100 million dollars on Tuesday.”

AFP had reported in a previous article, dated January 3, that “Violent weather across the United States has brought a tempestuous start to 2006, as wildfires swept across southern parts of the country Monday and storms triggered floods in California… Monday’s storm drenched usually sunny southern California, flooding roads and causing landslides in the Los Angeles area. The storm also soaked the Rose Parade, an annual event just north of Los Angeles featuring flowery floats, for the first time since 1955… Meanwhile, runaway fires that have killed at least four people continued to rage across the southern central US states of Texas and Oklahoma, forcing residents to flee [from] burning homes.”

In a TV broadcast on January 3, CNN claimed that the weather conditions in California, Texas and Oklahoma are related. According to the program, the same storm drenching California moved toward Texas and Oklahoma and picked up hot air over the Arizona desert. It caused the prolonged draught in Texas and Oklahoma to continue, raising the fire dangers in those states.

America’s Image

Der Spiegel Online reported on January 4, 2006:

“German Chancellor Angela Merkel can look forward to the red-carpet treatment in Washington next week as US President George Bush — who never got on with her predecessor Gerhard Schröder — hopes to signal a fresh start. But a top German official warns that despite improving trans-Atlantic ties, America’s reputation among the European public is waning.”

The article continued:

“‘I’m concerned that the image of America as a haven of state legality where the state protects the personal freedom of individuals has suffered,’ said Karsten Voigt, the German Foreign Ministry’s co-ordinator for German-American cooperation… ‘I hope people in the US are aware of the problem.’ Voigt said… public opinion in Germany and other European countries remained highly critical of US government policy…  While the Iron Curtain divided Germany, the relationship was clear– the United States was West Germany’s protector. The fall of communism had ended Germany’s need for protection and thrust it into the new role of having to help solve crises elsewhere in the world, said Voigt. ‘In the last century we either caused the crisis or were at the center of it,’ said Voigt. ‘We were automatically involved. Now we have to decide whether we get involved…'”

Russia and Europe

Der Spiegel Online reported on January 6, 2006:

“Following a few days of concern that Europe might be in for a very cold winter, Russia and the Ukraine… announced they had managed to end their dispute over natural gas pricing– conveniently just in time for Orthodox Christmas break.”

But even though Russia bowed to European pressure, the waves have not calmed down, and Europe’s suspicions about Russia’s intentions remain. The magazine explained:

“But many officials in the European Union remain unsettled after Moscow simply turned off the tap on Jan. 1 following Kiev’s refusal to pay more for its gas. The episode has raised doubts whether Russia — which supplies some 25 percent of the EU’s natural gas — can be a reliable partner for Europe’s energy needs. Western commentators said Russian President Vladimir Putin was using Russia’s gas wealth as a weapon to intimidate its neighbors and shore up Russian influence in the region. Western-leaning Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko has annoyed Moscow by aiming to take Ukraine into the European Union and NATO — a move which would further reduce Russia’s influence over the states of the former Soviet Union.”

In a previous article, dated January 3, Der Spiegel Online had explained the precarious situation, as follows:

“The supply stop has already led to reduced natural gas deliveries to France, Italy, Austria, Hungary and Poland by as much as 35 percent… Germany, Europe’s largest economy, gets about 30 percent of its gas from Russia… The conservative German daily Die Welt wrote: ‘Moscow still regards its western neighbors as a back yard in which self-will isn’t tolerated and is even punished.’ Business daily Handelsblatt wrote that Russia had shown it wasn’t an honest and reliable supplier of gas… The United States government was quick to express its concern. ‘Such an abrupt step creates insecurity in the energy sector in the region and raises serious questions about the use of energy to exert political pressure,’ State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said… German Economics Minister Michael Glos… warned Moscow it must act responsibly if it wants Germany to import more Russian gas in the future.”

The article continued:

“The affair has also fuelled criticism of Schröder for agreeing to take a top job in the Russian-German consortium building a gas pipeline under the Baltic Sea straight from Russia to Germany, a move seen tainted with favoritism given Schröder’s friendship with Putin. The undersea pipeline has been condemned by Poland, the Baltic states and Ukraine because it could be used by Moscow to raise pressure on its closest neighbors, since Russia could shut off eastern pipelines while continuing supplies to Western Europe. ‘A former German chancellor manning the Russian gas cannon. What an absurd idea!’ wrote German mass circulation daily Bild.”

Britons in Debt

According to an article in The Independent, which was published on January 3, Britons are in debt to the tune of 1.13 trillion pounds. It was predicted that 66,000 people will go bust this year. The average household debt is 7,650 pounds (excluding mortgage debts). Two-thirds of EU credit card debt is British. One in five students owes at least 15,000 pounds.  Finally, 40% of women keep debts secret from their partners, and half of all heavy debtors suffer from depression.

Ridiculous Italian Court Ruling

As The Times reported on January 3, 2006, “an Italian judge has ordered a priest to appear in court this month to prove that Jesus Christ existed.” A militant atheist wrote a book claiming that there is no historical evidence that Jesus Christ existed. When a Catholic priest disputed this claim, the atheist sued him for “abusing popular credulity” or “abuse of popular belief” [“Abuso di Credulita Popolare”] and for “impersonation” [“Sostituzione di Persona”], both offenses under the Italian Penal Code–hence the ridiculous ruling by an Italian Superior Court judge in this ridiculous lawsuit. The Times continued to report about some of the evidence for Christ’s human existence on earth, as follows:

“The Gospels say that Jesus was born to the Virgin Mary in Bethlehem, grew up in Nazareth, preached and performed miracles in Galilee and died on the Cross in Jerusalem. In his Antiquities of the Jews at the end of the 1st century, Josephus, the Jewish historian, refers to Jesus as ‘a wise man, a doer of wonderful works’ who ‘drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles.’ Muslims believe Jesus was a great prophet. Many Jewish theologians regard Jesus as an itinerant rabbi who popularized many of the beliefs of liberal Jews. Neither Muslims nor Jews believe he was the Messiah and Son of God. Tacitus, the Roman historian who lived from 55 to 120, mentions ‘Christus’ in his Annals. In about 120 Suetonius, author of The Lives of the Caesars, says: ‘Since the Jews constantly made disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus, Emperor Claudius expelled them from Rome.'”

Signs of the Time

Our English correspondent sent us the following synopsis from British newspaper headlines and quotes, pertaining to the last three weeks, describing appalling conditions in Great Britain. When reading these reports, do we need to be surprised when the Bible tells us that God IS going to punish Great Britain for its sins?

“Acceptance of same-sex ‘marriages.’ 12-year old children offered nicotine patches. Top 100 UK companies facing ‘black hole’ of 75 billion pounds final salary pension schemes thus putting retirees in financial jeopardy. Only one crime in 100 results in offender being prosecuted. About 140 people end up in hospital every weekend because of ‘binge’ drinking. Cherie Blair (Tony Blair’s wife) uses a practice from white witchcraft before important meetings known as ‘casting a circle’. In one school, a woman ‘wican’ (witch) is teaching children about witches as long as they come with a parent. Mobile phones from one company give children a hot line to hard porn. Alarming rise in weapons used by street criminals. Britain is the drug capital of Europe with the highest rate of amphetamine abuse and with the worst record for taking ecstasy; it also has the highest rate of seizures of heroin (per UN statistics).”

Are Western Powers Losing the Battle?

On December 30, 2005, Great Britain’s The Daily Mail published the following article:

“We were sickened when the Americans thought it necessary to incarcerate terror suspects in the most degrading conditions at Guantanamo Bay. We were sickened when we saw those pictures of Iraqi prisoners being abused by their U.S. captors at Abu Ghraib. We were sickened when America used phosphorus to ‘shake and bake’ the people of Fallujah, burning many of them to death, women and children included. And we remain deeply uneasy at persistent reports on the ‘extraordinary rendition’ of prisoners flown to remote camps to be tortured–especially as Mr Blair sees no reason to investigate whether those CIA flights used British airports.

“So what are we to make of the latest claims that British and Greek security agents colluded in the kidnap and torture of 28 Pakistani suspects in Greece, after the London bombings on July 7? Greek politicians say British intelligence orchestrated the abduction. A leading Athens newspaper has named the MI6 station chief who was allegedly in charge. Greece’s Supreme Court prosecutor says the case ‘warrants detailed attention’. One thing is sure. When the war on terror supposedly defends freedom, democracy and Western values, it simply isn’t good enough for Foreign Secretary Jack Straw to dismiss these accusations as ‘complete nonsense’ and leave it at that. The tragedy is that the Western powers are losing the battle for hearts and minds. No longer are they perceived as commanding the moral high ground.”

The Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation

Der Stern Online reported a while back about the battle of Austerlitz on December 2, 1805, when Napoleon I beat the allied armies of Austria and Russia, “ending the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation.” This battle is sometimes called the Battle of the Three Emperors, because Napoleon, Francis of Austria and Alexander of Russia were all present on the field. Of course, Napoleon himself brought about the eighth resurrection of the ancient Roman Empire–but not “of the German Nation.” The article continued to point out that on August 6, 1806, Emperor Francis of Austria abdicated as German Emperor. According to the article, “after almost 900 years the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation ceased to exist.”

But it did not cease to exist forever. The Roman Empire, under German and Austrian leadership, experienced another revival under Hitler, and the final revival or resurrection of the “Holy Roman Empire” is happening right now in Europe. According to the Bible, ten mighty European nations or groups of nations, which will perhaps be called “core nations,” will unite continental Europe and then turn over their authority to a charismatic and powerful political leader–who will be either a German or an Austrian.

For more information, please read our free booklets: “Europe in Prophecy” and “The Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord.”

Sharon’s Farewell From Politics?

Der Spiegel Online reported on January 5, 2006: “After a serious stroke, it appears Israeli leader Ariel Sharon’s political career could be at an end. He came into office as a settlement-loving hawk, but he will leave it as a pragmatist who brought some hope for peace in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict… Even if Sharon recovers, he is unlikely to return to politics. An Israeli cabinet member said Thursday that it is clear to all that Sharon will be unable to continue his work as prime minister… Israeli private television channel 10 also cited members of Sharon’s family saying that he could recover from the stroke but would never return to office… The biggest worry surrounding Sharon’s stroke is that his absence could be a destructive blow to the Middle East peace process and, coming less than three months to go before elections, it could give a boost to hardliners surrounding former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. And though Sharon is disliked by Palestinians, who consider him an enemy who led brutal military campaigns against their people, he did demonstrate his ability to compromise through his decision to withdraw all Israeli settlements last year in the Gaza Strip… His absence from the political scene now threatens the steps that have been made towards peace in the region. Ultimately, his departure could push the process backwards, with the Palestinians, Israelis and even Americans looking for a new starting point.”

Top This One

We might have thought that we heard it all. But then, an incredibly stupid news report catches our attention. Like the following one about an “unusual wedding” between an eccentric British millionaire and a dolphin. Yes, you read correctly. Here is the story:

“Till death do us part? An unusual wedding ceremony was held in the southern resort town of Eilat on Wednesday, as Sharon Tendler, a 41-years-old Jewish millionaire from London married her beloved Cindy, a 35-years-old dolphin, Israel’s leading newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth reported Thursday. The groom, a resident of the Eilat dolphin reef, met Tendler 15 years ago, when she first visited the resort. The British rock concert producer took a liking to the dolphin and has made a habit of traveling to Eilat two or three times a year and spending time with her underwater sweetheart… After a years-long romance, Tendler decided to embark on the highly unusual path of tying the knot with her beloved dolphin. Last week, she approached Cindy’s trainer Maya Zilber with the extraordinary request… And so on Wednesday afternoon, the thrilled bride, wearing a white dress, walked down the dock before hundreds of astounded visitors and kneeled down before her groom, who was waiting in the water. Cindy, escorted by his fellow best-men dolphins, swam over to Tendler and she hugged him, whispered sweet nothings in his ear, and kissed him in front of the cheering crowd. After the ceremony was sealed with some mackerels, Tendler was tossed into the water by her friends so that she could swim with her new husband.”

What a mockery of the Godly ordained institution of marriage. How far will this world drift away from our Creator, before He has had enough?

For more information on the Godly purpose for marriage, please read our free booklet, “The Keys to Happy Marriages and Families.”

Creation or Evolution?

500 to 700 million copies of the Bible are produced each year. The Bible has been translated into 2,287 languages. The average reader needs 50 hours to read the entire Bible. If one reads four chapters a day, one has completed the book within a year (according to the magazine, Focus). But how many believe in the accuracy of the Biblical record?

Surprising as it may sound, many Germans claim that they do. They say that they believe the Biblical account of the creation of man, thereby rejecting the Evolution theory. According to Der Spiegel Online, dated December 20, 2005, “Germans… believe in the literal record of the Bible. Every second German believes that a higher Power created life on earth.” The article continued: “Perhaps Germans are much more religious than originally assumed… In West Germany, 54 percent believe in a creative Power outside natural laws… 58 percent of the German people over 50 years old do not believe that apes and men had the same predecessor.”

The Austrian news agency, NetWorld, reported that Christoph Schoenborn, Archbishop of Vienna, criticized the theory of Evolution. He coined the fundamental question: “Is man a product of time and chance, or was a Will responsible for his existence?” He also rejected the concept of “theistic evolution,” as it only allows for God at the beginning of the evolutionary process, without any subsequent involvement and intervention. He sided with Thomas Aquinas who postulated that the Creator is not only the Originator, but also the One Who carries, upholds and directs the Creation.

For more information, please read our free booklet, “Evolution–a FairyTale for Adults?”

©2024 Church of the Eternal God