UK Census: Christianity Falling, Islam Rising as Immigrants Flood In

UK Census: Christianity Falling, Islam Rising as Immigrants Flood In

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The number of Christians in England and Wales has fallen by 12.5 percent since 2001, while all other major religious groups are increasing, according to data released December 11 from Britain’s 2011 Census.

By far the fastest growing religion is “none”—the number of “nones” has almost doubled since the previous census in 2001.

In 2001, 72 percent of people in England and Wales considered themselves Christian. Last year, that figure was 59 percent. But Christianity wasn’t entirely alone in its decline—the number of Jedi in Britain fell from 390,000 to 177,000.

Meanwhile, the percentage with no religion rose from 15 percent to 25 percent. The next-fastest growing religion was Islam, rising from 3 percent to 5 percent.

Census datapublished earlier revealed that England and Wales went through their greatest ever population growth in any 10-year period since 1801—7.1 percent. This set of data revealed why.

Thirteen percent, or 7.5 million, of the population of England and Wales was not born in the UK. Of that number, 3.8 million arrived between 2001 and 2011. Most of the immigrants living in England and Wales today arrived within the past 10 years.

The data also revealed that married couples have, for the first time, slipped into the minority. In 2001, 51 percent of residents over the age of 16 were married. Now that proportion is 47 percent. In the meantime, the proportion of adults who had never married rose from 30 percent to 35 percent.

Each of these data points is worthy of consideration on its own, but overall they paint a clear picture of a changing Britain. The traditional is in decline—be it Britain’s traditional religions or marriage. The secular is growing—again evident in both the religion and marriage statistics.

The numbers suggest this is a bigger story than the increase in immigrants. The number of Christians has dropped off far more quickly than foreign religions have increased.

Much of what Britain’s traditional Christian churches teach does not come from the Bible, but there were still some good principles behind many of Britain’s traditional values—such as the sanctity of marriage. These values were probably preached more often than they were practiced. But there was more good in them than in the new morality that is rising in Britain. The drift away from these old values has played a large part in Britain’s decline—including the lack of discipline in schools, the rampant drug and alcohol problems and Britain’s exploding welfare state.

For a deeper look at the rise in people without religion, read Dennis Leap’s feature article from the January 2013 Trumpet,America’s New Religion: None.”

40 Percent of Babies Born to Single Women

40 Percent of Babies Born to Single Women

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Marriage in America is on the way out. According to one study from the Pew Research Center, “The number of American adults who are married has fallen from 72 percent in 1960 to barely 51 percent, and the number of new marriages fell 5 percent between 2009 and 2010.” And with 95 percent of Americans engaging in premarital sex, it’s no wonder so many babies are born out of wedlock—a whopping 40 percent.

The increase in babies conceived out of wedlock also lead to higher abortion rates: About 85 percent of women who seek an abortion are single.

These distressing statistics are the inevitable result of the total breakdown of the family. “Yes, there is a war raging in households across America and throughout the once-mighty United Kingdom,” Trumpet columnists Joel Hilliker and Stephen Flurry wrote. “After decades of surrendering ground to a violent and fanatical enemy, what once was a solid family structure is now struggling for survival.”

These declining statistics are indicative of the times in which we live, and were actually prophesied to occur in the last days before Christ’s return. The Trumpet article continues,

Everything about our modern-day dysfunctional society is exactly as the Prophet Isaiah said it would be: with women ruling the homes, children oppressing society and behaving arrogantly against their elders, and people parading the most heinous of their sins with pride (Isaiah 3:12, 5, 9). The Apostle Paul prophesied of our epidemic selfishness, preoccupation with material things, disobedient children, loss of natural familial affection (such as is manifest in the appalling abortion rate), and other rampant problems (2 Timothy 3:1-5).

Rising divorce rates, falling marriage rates and more children growing up without two parents in the home all fall within this prophesied family breakdown. Too often, however, we don’t see the loss of a complete family unit for the deadly cancer it truly is.

Marriage and family are institutions unique to mankind. They don’t exist anywhere else in creation.

“Human men never did think out, devise or institute the relationship of marriage, with family and home life. Marriage was ordained by God—not by man,” Herbert W. Armstrong wrote in Why Marriage! Soon Obsolete? That is what makes marriage and family so special—and what should make us so determined to preserve them. “There can be no more wonderful physical blessing in this mortal human life than a happy marriage, based on true love, honor, integrity and faithfulness—especially when there are growing children to love, care for, teach and rear in the nurture and admonition of the Lord Jesus Christ.”

God intended marriage and family to be a blessing for mankind, to teach us to love and live in harmony with each other. Even more than that, He patterned the structure of the family unit after the God Family.

That is why the institution of family is so important to God, and why He finds it so reprehensible when it is destroyed. Marriage and family, when they exist as God intended, teach us spiritual lessons about our spiritual family (e.g. Ephesians 5:31-33). They have everything to do with the gospel and are a critical part of God’s plan for mankind. Read our free booklet Why Marriage! Soon Obsolete? for a more in-depth explanation of these critically important and endangered institutions.

UNESCO Director General Amadou Mahtar M’Bow’s Invitation to Herbert W. Armstrong

UNESCO Director General Amadou Mahtar M’Bow’s Invitation to Herbert W. Armstrong

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Unofficial ambassador invited to participate in international youth project

“Building peace in the minds of men and women,” declares the motto of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Established in 1945 as a collaborative effort of nations to “embody a genuine culture of peace” in the world, it has struggled through the decades in pursuit of this lofty objective.

“We had been invited to participate, through the Ambassador Foundation, in a project of international youth development by unesco, the educational and cultural branch of the United Nations,” Mr. Armstrong wrote co-workers June 15, 1984. “In Paris earlier this week I had meetings with the director general of unesco, Mr. Amadou Mahtar M’Bow, and also with the French and German representatives to unesco, relative to this youth project. Through such conferences I am learning much more from the inside about the drift in world affairs.”

One may ask why the director general of unesco invited an unofficial ambassador for world peace to be involved with such a global government initiative.

Born in the African country of Senegal, Mr. M’Bow completed his advanced education in the city of lights, Paris. Thereafter, back in his native country, he instructed in the subjects of geography and history, overseeing education development. He began serving as part of unesco beginning 1966 and ascended to director general in 1974, serving in that position till 1987.

The meeting between M’Bow and Armstrong was amid the United Nations-mandated International Youth Year celebrations, created to foster greater awareness of the global demographic of those ages 15 to 24.

In the same 1984 letter, Mr. Armstrong lamented, “My meetings with officials of unesco in Paris a few days ago made plain that the Third World of economically poor nations is, with Soviet influence, gaining control of unesco as well as the United Nations system in Geneva, against the United States and Britain. The United States has already given notice of its intentions to withdraw from unesco at the end of this year. Why do many economically poor nations look with jealousy and hatred against America and Britain? That, too, is explained in the Bible.” Request your free copy of Mr. Armstrong’s book The United States and Britain in Prophecy for more understanding.

Hosted in Barcelona, Spain, from July 8-15, 1985, unesco sponsored the World Congress on Youth, which was attended by over 600 youth, government and non-government officials. In its Barcelona Statement, chronicling the event, “the participants in the congress viewed the development of all kinds of initiatives aimed at mutual understanding as a vital activity deserving unceasing support.”

The report additionally stated that the need for developing countries was for “appropriate educational, social and cultural initiatives,” and for developed countries, “improving conditions and interrelationships throughout the world.”

This event came barely a month after Mr. Armstrong had been honored at the 40th-anniversary celebrations of the founding of the United Nations, having attended the signing ceremony in San Francisco and reported on the historic event back in 1945 for the Plain Truth magazine and the World Tomorrow radio program.

Both recommendations of the Barcelona Statement had already been long-established pillars of cultural and humanitarian bridge building as directed by Mr. Armstrong as founder of Ambassador International Cultural Foundation.

Mr. Armstrong’s love of youth, culture and global humanitarianism began as far back as 1934. The Ambassador International Cultural Foundation was formally established in March 1975 as a non-profit foundation dedicated to serving humanity worldwide, giving the church “added prestige, credibility and favor” as the non-religious organization was “met with great and favorable response,” he wrote co-workers June 5, 1975. The foundation was nonsectarian and legally independent of both Mr. Armstrong’s endeavors of Ambassador College and the Worldwide Church of God and yet greatly contributed to his mission of declaring the good news of the coming government of God to all nations (Matthew 24:14).

The Ambassador International Cultural Foundation was so beloved and internationally respected by the world’s leaders that upon the death of Mr. Armstrong in January 1986, their messages of condolence called with collective voice from all corners of the globe for the legacy and work of this honored ambassador for world peace to be continued.

Tragically, those appointed by Mr. Armstrong to perpetuate his humanitarian efforts to extend goodwill and promote world peace among all nations ignored the request of emperors, kings, presidents, prime ministers, ambassadors, diplomats and high government officials to continue Mr. Armstrong’s legacy. After closing the Ambassador College campus and seeking to profit from the sale of the assets, the Ambassador International Cultural Foundation crumbled to defunct status and with it the plea of world leaders to see it continue. Request your free copy of Raising the Ruins to learn more of this betrayal of Mr. Armstrong’s legacy.

“Greetings, friends! What is the Armstrong International Cultural Foundation?” writes editor in chief Gerald Flurry in the foundation’s prospectus, received by thousands of global supporters. “We are an international humanitarian organization dedicated to serving the cultural and educational needs of people everywhere. The concept behind all of the foundation’s goals and activities is twofold: 1) that man is a unique being, possessing vast mental, physical and spiritual potentials—the development of which should be aided and encouraged, and 2) that it is the responsibility of all men to attend to and care for the needs of their fellow men, a precept professed by the vast majority of religions of the world—appropriately summed up in three biblical words: ‘Love thy neighbor.’ Out of this understanding we seek to aid and support projects around the world without respect to race or religion.”

Armstrong International Cultural Foundation’s dedicated efforts over the past two decades involving various countries and cultures are proof that Gerald Flurry is honoring the request of emperors, kings, queens, princes, presidents and prime ministers, along with a myriad of dignitaries from around the globe who met and worked with Herbert Armstrong and the foundation during his life. They also aid Mr. Flurry’s mission to “prophesy again” in the tradition of the unofficial ambassador to many peoples, nations, tongues and kings (Revelation 10:11).

Through these efforts, the foundation continues its contribution toward bringing about understanding between all peoples in the march forward to soon-coming world peace to be established by Jesus Christ at His promised return.

Canadian Housing Bubble About to Pop

Canadian Housing Bubble About to Pop

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What Canada failed to learn from its neighbor

Canada is on the verge of a real-estate crisis similar to the one that crippled the U.S. economy in 2008. Robert Shiller, an economist who predicted the infamous U.S housing bubble, said he worries that what is happening in Canada right now is “kind of a slow-motion version of what happened in the U.S.

Just like the buildup to the financial crises of 2008, a variety of factors have placed Canada’s housing market in a difficult position. For starters, Canada is neck deep in debt. Since 1990, the average household debt has risen from 75 percent of household income to 150 percent. Any break in the economy could spell disaster for these homeowners who obviously have learned nothing from America.

According to Neil Macdonald of cbc News, “Canadians seem to think that stricter government regulation in Canada protects them. But they are in some ways more vulnerable than Americans.” Canadians are falling for the same deception that duped so many Americans—that housing prices will never decline. The false sense of security that comes from believing that the Canadian government will be able to protect the populace from such a disaster has blinded many homeowners all the more.

Recently, Moody’s Investors Service warned that it may cut the credit ratings of six of Canada’s largest banks. Toronto-Dominion Bank, Bank of Nova Scotia, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, National Bank of Canada, Caisse Centrale Desjardins and Bank of Montreal are all in danger of the cut.

Moody’s said it was concerned over the growth in debt outpacing the growth in income, and the high-risk involvement that several of the banks have with the volatile American and European markets.

Perhaps the saddest part of this oncoming crisis is that only a few years ago, the U.S. had all the same symptoms that Canada has now: heavy debt, credit downgrades, rising housing prices, misplaced confidence in the system—but Canada hasn’t learned from its neighbor.

Trumpet columnist Robert Morley warned of this impending crisis over two years ago. Citing how economic analyst Mike Shedlock’s housing collapse cascade pattern played out in America, Morley wrote, “Canadian readers may want to take note of the calamitous events south of the border that ensued following America’s great housing bust.”

Earlier this year he wrote, “Falling house prices is an idea that many Canadians laugh at. Americans laughed too before America’s bubble burst. … Canada’s bubble is getting close to bursting, and when it does, expect a massive economic implosion.”

Now evidence of that impending implosion is beginning to make headlines. To learn how to protect yourself from economic meltdown, read “Storm-Proof Your Financial House.”

The Palestinian State, Israeli Settlements and Bible Prophecy

On November 29, the UN General Assembly upgraded the status of the Palestinian Authority to a “non-member observer state.” While the resolution does not grant statehood or independence to the Palestinians, it is a significant diplomatic score for them. The day after, Israel announced plans to build 3,000 homes in East Jerusalem, a move that immediately triggered an international outcry. Both events are setting the stage to fulfill two key Bible prophecies.

United States of Europe ‘Likely’ to Be Formed by 2020

United States of Europe ‘Likely’ to Be Formed by 2020

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Most European Union nations will combine together to form the United States of Europe, European Commission Vice President Viviane Reding said in an interview published December 10.

“I consider it to be likely that the eurozone states by 2020—then including the Baltic states and Poland—together will found the United States of Europe, while Great Britain in a looser association continues to take part to economic integration,” she said.

Even in the medium term, Europe needs “clear federal structures, decision making powers in place and strong democratic control where decisions are made,” she said. The European Commission should become a European government, she added.

Reding is also commissioner for justice, fundamental rights and citizenship. Her interview was published as European leaders receive the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo.

Europe’s leaders are gradually becoming more explicit in their calls for a superstate. It is clear that those at the top see the euro crisis as an opportunity to create the Europe they’ve wanted all along.

European Commission President José Manuel Barroso and European Council President Herman van Rompuy are working on plans that would bring Reding’s vision closer to reality. She’s not just airing vague ambitions. Even German Chancellor Angela Merkel said, “I’m sure the Commission will become a government one day.”

It is unusual for a senior Europe leader to call for the founding of a “United States of Europe.” But soon it won’t be. Calls for a political union in Europe are louder and more common, and coming from more important people, than they ever were before.