EU Reaches Out to Latin America for Economic Help

On Friday, Latin American leaders met with their Spanish and Portuguese counterparts in Cadiz, Spain, for the annual Iberoamerican summit. The main topic on the agenda was Europe’s desire to enroll Latin American nations into helping Europe overcome its economic maladies.

Until recently, Latin American countries have largely been economic weaklings in need of aid. Now, however, the former European colonies are becoming stronger, and migration has reversed directions with many Europeans leaving their home countries for a better life in Latin America.

The economic downturn in both the eurozone and in the U.S. has decreased demand for goods from Latin American countries, but the European states are determined to reverse course with help from Latin American nations, and by making strides toward unification among themselves.

Decades ago, Herbert W. Armstrong predicted both of these trends. As early as May 1962, the Plain Truth magazine issued this warning: “Germany’s plans in South America were temporarily halted by its defeat in World War ii. … ‘South America will be conquered by business agents, not by guns!’” (quoting T.H. Teten’s Germany Plots With the Kremlin; emphasis added throughout). Mr. Armstrong knew far in advance that communism would fail to entice the Latinos and that British and American influence would dwindle. He knew it was Europe that would ultimately achieve its long-term goal of economic and religious domination of Latin America. Today, Europe has significantly achieved that goal.

At the summit on Friday, Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo explained the other facet of the solution to Europe’s problems: “The European crisis is not an economic crisis but a political one. If we compare our public debts to those of the U.S., ours are better. But the investors prefer to invest in the U.S. and not in the eurozone, because they don’t trust our will to stay together (in Europe).”

The foreign minister’s assessment is eerily similar it is to a forecast Mr. Armstrong made in 1984. He wrote that a massive banking crisis in America “could suddenly result in triggering European nations to unite as a new world power larger than either the Soviet Union or the U.S.” (co-worker letter, July 22, 1984). The U.S. has already suffered a banking crisis to some extent, and the EU sees that political union among its members is the remedy for Europe’s economic trouble, as evidenced by Garcia-Margallo’s statement on Friday.

Expect Europe to continue making inroads into its former Latin American colonies, and to maintain its quest for unification.To understand more about Mr. Armstrong’s predictions and the speed with which they are coming to pass, read He Was Right.

The Alarm Sounds in Jerusalem

The Alarm Sounds in Jerusalem

AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP/Getty Images

Thoughts about what we heard tonight during the rocket attack.

For most of the week, Jerusalem is really noisy. That’s one reason why I love Friday nights. It’s so quiet. Tonight, though, was an obvious exception. It started around sunset, with the deafening sound of air raid sirens. That lasted for less than a minute. Then, moments after the alarm stopped, we heard two distinct thuds in the distance—they were bombs that exploded about seven miles from our apartment.

After that, we heard the most disconcerting sound of all: Palestinians celebrating explosions that were happening in their own city. It was sobering reminder of how deep and bitter the division is within Jerusalem.

Earlier today, thousands of angry Palestinians rallied across the West Bank in a show of support for their brethren in Gaza. This was the tense scene at the Damascus Gate here in Jerusalem:

Judging by these images—and the sounds we heard coming from East Jerusalem tonight—it surely won’t be that much longer before this city explodes in violence, just as God prophesied in Zechariah 14: “Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city” (verse 1-2).

Here Zechariah gives us the big overview of prophesied events at the end of this age. He starts with the Day of the Lord and works backward. First, God says, I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle. This refers to when Jesus Christ will gather the armies of this world just before He sets foot on the Mount of Olives.

But before that happens, it says Jerusalem shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished. This refers to the European king of the north conquering Jerusalem after it smashes the Islamic king of the south.

And before all of that, God says half of Jerusalem will go into captivity. This refers to the Islamic conquest of East Jerusalem.

That is what’s prophesied to happen next in Jerusalem. And you can hear it coming if you listen closely. But take heart, because this noisy and violent split of Jerusalem will trigger a series of events that culminate in the return of Jesus Christ to this Earth!

Hamas Targets Jerusalem

Hamas Targets Jerusalem

JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images

On the eve of Shabbat, residents in Jerusalem were stunned by the sound of blaring air raid sirens, followed by two booms in the distance. Hamas’s military wing immediately claimed responsibility for the strike, saying the intended target was the Knesset.

An Israeli Defense Force spokesman has since confirmed that the rockets were in fact fired from Gaza and landed about 14 kilometers from downtown Jerusalem, in an open field near the Gush Etzion settlement. There were no injuries.

The missiles traveled approximately 45 miles before landing just outside of Jerusalem.

It marks the first time that the “City of Peace” has ever been targeted by Hamas rockets. The escalation in hostilities in Israel is important to monitor closely. Biblical prophecy shows that violence in Jerusalem will trigger a much larger conflict. Read about it in our article “Watch Jerusalem!

Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece Protest Austerity

Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece Protest Austerity

JAVIER SORIANO/AFP/Getty Images

Hundreds of thousands of workers took to the streets as part of a “European day of action and solidarity,” organized by the European Trade Union Congress (etuc), on November 14. Unions in Spain and Portugal held a general strike. Eighty were arrested in Madrid as protests turned violent, and police used rubber bullets in Milan and Rome.

The etuc claimed it was the first time four European countries held coordinated strikes.

Headcounts at protests varied wildly. Organizers claimed that over a million protested in Barcelona. Authorities said it was 50,000. Unions claimed 350,000 in Madrid, but the government said it was 35,000. The official figures are usually more accurate.

“General strikes, in which labor leaders call on workers across industries to walk off their jobs, are relatively rare in most European countries, save for Greece, which has had 29 of them since the start of Europe’s economic crisis,” wrote the Wall Street Journal. “Portugal has had four and Spain three.”

In Spain, unions claimed that in some sectors over 85 percent of workers participated in the strikes. Around 800 flights were cancelled. Public transport was limited or stopped completely. Schools and hospitals scraped by with the minimum number of staff. Union membership in Spain is heavy in some sectors and light in others, meaning that while parts of the economy shut down completely, others kept going close to normal.

Greece held a 48-hour protest against austerity last week. This time Athens was relatively calm, with 10,000 protesting. But in Thessaloniki dozens of protesters broke into a conference center to protest the presence of German officials at a meeting of Greek and German mayors. The crowd chanted things like “Nazis out” and “This will not pass,” and threw coffee on a German diplomat.

In France, unions organized protests in over 100 cities, but did not call for strikes. In Belgium, strikes disrupted international rail services.

Battles between protesters and police broke out in several cities. Seventeen police officers were wounded in Italy. Twenty activists beat a police officer with baseball bats in Turin. A crowd of youths threw stones and bottles and smashed cars in Rome. Protesters outside Portugal’s parliament in Lisbon threw rocks at police.

The economic crisis is putting huge social pressures on southern Europe. In Spain and Greece, unemployment is above 25 percent. As the economic crisis worsens, this social pressure will get worse.

As Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry wrote in 2009, “Social unrest and riots will eventually force Europeans to succumb to a strong united government of Europe, led ultimately not from Brussels, but from Berlin.”

Hamas Draws Israel Into Another War

How will Egypt respond to the conflict?

In Kiryat Malachi, Israel, a deadly Grad rocket attack killed three people and critically injured an 8-month-old baby on Thursday. This week Israel launched a wide-scale military operation in Gaza called “Pillar of Defense,” in response to the numerous rockets coming out of Gaza in recent days.

Germany Urges Churches to Find Common Ground

Germany Urges Churches to Find Common Ground

ODD ANDERSEN/AFP/Getty Images

Increased cooperation is suggesting the possibility of a reconciliation between the Catholic Church and the Protestants in Europe.

Last week, Germany openly showed support for increasing ecumenical efforts between Catholicism and Protestant denominations in Europe.

TheTrumpet.com recently reported on the Anglo-Lutheran Catholic Church (alcc) reentering the Roman Catholic Church through the U.S. ordinariate originally created to bring Anglicans back into the Catholic faith. Since then, there has been even more cooperation between the Catholic Church and the Lutheran protesters.

German Protestants are busy preparing for the Luther Jubilee in 2017—the 500th anniversary of the start of the Protestant Reformation. They would like to make the commemoration extra special by involving the Catholics in the celebration as well. Their ecumenical intentions were made clear when plans were made for a joint Bible study in 2015, as well as the possibility of a reconciliation service, including Catholics and Lutherans, at the quincentennial. According to Germany’s Evangelical Church President Nikolaus Schneider, a joint service would recognize the injuries that both organizations have perpetrated against each other since the split in 1517.

Germany is appearing to show support for the prospect of unity and cooperation between the two churches, according to statements made by Chancellor Angela Merkel. “Especially in a very secular world, we should always stress what is common in the Christian religion,” Merkel stated at this year’s synod in Luebeck, Germany—the very place where the Luther Jubilee will take place. In the same speech, Merkel also called for German foreign policy to be more sensitive to Christian minorities. She asserted that Christianity is “the most persecuted religion worldwide.”

Protestantism and Catholicism each represent about 34 percent of the German population. If the Vatican can find common ground with the Protestants and bring them back under Rome’s influence, over two thirds of the German people would be allegiant to Rome. Germany could soon be majority Catholic.

In the last few years, the Catholic Church has suffered from a negative image, especially in the United States. The loss of converts has not been devastating, but with over 22 million ex-Catholics in the U.S., the Vatican could use some positive press to gain new converts. Mending fences with the Protestants could go a long way in helping its image. Finding “common ground” between the different religious dogmas could do even more to increase its influence in Europe.

Pope Benedict xvi is the driving force behind the reconciliation—and is making sure it is accomplished on Catholic terms. In 2000, when he was still Cardinal Ratzinger, he wrote a letter to all the bishops worldwide establishing that the Protestant churches were not to be referred to as “sisters,” but as daughters of the Catholic Church. Twelve years later, he finished a three-week synod at St. Basil’s Cathedral preaching a message of “new evangelization” on how to stop the tide of those leaving the church, and how to gain new converts.

The Vatican will be a firm proponent of ecumenism, as long as it’s the Protestants doing the compromising. Concerning the proposed cooperation at the 2017 Luther Jubilee, Catholic Bishop Gerhard Feige, the head bishop in charge of Catholic/Protestant relations, indicated that the Catholic Church’s level of cooperation would depend on the nature of the activities planned for the celebration.

The reunification of the Catholic Church and its rebel daughter churches is a key prophecy being fulfilled in this end time. For more prophetic analysis of this trend, read Stephen Flurry’s article “Returning to the Fold.