Thursday, November 19, 2015

EU President Offers Putin Closer Economic Ties, At Least 5 Dead In Tel Aviv Terrorist Attacks, D.C. Refuses To Arm Persecuted Christians Fighting ISIS

Last month, Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, made waves with what many in the Western media found to be a radical idea.

"We must make efforts towards a practical relationship with Russia," Juncker said during an event in Passau, Germany. "It’s not sexy but that must be the case, we can’t go on like this."

This decision for increased cooperation, Juncker said, should be determined by European leaders, and now politicians in Washington, who have sought to isolate Russia over its alleged – though unproven – involvement in Ukraine.

The EU president is sticking to his guns. After the G20 summit this week, Juncker wrote a letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin, expressing his support for stronger economic ties between the European Union and the Moscow-led Eurasian Economic Union.

"The decision on the circumstances in which to proceed along this path is in the hands of the member states of the European Union and should in particular by synchronized with the implementing of the Minsk agreements," Juncker wrote, according to Reuters.

He also expressed regret that such arrangements "have not been able to develop over the past year."

"The idea of dialogue between the EU and the Eurasian Economic Union – it’s a long-standing idea, and it is promoted by the Russian side, because it is necessary for building or trade and economic relations," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, regarding the letter.

An 18-year-old American man from the Boston area was among those shot and killed by a Palestinian terrorist Thursday in the West Bank, Israeli officials told
The Israeli Government Press Office said Ezra Schwartz from Sharon, Mass., died in the attack on Thursday. 
Schwartz, who was spending his gap year in Israel, was reportedly on his way to deliver food to Israeli soldiers when he was gunned down.
Schwartz studied in a Jewish seminary outside Jerusalem and had come to the country on Masa, a program that brings young Jews from abroad to live in the country, according to a statement distributed by the press office.
"Ezra came to Israel not only to study but also to be a part of the vibrant Israeli experience. This makes his death even more tragic," said Natan Sharansky, chairman of the Jewish Agency, which works closely with the government to promote Jewish immigration to Israel.
The shooting and a separate, earlier knife attack in Tel Aviv Thursday left at least five people dead, and two suspects – both identified as Palestinians -- were in custody, according to Israeli media reports.

In the West Bank, at least three people were killed and three others were wounded after a Palestinian terrorist opened fire from his vehicle on cars stuck in a traffic jam in Gush Etzion, the Jerusalem Post reports. One of the other West Bank victims who died was an Israeli man in his 50s, a father of four according to local media.

In recent months, Mideast Christians have been forming militias to fight the Islamic State (IS) and other jihadi groups in both Iraq and Syria—even as the Obama administration, which arms the “opposition,” refuses to arm them.
In Iraq, some of the few remaining Assyrian Christians have formed militias under the name Dwekh Nawsha (literally meaning “self-sacrifice” in Christ’s native tongue of Aramaic).  Most of these fighters are from among those Christians displaced from the Ninevah Plain due to the atrocities committed by IS and are on the frontlines fighting the jihadis.
They were formed soon after the U.S.-supported Kurdish Peshmerga, who are leading the fight against IS in the region, retreated from many Christian villages without a fight last summer, declining to protect them from the IS advance which led to the usual atrocities.
According to the Christian Science Monitor, “Christians have taken up arms because they want to protect their own land, and many no longer trust the Kurds to do it for them.” Indeed, the Kurds, including the Peshmerga, have been known to abuse and even persecute Christians.  Like IS, Kurds are Sunni Muslims too.

“We will stay here, and Christians will protect Christians. Not Arabs or Kurds protecting us, but Christians,” said local commander Fouad Masaoud Gorgees.

In neighboring Syria, approximately 500 Syriac Christian fighters recently assembled and managed to prevent the Islamic State from entering the ancient Christian settlement of Sadad.  But on October 30, IS captured a town less than five miles away, leaving Sadad vulnerable to continued assaults. 

Even the Patriarch of the Syriac Orthodox church, Ignatius Aphrem II, traveled to Sadad to boost the morale of Christian defenders.  Said Aphrem:

It was emotional but it was also very encouraging to see our young people determined to defend their land and stay in their homeland.  To see them ready to fight and to sacrifice for their land, I think that’s what’s very meaningful, that made me very proud of them.

Outspoken evangelist the Reverend Franklin Graham has stated that the attacks in Paris and Beirut have shown that "Islam has declared war on the world."
In a statement posted on his Facebook page Monday evening, the head of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association also mentioned other brutal attacks by Islamic terrorists
"Islam has declared war on the world, and it's high time we acknowledge it and respond decisively," wrote Rev. Graham.
"I don't know about you, but I don't want to live under Islam. I will bow my knee to no one except Almighty God."
"We need to join forces with Russia who was our ally in WWII, France who is our oldest ally, Germany, and others to destroy this enemy," continued Graham.

"The French are already responding to Friday's attacks, but it is going to take much more to stop them. Our world is in great peril. We need to pray for God's mercy, His grace, and His protection. I pray that America will turn to God before it's too late."
Graham's Facebook post has garnered more than 272,000 likes, over 151,000 shares, and more than 28,000 comments, some of which are critical of his views.

Graham's comment comes as many in the United States are considering an increasingly aggressive strategy to combat ISIS following the Paris attacks.

In compliance with Islamic demands, Indonesian authorities in the Aceh region have started to tear down Christian churches. Their move comes after Muslim mobs rampaged and attacked churches. At least one person was killed; thousands of Christians were displaced.
On Friday, October 9, after being fired up during mosque sermons, hundreds of Muslims marched to the local authority's office and demanded that all unregistered churches in Aceh be closed. Imams issued text messages spurring Muslims from other areas to rise up against churches and call for their demolition.
On Monday, October 12, authorities facilitated a meeting with Islamic leaders and agreed to demolish 10 unregistered churches over the course of two weeks.
Apparently this was not fast enough to meet Muslim demands for immediate action. On the following day, a mob of approximately 700 Muslims, some armed with axes and machetes, torched a local church, even though it was not on the list of churches agreed upon for demolition.
The Muslim mob then moved on to a second church, an act that led to violent clashes. One person, believed to be a Christian, died after being shot in the head. Several were injured, as Christians tried to defend their church against the armed mob.
Approximately 8,000 Christians were displaced; many fled to bordering provinces. Their fears were justified: Islamic leaders continued issuing messages and text messages saying, "We will not stop hunting Christians and burning churches. Christians are Allah's enemies!"
Instead of punishing those who incited violence and took the law into their own hands by torching and attacking churches, local authorities demolished three churches (a Catholic mission station and two Protestant churches) on October 19. In the coming days, seven more churches are set to be demolished; in the coming months and years, dozens more.
Authorities had originally requested of church leaders to demolish their own churches. "How can we do that?" asked Paima Berutu, one of the church leaders: "It is impossible [for us to take it down] ... Some of us watched [the demolition] from afar, man and women. It was painful."
The situation in Aceh remains tense: "Every church member is guarding his own church right now," said another pastor.
As for the displaced Christians, many remain destitute, waiting for "desperately needed clean water, food, clothes, baby food, blankets, and medicines." As Muslim militants were reportedly guarding the border with an order to kill any Christian crossing the line, reaching the displaced Christians is difficult.
A church spokesman stated, "We are constantly having to change our location because our existence appears to be unwanted, and we have to hide so that we are not intimidated by intolerant groups. ... We had hoped for help from the police, but after many attacks on members of the congregation [including when they privately meet for worship at each other's homes], we see that the police are also involved in this."

Also see:


GG2013 said...

Deuteronomy 4:39

The Lord Alone is God

…38driving out from before you nations greater and mightier than you, to bring you in and to give you their land
for an inheritance, as it is today. 39"Know therefore today, and take it to your heart, that the LORD, He is God in
heaven above and on the earth below; there is no other. 40"So you shall keep His statutes and His commandments
which I am giving you today, that it may go well with you and with your children after you, and that you may live long
on the land which the LORD your God is giving you for all time."

Cross References
1 Corinthians 8:4
So then, about eating food sacrificed to idols: We know that "An idol is nothing at all in the world" and that "There is
no God but one."

1 Corinthians 8:6
yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one
Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.

Exodus 8:10
"Tomorrow," Pharaoh said. Moses replied, "It will be as you say, so that you may know there is no one like the LORD
our God.

Deuteronomy 4:35
You were shown these things so that you might know that the LORD is God; besides him there is no other.

Deuteronomy 6:4
Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.

Deuteronomy 7:9
Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand
generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.

Deuteronomy 32:12
The LORD alone led him; no foreign god was with him.

Joshua 2:11
When we heard of it, our hearts melted in fear and everyone's courage failed because of you, for the LORD your God
is God in heaven above and on the earth below.

2 Chronicles 20:6
and said: "LORD, the God of our ancestors, are you not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of
the nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you.

Isaiah 44:8
Do not tremble, do not be afraid. Did I not proclaim this and foretell it long ago? You are my witnesses. Is there any God
besides me? No, there is no other Rock; I know not one."

Treasury of Scripture
Know therefore this day, and consider it in your heart, that the LORD he is God in heaven above, and on the earth beneath:
there is none else

foretastes said...

Surely the Lord is closer to coming for His Bride than ever before.

ally said...

Even tho I can see what's coming, it just destroys me to know how much our brothers and sisters are suffering. The church in the US is complacent and bloated and frankly at this point I'm not even sure there is a church left in western Europe that believes.
So Scott, beside prayers, how can we help our brethern?