Agriculture 2012: Good News for China, Bad News for Anglo-America

China’s State Council Information Office said on Tuesday that the country’s grain production has increased for nine consecutive years. China’s grain output reached 650 million tons in 2012. That figure is up more than 18 million tons from last year.

Chinese agricultural production is increasing in other areas too. According to official statistics, all of China’s major farm products have increased in volume over recent years. The government credits science and technology advancements for the increase.

Incomes for Chinese farmers have also been on the rise. For the last three years, farmers’ incomes have exceeded those of urban residents.

Meanwhile, the United States endured its most severe drought in 25 years this year. About 80 percent of its agricultural land continues to suffer drought conditions. As a result, prices for food are expected to jump 3 to 4 percent in 2013.

Britain is suffering from the opposite weather extreme. Many areas were under a flood alert on Tuesday. Hundreds of homes and businesses have already been inundated, and meteorologists are expecting more rain to fall on the saturated ground. The flooding punctuates one of the wettest years on record in Britain.

There is a reason China is flourishing while the Unites States and Britain deal with drought and floods. The Bible says we are living in the times of the Gentiles.

In Luke 21:24 Christ showed that the times of the Gentiles will continue until He returns to establish the Kingdom of God. China’s rise and Anglo-America’s fall is a great sign that this day is coming close.

To understand the biblical identity of America and the UK, request our free book The United States and Britain in Prophecy.

The Truth About Suicide

The Truth About Suicide

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Some call it self-deliverance. Others call it murder. Survivors know it as a nightmare that haunts them forever. Here’s the truth about its cause—and ultimate solution.
From the February 2013 Trumpet Print Edition

Getting over the loss of a loved one who intentionally takes his own life is close to impossible. “When Mom told me Dad was dead, I was shocked. When she told me he had killed himself, I was horrified. My brain went numb,” a young friend of mine, Dawn, explains, with tears flowing.

“It took about four months before I didn’t think about what he did every day—four months before the pain began to dull. My dad hung himself; trying to escape his problems, I guess. But I couldn’t escape what he had done. For four months I dealt with constant mental torment and agony. I was scared to be alone. I tried to keep myself occupied so I wouldn’t think about it. Anything was better than thinking of what he had done. Why did he do it? That question always comes back into my mind. I still don’t like to tell people how he died.

“For over a year, I struggled with feelings of guilt. I thought that I wasn’t a good daughter. My dad loved me so much, but I was too busy for him. The last time I saw him was two days before Father’s Day. We had dinner together. He wasn’t doing too well then. He had some financial problems. But I never thought he would kill himself.

“I never spoke to Dad after that. I was going to call him … always going to call him, yet I never did. I still wonder if I could have helped him had I called him. I get melancholy every year around the anniversary of his death, Father’s Day and his birthday. I guess I will always wonder, Would he still be here if I had called?”

Dawn’s tragic story is only one of multiple thousands of similar tales told each year. Thousands of loved ones suffer crushing heartbreak on hearing the news that a father, brother, sister, mother, wife or friend committed suicide.

Even you may share Dawn’s experience or know someone like her. More Americans now die by suicide than by car crashes. A study published in the November 2012 American Journal of Public Health showed that the number of people who commit suicide has dramatically increased. The suicide rate in America rose a shocking 15 percent from 2000 to 2009.

There is a trend in society to make suicide an acceptable and legal choice for people suffering from terminal illness. Advocates of terminally ill suicide, using political correctness as a cloak, call it self-deliverance. Several pro-suicide authors have even published “how to” manuals giving instructions—with illustrations—on ways to end your life.

Suicide Manuals

Derek Humphry, author of Final Exit, writes, “All I ask of persons to whom any form of euthanasia is morally repugnant is tolerance and understanding of the feelings of others who want the right to choose what happens to their bodies in a free society. To every person their own way of death.” When first published in 1991, Final Exit stunned the nation. It also became a number one bestseller. The book is now in its third edition. Final Exit’s popularity indicates that a large number of people do not consider suicide morally repugnant. Many now see it as a quick fix for unwanted personal problems.

There is no doubt that proponents of suicide for the terminally ill are sincere in their beliefs. They emphasize the need to help those considering such an act to do so in a dignified way, making their death a “good death.” Those who have written books want to inform people how to get the proper equipment, including drugs, in order to carry out the quickest, most peaceful way to make a “final exit.” Yet, the books have become a real problem.

“In its first 10 years this book was occasionally used by persons for whom it was not intended—the deeply depressed and the mentally ill,” Humphry wrote. “This misuse I regret but can do nothing about. Suicide has always been endemic in mankind; some of us do not have the emotional and intellectual equipment to cope with a lifetime of troubles—real and imagined—and elect to die. Self-destruction of a physically fit person is always a tragic waste of life and hurtful to survivors, but life is a personal responsibility. We must each decide for ourselves.” This is quite a revealing statement. Let’s look at it closely.

The word occasionally means happening from time to time but not regularly or frequently. Let’s talk reality. Over a million copies of Humphry’s book have been purchased. To say that Final Exit was misused only occasionally appears to be wishful thinking.

Coroners around the U.S. are discovering that many others besides the depressed and mentally ill are taking advantage of the “help” provided in the book—including teenagers and young adults! Although we may never know exactly how many, what is certain is that Humphry and other authors like him are helping many people without terminal illnesses to end their lives.

Last July, a 24-year-old woman packed her car full of dangerous chemicals, drove to a public park, mixed the chemicals together and allowed the reaction to snuff out her life. The chemicals in the car were so dangerous to responders that they had to wear hazmat suits to clean up the scene. Investigators remarked that it was like a page right out of Final Exit. This happened right here in the Trumpet’s hometown of Edmond. A spokesperson for the Oklahoma State medical examiner’s office said they had reviewed 12 recent deaths related to Final Exit. Oftentimes, the book is found with the deceased.

Teen Suicide Skyrockets

Humphry attempts to excuse any responsibility for the tragic waste of life outside the scope of his intended audience by saying that suicide has always been common in man’s history. But someone must take responsibility and recognize that suicide is rapidly growing dramatically out of control for all age groups—especially the young.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention reported in 2012 that suicide is the fourth leading cause of death among 5-to-14-year-olds. Suicide manuals like Final Exit are not causing all these deaths, but they do encourage teen suicide. How? All suicide manuals highly romanticize the death of terminally ill patients as being brave, courageous, dignified and inspiring. They make suicide more visible and more acceptable. This has a huge impact on impressionable minds. Teens readily accept the open-mindedness toward and encouragement of this tragic act.

“Research describes how adolescents become curious and even excited when suicide is talked about in heroic ways as opposed to being characterized as a result of mental illness,” Carla Fine writes in No Time to Say Goodbye. “This romanticizing of death often accounts for copycat suicides among young people and outbreaks of cluster suicides in schools and communities.”

Incidents of teen cluster suicides are rising throughout the U.S. In mid-summer 2012, Delaware Online reported that the Centers for Disease Control (cdc) was called on to investigate the cause of a dramatic rise in teen suicides in Kent and Sussex counties. In the first four months of 2012, 11 young people under age 20 hung or shot themselves—and a stunning 116 others attempted to commit suicide. Three of the teenagers from Polytech High School in Woodside killed themselves within two months of each other. Two of the students were friends and died within the same week.

Dr. Alex Crosby, medical epidemiologist with the cdc, said that statistically he’d expect to see seven suicides in this age group throughout the entire state in a year; this high rate of suicide attempts is shocking. The communities, local government officials, school and health officials were stunned. They are at a loss to understand why such waste of young, talented, vibrant life. Even more, they want to know how to stop the problem from growing worse.

Fine writes, “The suicide of a student touches everyone—students, teachers, administrators and support staff—stirring up the same kind of emotions and conflicts that affect all survivors of suicide.” She emphasizes that nothing should be done to glamorize or dramatize a suicide. Yet, doing nothing is as dangerous as doing too much. She suggests that the school faculty be thoroughly counseled about suicide before attempting to help students.

Top Killer of Americans

These Delaware communities are not the only places rocked by suicide. Suicides are now the number one cause of injury-related deaths in the U.S.

“Suicides are terribly under-counted,” Ian Rockett, the author of the American Journal of Public Health study about the rise in suicides, told Mail Online. “I think the problem is much worse than official data would lead us to believe. We have a situation that has gotten out of hand.”

Rockett has more grim statistics. He believes there may be an additional 20 percent or more unrecognized suicide deaths. For example, poisoning deaths rose 128 percent in the same time period, a portion of which were most likely intentional. Deaths from falls rose 71 percent. It is likely that a portion of those falls were not accidental either.

The failing U.S. economy may have contributed to the spike in American suicides. Suicides reached a record high of 22 people per 100,000 in 1932, during the Great Depression. By contrast, in the economically prosperous year 2000, only 10 per 100,000 people took their lives—less than half of the 1932 figures.

Suicide is not just an American problem; international data show it rising around the world. The suicide rate in Greece has skyrocketed. Before its economic crises, Greece had the lowest rate of suicide in Europe.

The nations having the most trouble with suicide are those of the affluent Western world. Suicide rates appear to be lowest in Muslim countries—the Koran forbids suicide. So does the Bible, but most Westerners have a loose relationship with their Bibles, at best.

Facing Down Suicide

Alarmed by the rising number of suicides in the U.S., Congress established a $56 million suicide prevention program in 2004 under the Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act. The goal to save lives is laudable, but it can only be achieved if we face the truth about the real cause of suicide.

Pouring money into suicide education and prevention programs will not stop this tragedy. Expensive prevention programs have not stopped alcoholism, drug abuse, child abuse, crime, illiteracy, poverty, spousal abuse or violence. Even with our intellectual and creative abilities, we have proved incapable of solving our really tough problems. We need the truth.

The truth is this: Suicide is a spiritual problem. To eradicate suicide, we must confront it spiritually.

Suicide advocates are anti-God. They have to be in order to recommend that someone take his own life. Derek Humphry writes, “If the reader of this book is deeply religious and takes all guidance from a divinity, then there is no point reading further.” Wow! That is a very blunt but true statement. When a person has a close relationship with God, suicide is off the table.

In a similar vein, most experts who want to stop suicide are not comfortable bringing God into the picture either. They try to teach others to look for signs of a potential suicide, but fail to teach people how to eliminate the cause of suicide.

How does God look at suicide? To God, suicide is not brave, courageous or romantic.

Suicide is not self-deliverance. Suicide is murder!

The Bible forbids this evil act, but few today live according to the Bible. Our loving and living God calls suicide a heinous sin—a violation of the Sixth Commandment—which not only brings a life to a tragic end, but also spreads indescribable suffering to those left behind.

“When my dad committed suicide, I felt betrayed,” Dawn told me. “He was supposed to love me and always be there for me, but he abandoned me instead. Dad was supposed to walk me down the aisle. I wanted to have a baby boy and name him after my dad—it was going to be a surprise. I was excited to introduce him to my friends and—one day—to my husband. I wanted them to see how cool and fun he was. But I never got the chance.”

A survivor told Carla Fine, “When someone says to me that my husband must have been very brave to take his own life, I get furious. The real heroes of this drama are those of us who are trying to put our lives back together, piece by piece. We are the ones who have to face straightening up the mess and making sense of the insanity. We cry, we laugh, we hang on to each other for dear life, but we do survive, thank God.”

Even the loved ones of terminally ill patients find it difficult to cope with self-inflicted death. Those who have experienced a loss to suicide want to stop it so no one else suffers its emotional wake.

God cares about the gut-wrenching grief caused by suicide!

There IS Value to Human Life

To solve our national suicide epidemic, we must turn to God. We have to put our spiritual lives back together—piece by piece.

Even those most religious have drifted so far from God and His instruction book for happiness—the Holy Bible—that few know God’s purpose for creating human life. Most of the world’s educated do not believe there is a God. Few believe there is purpose for human beings beyond this material life. They accept evolution as the truth about the origins of the universe and man. Believing this fable, they are blind to the fact that there is a transcendent purpose for the universe and for mankind—a purpose that includes you!

Let’s be honest. Belief in evolution is the foundation of the pro-suicide philosophy infesting our world.

God has an awesome purpose for mankind. He spells it out clearly in the Bible for everyone willing to read and believe. In fact, God gave us the Bible so every man, woman and child can attain that purpose. A thorough study of the Bible reveals that God is the great giver. When He created the Earth, He provided every good thing for each of us to become a sensational success—not a failure. Suicide is the ultimate failure.

“What is the most necessary of all knowledge to know?” Herbert W. Armstrong asked in his fantastic book The Incredible Human Potential. “It is the knowledge of what man is; the knowledge of why he is—the purpose for which humanity was put on Earth; the knowledge of the way to achieve that purpose—of the way to world peace, peace between individuals, groups and nations; the knowledge of the cause of all the world’s troubles and evils; the knowledge of the solution to all these problems; the knowledge of the true values—what is important and what is worthless. That is the missing dimension in knowledge.”

Jesus Christ revealed this knowledge in His gospel message. His Father sent Him to Earth to be an example of achieving God’s purpose for man. Even though He was God in the flesh, Jesus nobly faced trials, tests and life’s problems—even a torturous death at the hands of others—as a human being (Hebrews 4:15).

When we know God’s purpose for us, we become willing to work through anything life throws at us—even a painful death caused by terminal illness. Knowing our purpose brings us into a working relationship with God, which ensures our success. Who wouldn’t want to know what God has in store for us?

“Put together all these scriptures … and you begin to grasp the incredible human potential. Our potential is to be born into the God Family, receiving total power! We are to be given jurisdiction over the entire universe! What are we going to do then? These scriptures indicate we shall impart life to billions and billions of dead planets, as life has been imparted to this Earth. We shall create, as God directs and instructs,” Herbert Armstrong wrote. At first glance, this truth is unbelievable (John 3:3-13; Hebrews 2:5-13; Revelation 20:4). However, when we keep an open mind, it makes logical sense. How awesome is God! He gave us life so we can impart life.

The truth of God shows us the insidious side of suicide advocacy.

Choose to Live

Derek Humphry is correct on one point: Man does have a choice—we can choose to live or die. We can choose to sin or obey. God gives us that right. Yet, God encourages us to choose life (Deuteronomy 30:19). Why do some men encourage us to choose death?

It is not fashionable today to believe that Satan exists. Yet, an integral part of Christ’s gospel reveals that Satan is real and influences mankind to reject God’s truth—especially the knowledge of man’s glorious purpose. Christ warned us about this failed angel: “He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it” (John 8:44). Of all things, Satan wants us to fail. He wants to murder us. His plan is to ensnare us in a life of sin that leads to confusion, depression, hopelessness, sorrow, unhappiness and, ultimately, eternal death if not repented of. It is Satan who encourages people, weakened by the overwhelming effects of sin, to commit suicide.

To prepare for our incredible eternal opportunity, man has to choose to go the opposite way of Satan and sin and build the very character of God. We build God’s character by overcoming the problems, trials, tests and evils injected into this world by Satan the devil. Never forget, man was created to be a success—not a failure. To obtain our incredible potential, each human being must be willing to live God’s way of life, which is outlined by the Ten Commandments.

Suicide is not a disease or physical illness. It is a weakness of mind and character. Suicide will not stop until mankind experiences a spiritual renewal of mind and character.

There is way of life that produces true happiness, peace and lasting success. There is a way of life that teaches us how to face and overcome problems rather than resorting to suicide.

The Incredible Human Potential will provide you the solution and inspiration you need to make it through life’s tough times. In particular, this scintillating book will prove to you that Jesus Christ will return shortly and establish a new world order that will open the way for every human being to live a life filled with unparalleled happiness, health and lasting success.

Did Syria Use Chemical Weapons Against Rebels?

Did Syria Use Chemical Weapons Against Rebels?

JOSEPH EID/AFP/GettyImages

Unconfirmed reports could give the West a reason to invade Syria.

Syrian rebels claim they were attacked with poison gas, December 23. Six rebels died after breathing white smoke from shells in the city of Homs, activists told the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

“This weapon is unidentified and has not been used before,” the Observatory wrote in a statement on Facebook. “Activists reported that whoever inhaled this type of gas suffered from severe dizziness and headaches, some even suffered from epilepsy.” The Observatory is a UK-based rights group with links to activists in Syria.

The Syrian American Medical Society (sams) claimed that use of the gas was “probable.” It reported that seven died because of it. sams is an organization of medical professionals of Syrian descent who aim to provide medical care to those in Syria, among other things.

It reports that the gas is probably “Agent-15,” also known as “3-Quinuclidinyl Benzilate” or “BZ.” It said the victims reported symptoms such as “severe shortness of breath, loss of vision, inability to speak, flushed face, dizziness, paralysis, nausea and vomiting, and increased respiratory secretions.”

Israel urged caution in responding to these reports. It is not the first time the rebels have reported the use of poison gas, Vice Prime Minister Moshe Yaalon said. “The opposition has an interest in drawing in international military intervention,” he continued.

He warned that Israel does “not have any confirmation or proof” that chemical weapons were used, “but we are definitely following events with concern.” Reuters notes that the “reports are difficult to verify, as the government restricts media access in Syria.”

Agent-15 is nowhere near as lethal as some of the other gases the Syrian government owns. Business Insider reports that in “military circles” it is referred to as an “incapacitating” chemical.

The reports could be fabricated and spread by activists and governments eager for Europe and America to get involved in Syria. Or Bashar Assad could have used one of the less effective chemical agents to test the waters and gauge the West’s response.

The claims come after reports in several different news outlets that Syria has begun preparing its chemical weapons for use, based on statements by anonymous sources. Sarin gas is usually stored as two separate chemicals, which are mixed together shortly before it is used. Syria is said to have mixed the chemicals, and built trucks that can mix them while moving it. “Physically, they’ve gotten to the point where they can load it up on a plane and drop it,” said an “American official with knowledge of the situation” (Wired, December 3).

Other reports cite worries that Hezbollah will get control of chemical weapons, either by theft or by Syria handing them over.

The presence of chemical weapons in a country that is falling apart is scary. But even if these reports are false, they could still radically change the Middle East.

The Trumpet has long forecast that Syria would emerge from this crisis an ally of Europe, not Iran. Reports of chemical weapons could provide Western forces the excuse they need to intervene. Just like in the Balkans, even if America takes the lead in such an invasion, Europe will end up controlling the territory.

For more information on what is playing out in Syria, read Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry’s article “How the Syrian Crisis Will End.”

Christianity to ‘Disappear’ From Middle East

Christianity to ‘Disappear’ From Middle East

kharps/iStockphoto

A new report highlights one of 2012’s most important underreported stories: Islam’s attack on Christianity.

Islam is on the brink of destroying Christianity in the Middle East, according to a study published by UK-based think tank Civitas on December 23. Rupert Shortt writes that “there is now a serious risk that Christianity will disappear from its biblical heartlands.”

Christians are targeted more than any other body of believers.
Christianophobia By Rupert Shortt
“It is generally accepted that many faith-based groups face discrimination or persecution to some degree,” he said. “A far less widely grasped fact is that Christians are targeted more than any other body of believers.”

Pope Benedict xvi also drew attention to this in his Christmas Eve address. Benedict called on Catholics to pray that “Christians in those lands where our faith was born may be able to continue living there.”

Shortt’s study charts the treatment of Christians in several nations across the Middle East and Asia. While Christian persecution is a problem in all the countries he examined, he concluded that “the lion’s share of their problems arise in Muslim-majority societies.”

He warns that “the early 21st century has seen a steady rise in the strife endured by Christians.” Half to two thirds of all Christians in the Middle East have been killed or forced to leave, he writes. One of the most dramatic drops in number comes from Iraq. In 1990 there were 1.2 to 1.4 million Christians. By the start of the second Gulf war, that number had plummeted to 500,000 fewer. Now there are under 200,000.

But the crisis has not gained the attention it should have because “[p]arts of the media have been influenced by the logical error that equates criticism of Muslims with racism, and therefore as wrong by definition,” he writes.

Shortt said he isn’t necessarily endorsing “talk about a supposed clash of civilizations.” But he says that many Muslims see it that way. He writes that “many Egyptian Muslims think that Copts are implicated in what they see as a Christian assault on the Muslim world.”

Shortt is also the author of the book Christianophobia: A Faith Under Attack, published last month.

Little of Shortt’s report is new information, but it is a timely reminder of one of the great underreported stories of the year: Christian persecution is a regular occurrence. Here’s a smattering of news reports on the subject from the past few days alone.

Only 7 percent of Christians turned out to vote in Eygpt’s constitutional referendum in some areas due to intimidation from Muslims, church officials in Egypt reported. In the city of Assiut, men on horseback armed with swords led 50,000 Islamists through Christian districts. Egypt will be “Islamic, Islamic, despite the Christians,” they chanted. Some in Egypt told the Associated Press that Christians were pelted with stones as they tried to reach polling stations.

In Syria, Christians fear the Islamists who are taking the lead in the fight against President Bashar Assad. “As the fight to overthrow Assad drags on, the rebels’ ranks are becoming dominated by Islamists, raising concerns that the country’s potential new rulers will marginalize them or establish an Islamic state,” the Associated Press wrote on Sunday.

“Al Qaeda-inspired groups have become the most organized fighting units, increasingly leading battles for parts of Aleppo or assaults on military installations outside the city,” it warns.

Shiite Ayatollah Ahmad Al Baghdadi Al Hassani proclaimed a fatwa against Christians on Egyptian television on December 13, Jewish News One and AsiaNews report. Al Baghdadi said Christians must choose “Islam or death.”

“Their women and girls may legitimately be regarded wives of Muslims,” he reportedly said. Al Baghdadi is an Iraqi ayatollah who is currently in Syria supporting the opposition.

Meanwhile, in Nigeria, Christians fear a repeat of last year’s Christmas Day bombing when Islamist terrorists from Boko Haram drove a car full of explosives into a church, killing 44. On Christmas Eve the year before, over 40 were killed in Islamist attacks.

“This Christmas, the police and military are expecting more trouble in the north,” reports Reuters.

“The fear for many is that more Christmas Day attacks could spark the sort of tit-for-tat sectarian violence between the mostly Muslim north and largely Christian south, which has claimed thousands of lives in the past decade,” it writes.

No wonder the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem (part of the Roman Catholic Church) Fouad Twal used his Christmas message to highlight the plight of Christians. He complained that despite “many inter-religious initiatives,” there was still “an increase in a certain religious radicalism.”

“I reiterate my dismay at the desecration of churches, convents, synagogues and cemeteries that offends everyone,” he said. “We must take out the evil at its root by educating our youth in all schools.”

Twal also dedicated a large portion of his speech to “ecumenism,” which to the Catholic Church means gathering all other Christian groups under Rome.

The fact that these stories didn’t feature prominently in the news isn’t the only reason Shortt gave for the lack of awareness about Christian persecution. He wrote that “young Christians in Europe and America do not become ‘radicalized,’ and persecuted Christians tend not to respond with terrorist violence.”

But this patience will not last forever. This world’s Christians aren’t immune to anger and retaliation. In fact, in Nigerian Christians have retaliated to some of the Islamist attacks.

Historically, Christianity has struck back at Islam when provoked. Anciently the Catholic Church led the Crusades, in part based on reports of Islamic brutality against Christians. These Crusades were also a chance for the church’s “ecumenism.” In them, the pope demonstrated that he spoke for and defended most Christians.

A clash of civilizations is brewing. Islamists are fighting it already, persecuting Christians as if they are one common enemy united with the West. As Europe, rather than America, becomes more involved in the Middle East, the Europeans will become closely associated with the Christians.

Geopolitics comes first. Europe is backing the rebels in Syria, while the Christians tend to favor the current regime. But the persecution will force Middle East Christians to seek a strong champion in Catholic Europe.

The persecution will aid the Catholic Church in “radicalizing” Europe. At the moment, Christianity is taking Islam’s attacks lying down. That will soon end. Both history and Bible prophecy tell us the Catholic Church will play a key role in driving Europe to confront radical Islam.

Already Europe is taking the lead in the Middle East. Britain and France persuaded a reluctant America to get involved in Libya. Europe is leading in Syria. Europe wants to send troops into Mali, while America wants to back off and wait.

How different that is to the situation 10 years ago, where America led Europe into Afghanistan and Iraq.

Europe is now very concerned at the threat posed by radical Islam. And while America spends its strength in vain—funneling weapons to Egypt and Saudi Arabia in exchange for very little—Europe, and especially Germany, is far more strategic about its involvement. Its targeted weapons sales and military presence is part of a calculated opposition to radical Islam.

This shift will soon be obvious in Europe’s religion. No longer will Europe tolerate vast Islamic migration. Already right-wing parties have pushed governments to push back against Islam.

The attack against Christians will add an emotional fervor to what is now a calculated opposition to radical Islam.

As the Catholic Church rises in Europe, watch for these attacks to receive more publicity. They are part of the clash between the king of the north and the king of the south.

The worst inter-religious violence the world has ever seen is coming. Catholicism’s response to these attacks may be taking time to build, but when it comes, it will be brutal.

The good news, however, is that this will be the last religious fighting the world will ever see. For more information on what is coming, and the hope beyond, read our free booklet The King of the South.

WorldWatch

From the February 2013 Trumpet Print Edition

Europe  

Europe’s reluctant new colony

Cyprus “will effectively lose its sovereignty,” Spiegel Online said after a somber announcement from Cypriot President Demetris Christofias on December 4. Christofias said the Mediterranean island nation has no choice but to submit to the European Union and request a bailout.

“I need to make it clear that it was not our choice to resort to the European Stability Mechanism,” President Christofias told the nation in a televised address. But Cyprus’s “dire situation” forced him to turn to Europe with “heartfelt pain,” he said. Christofias told fellow Cypriots that Europe’s terms will cause pain for them too, and he exhorted them to face it with the same stoicism “as we did after 1974, when our country was almost completely destroyed by the Turkish invasion and occupation.”

But this time, it’s the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund that will be in control of the island. The infamous troika plans to dictate Cyprus’s tax rates, working hours for civil servants and even how officials travel internationally (economy class from now on).

Christofias’s speech indicated that his government is ready to sign the troika’s memorandum of understanding. But the EU is moving at its usual glacial pace and has yet to make up its mind on the terms to which Cyprus will sign.

Economists had been expecting Cyprus to ask for a bailout. Unlike the Greeks, however, the Cypriots had another place to look for aid: Russia. With Europe and Russia both competing for influence, it appeared Cyprus could negotiate a better deal. It did—but just barely.

Unlike Greece, Cyprus will not be forced to sell off government assets, unless things get worse. It will also probably retain control of oil and gas reserves, with a portion of the revenues going to pay off its debt. Yet because it is so tiny, it has been forced to yield sovereign power to Brussels. The estimated €17.5 billion it needs is roughly equal to its annual economic output.

Yet to Europe, that sum is little more than pocket change, especially compared with what Spain and Italy might require. It’s a good investment, buying off a nation’s sovereignty for less than a sixth of Daimler AG’s annual sales.

The Cypriots know that their nation is doomed to follow Greece into the status of European colony, beholden to Berlin to keep the funds coming.

With radical Islam on the march, European strategists are more interested in Cyprus than ever. Under Britain, the island was a strategic base for projecting power into Egypt and the Levant. But Cyprus was used as a military asset long before the British Empire. In the 1300s, King Peter i of Cyprus used his fleets to lead European armies to victory in Egypt and Lebanon.

As radical Islam is now rising in these same areas, Europe is once again eyeing Cyprus as a way to leverage influence in the region. The island is a key listening post with surveillance technology that has allowed Britain to monitor communications traffic for decades.

Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry has often pointed out the geographic importance of Cyprus. “More than one crusade has been launched from Cyprus,” he wrote in January 2011. “Will we see the last crusade launched from there as well? Is history about to repeat itself?”

“Cyprus is now a member of the EU,” he continued. “Are European leaders already thinking about Cyprus as a launching pad from which to protect their Jerusalem interests? You can be certain that they are thinking about how to protect the holy places in and around Jerusalem. The Europeans have thought like this for almost 2,000 years!”

It is now common knowledge that EU elites created the euro knowing it would cause a crisis. This crisis, they hoped, would force Europe to integrate further—something that had, until quite recently, been unacceptable to Europe’s public.

Now, however, we see their plan coming to fruition. EU elites are talking about creating a European federation, and even a “United States of Europe.” Greece has become a German protectorate, and now so has Cyprus—just as radical Islam takes over Egypt a mere 300 miles away.

Mr. Flurry has also shown how Iran’s strategy revolves around controlling the Red Sea and pushing at Europe in the Mediterranean. Where better to push back from than Cyprus? It is the best place from which to project power around the eastern Mediterranean.

Watch for the European Union to take full advantage of its newly acquired real estate.

Spain

Portugal

Italy

Greece

Coordinated unrest spreads

Hundreds of thousands of workers took to the streets on November 14 as part of a “European day of action and solidarity” organized by the European Trade Union Congress. The etuc claimed the action was the first time that four European countries have held coordinated strikes. Some sectors in Spain saw more than 85 percent of employees walk off the job, according to unions. In Madrid, 80 people were arrested after protests turned violent. In Lisbon, protesters threw rocks at police outside of Portugal’s parliament building. In Italy 17 police officers were wounded. Twenty activists in Turin beat an officer with baseball bats. The economic crisis is putting huge social pressures on southern Europe.

Hungary

MP: Jews are ‘potential danger’

Hungary should create a list of Jewish politicians who are a “threat to national security,” and all Jews in Hungary should be registered, Marton Gyongyosi said on November 26. Gyongyosi is the deputy parliamentary floor leader for the far-right Jobbik party, which received nearly 20 percent of the vote in 2010. He called for “Jews, particularly those in parliament and the government,” to “be evaluated for the potential danger they pose to Hungary.” The government condemned the statements; even Gyongyosi backed away from them the next day. Yet the more anti-Semitism emerges in Europe, the less shocking it becomes. Put this trend in context of Gerald Flurry’s feature article (page 4) to understand its significance.

Poland

We need a new superpower: the EU military

Five EU nations called for a new European military structure on November 15. Foreign and defense ministers from France, Germany, Italy, Poland and Spain published the joint communiqué after a meeting in Paris, to “confirm our readiness to foster an ambitious European policy in the field of security and defense.” Polish Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski was more blunt. “If the EU wants to become a superpower, and Poland supports this, then we must have the capability to exert influence in our neighborhood. … Sometimes we must use force to back our diplomacy,” he said, according to the EU Observer. The Polish foreign minister is admitting outright what the Trumpet has warned for years: EU leaders want to create a superstate with a military to match.

Germany

Saudi Arabia, Algeria getting made-in-Germany hardware

Saudi Arabia has officially requested Germany’s permission to buy several hundred Boxer armored vehicles, Der Spiegel reported on December 2. It described the Boxer as one of the most modern battle vehicles in the world, able to support remote-controlled weapons or a surgical suite or to serve as an armored personnel carrier.

Spiegel also said that a Rheinmetall subsidiary plans to build 1,200 Fuch armored personnel carriers in Algeria over the next 10 years. These deals are forging strong links between Germany and Saudi Arabia, which are also planning a deal for 270 German Leopard A7 tanks—one of the most advanced tanks in the world.

Meanwhile, Germany’s arms trade with Algeria has also exploded. In 2010, Germany sold under €20 million in military equipment to Algeria. In 2011 and 2012, it sold €400 million worth and underwrote a €2.13 billion sale of two warships. Germany is using its arms industry strategically to build up the enemies of Iran and to create an alliance for itself in the Middle East.

Germany

Far right going further right

The number of east Germans with far-right or xenophobic views has increased dramatically over the past two years, according to a report published by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation on November 12. The study found that 20 percent of those in the west are considered xenophobic, along with nearly 40 percent in the east. Just over 56 percent of those polled in east and west completely or mostly agreed with the statement “Islam is an archaic religion, unable to adapt to the present.” The study also examined both “traditional” anti-Semitism and “secondary” anti-Semitism. Nearly 32 percent of respondents agreed with “secondary” anti-Semitic statements like, “Jewish people use the memory of the Holocaust to their own advantage.” Watch for east Germany and the rest of the nation to adopt an increasingly strident devotion to Deutschland—Deutschland above all.

Middle East

Syria 

Expect flight delays

Intense clashes between Syrian rebels and Bashar Assad loyalists near Damascus International forced the airport to close for a couple days in November, leaving Assad’s regime weaker than ever. The closure affected flights by Emirates and EgyptAir, two of the few airlines still operating in Syria after almost two years of civil war. Disruption at Syria’s main airport chokes the flow of supplies, weapons and money to Assad’s government and gives its global image a black eye. Stratfor called jeopardizing the airport “a symbolic success for the rebels” (Nov. 30, 2012). Soon after the airport shut down, the Internet went down in Syria for two days, apparently blacked out by Assad’s forces. Assad’s power is weakening, and it appears to be only a matter of time before Syria gets a regime change.

United Nations elevates Palestinians’ status

An overwhelming majority of the United Nations General Assembly upgraded the status of the Palestinian Authority from “non-member observer entity” to “non-member observer state” on November 29. The UN scheduled the vote on the 65th anniversary of when it recognized the State of Israel. The majority included France, Italy, Russia, China and New Zealand. The United Kingdom, Germany and Australia abstained. The United States, Canada, the Czech Republic and some Pacific Island nations stood with Israel. The final vote was 138-9. While the resolution does not grant statehood or independence to the Palestinians, it is a significant diplomatic score. The group can now take part in UN debates and even potentially prosecute Israel for war crimes in the International Criminal Court or seek to resolve territorial disputes through the International Court of Justice.

One day after the UN elevated the Palestinians’ status, Israel retaliated by announcing plans to build settlements in East Jerusalem. The move provoked international condemnation, with critics saying the move complicates the so-called peace process. Britain, France, Spain, Denmark, Egypt and several other countries summoned Israeli ambassadors to their respective countries for rebuke and to demand explanations. Though Germany did not follow suit, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokeswoman said her administration is “worried” about the plans. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu traveled to Germany in December, but so far Israel has resisted the international pressure. Reuters reported that Germany is considered Israel’s closest ally in Europe.

Israel 

After ceasefire, Hamas scorns negotiations

Hamas’s second in command has insisted that fighting, not talking, is the way forward in the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. Moussa Abu Marzouk’s statements came just days after Hamas agreed to a ceasefire with Israel on November 21. “Occupation needs resistance, not negotiations,” Marzouk told the Associated Press. Hamas’s actions are true to his words. As it celebrated its 25th anniversary in December, the terrorist organization continued its warlike rhetoric—and its stockpiling of weapons from Iran. Though Israel’s heart is set on more negotiations, Hamas is making clear its preference for bullets and rockets.

Sudan 

‘Strategic arm’ of Iran

Israeli defense and intelligence sources say that missiles striking its cities from the Gaza Strip come from Iran via Sudan. The report came from the Sunday Times (Nov. 25, 2012). The sources say Tehran is building a “strategic arm” swinging at Israel from the south. Satellite photos showed a shipment of missiles being prepared for delivery to Gaza, even as Israel and Hamas were negotiating a ceasefire. The shipment included Fajr-5 rockets, which can hit Tel-Aviv and Jerusalem from Gaza. It also contained 54-foot Shahab-3 missiles with an 800-mile range—capable of hitting Israel from Sudan. Israeli officials believe the missiles were to be dismantled, smuggled through Egypt and delivered through underground tunnels across the Gaza border. Israel also believes Iran is building another weapons factory in Sudan to replace the one the Israeli Air Force is thought to have destroyed in October.

Asia

China

Aircraft carrier deploys jets

China’s military has conducted its first successful jet landings on its first aircraft carrier, enabling it to deploy fighters on the ship, a senior navy officer said on November 25. People’s Liberation Army Navy Vice-Adm. Zhang Yongyi said J-15 pilots had mastered takeoff and landing, including during unfavorable conditions such as unstable airflow and poor visibility. Zhang compared landing on the narrow, short seaborne runways at several hundred miles per hour to “dancing on a knifepoint.” China continues to make military advancements. Watch for weaker Asian states to start rallying behind Beijing.

China

Russia

Turning a ‘new chapter’

The Russian defense minister’s visit to China in November wrote “a new chapter of mutually beneficial cooperation” between Beijing and Moscow, the People’s Daily Online said on November 28. Sergey Shoigu met with Qian Lihua, the director-general of the Foreign Affairs Office at China’s Ministry of National Defense.

According to the People’s Daily, enhancing Russo-Chinese trust depends on the two militaries’ “cooperation mechanism.” In recent years, the Moscow and Beijing general staffs have held 15 rounds of strategic consultation and three bilateral joint military exercises.

Russia and China are global titans in terms of population and territory and are also permanent members of the United Nations Security Council. For these reasons, Europe is warily watching the Russo-Chinese strides toward economic, political and military cooperation. European states know that in order to counter this forming Asian bloc, they themselves must be united. And European integration is not lost on Asia. Bible prophecy shows these developments will ultimately lead to a colossal confrontation between these blocs.

Ready to share secrets

China’s fifth-generation J-20 stealth fighter jet program may soon get a huge boost. Until recently, Beijing’s newest fighter seemed to be very much a work in progress, dependent on how much technology Chinese engineers could copy from Russian designs or could steal from Lockheed Martin’s databases. But Defense News reported on November 25 that everything is about to change, because Beijing is negotiating a deal with Moscow to purchase the twin-engine Sukhoi Su-35 multi-role fighter. Russia’s Su-35 uses a powerful Saturn AL-117S engine, which can easily be modified into a fifth-generation engine. Previously, Moscow denied a Chinese request to buy 48 Su-35s (with the 117S engine). The Su-35 was marketed exclusively within Russia. But the terms of the new deal say Russia will sell Beijing 24 of the Su-35 units with 48 brand-new 117S engines.

China

Uzbekistan

Kyrgyzstan

Connecting Central Asia

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao made a push for increased connectivity within the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (sco), which includes China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Wen’s remarks came at the 11th sco prime ministers’ meeting on December 5.

Wen said Beijing would invest $10 billion in key projects, including a railway that would join China with Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, a land route all the way from western Russia to China’s east coast, and a road network that would link sco nations and allow low-cost access to the sea. This infrastructure will represent a major enhancement for Central Asia, most of which is landlocked.

Such developments between these six Asian states is particularly important in light of Bible prophecies. The prophecy of “the kings of the east” found in Daniel 11:44, Revelation 9:13-16 and elsewhere says an enormous Asian power bloc will form, amassing the largest army ever assembled in mankind’s history. This staggering 200-million-man military is prophesied to travel westward into modern-day Israel (e.g. Revelation 16:12, 16; Daniel 11:44). The Trumpet has said for years that these kings would be led by Russia and China. The railways and roadways that sco leaders are laboring to build could be instrumental in transporting these great hoards of soldiers to the Holy Land.

Latin America

Africa

UNASUR summit promotes South American citizenship

Leaders at a Union of South American Nations summit in Peru in late November called for creating a single South American citizenship. The bloc includes Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Surinam, Uruguay, Venezuela and Paraguay. This call for regional citizenship is based on the European Union model. Watch for South America to unite into a more cohesive regional power bloc, and expect this bloc to negotiate a close alliance with the EU. The Plain Truth magazine predicted in May 1962: “[T]he United States is going to be left out in the cold as two gigantic trade blocs, Europe and Latin America, mesh together and begin calling the shots in world commerce. The United States is going to be literally besieged—economically—frozen out of world trade!”

Mexico 

Drug cartel network spreads

The Sinaloa Cartel, one of Mexico’s largest and most dangerous drug trafficking networks, is extending its activities throughout the world. Journalists in Brussels now confirm that in addition to running billions of dollars’ worth of illegal drugs into the United States, the cartel is now trafficking primarily cocaine into Spain, Italy and the western Balkans. Police forces in Melbourne, Australia, confirm that the Sinaloa cartel has also been caught working with local biker gangs to smuggle illegal drugs into the city. Cash from America’s out-of-control drug addiction is feeding a monster of global proportions.

South Africa 

The nation’s riskiest job

Amid hearty renditions of apartheid-era songs and wails from vuvuzelas, South African President Jacob Zuma was swept to victory on December 18 in his party’s leadership contest. The move effectively secures Africa’s most powerful office until 2019.

Zuma’s imminent reelection has sobering implications for South Africa because he has repeatedly condemned the white minority’s control of the country’s economy and has long called for a widespread transfer of wealth to the nation’s black majority, including the redistribution of white-owned farms.

At present, only 8 percent of South African farms are owned by blacks, a number far short of the 30 percent goal by 2014 proposed by former President Nelson Mandela. This discrepancy has rendered it even more dangerous to be a white farmer than to be a policeman—and South Africa is awash with violence and crime.

The dangers to South Africa’s ever-dwindling number of white, mostly Afrikaner landowners have become so serious that a group of activists and farmers marched to the capital of Pretoria in December to demand state protection of their lives and property. “Farm murders are not only a crisis,” said AfriForum Deputy ceo Ernst Roets. “They are a catastrophe.” The Transvaal Agricultural Union of South Africa says nearly 1,600 farm murders have been reported since 1990; think tanks place the number closer to 3,000.

With Zuma’s office secured for six more years, the situation for South Africa’s white farmers is not likely to improve anytime soon.

Nigeria

Cooperation increases with Germany

Nigeria and Germany issued a statement in early December announcing a commission to promote bilateral relations. This commission will explore possible political, trade, energy, education and migration cooperation. The agreement comes after talks between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan last July. Foreign affairs analysts rank Nigeria as one of Africa’s three most geopolitically important nations. Egypt’s fate determines the stability of Northern Africa, South Africa’s fate determines the stability of sub-Saharan Africa, and Nigeria’s fate determines the stability of the oil-rich nations surrounding the Gulf of Guinea. This fact is not lost on Germany’s political leaders, who have already taken great pains to develop bilateral relations with Nigeria through arms exports and military training programs.

Anglo-America

The ceiling that keeps going up

President Barack Obama is demanding that Republicans allow his administration to raise the debt ceiling once again. In addition, the president has asked for a new wave of stimulus spending and for a round of tax hikes on the richest 2 percent of Americans. However, these taxes will not even make a dent in America’s enormous budget deficit, and the new wave of stimulus spending will likely increase the deficit even more—hence the call for the debt ceiling to be raised. There is even a distinct possibility that the tax increases on America’s richest job creators will eventually depress gross domestic product to the point where total tax revenues actually decrease.

Terrorizing gas stations

A group of robbers wielding AK-47s hit two gas stations in Detroit on December 5. It is believed the group is responsible for several similar crimes across the city. After robbing a BP station, the four suspects went on to rob a Mobil station. The suspects were described as black males in their 20s wearing dark clothing and black masks. As economic conditions in Detroit and the rest of America deteriorate, robbery and looting is becoming more common—and gaining more firepower.

Sandy’s costs worse than expected

The damage from Hurricane Sandy is more extensive and will be longer-lasting than initially anticipated, Federal Reserve official William Dudley said on November 29. Increases in jobless claims coupled with manufacturing losses indicate the damage could be worse than feared. Weather-related curses are compounding the effects of America’s reckless fiscal policy and forcing the nation into an ever deepening economic recession. Expect these curses to continue.

Is Iran infiltrating the U.S. with terrorist sleeper cells?

A November report from the House Homeland Security Committee warns that Iran may be working with Mexican drug cartels to smuggle Hezbollah operatives into the United States. The committee also found that Iranian-backed terrorists and Latin American drug-traffickers are developing a growing rapport.

North Carolina Rep. Sue Myrick issued a similar warning earlier in 2012 in the wake of an Iranian plot to assassinate a Saudi diplomat in Washington, d.c., using a hired gun from a major Mexican drug cartel. Last June, the Homeland Security Committee reported that there are hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of Iranian or Hezbollah agents in America. One law enforcement official said the New York Police Department believes there are somewhere between 200 and 300 Hezbollah sympathizers in New York City alone.

Federal authorities have brought numerous criminal cases against these alleged Hezbollah operatives, but so far most of their activities have been limited to surveillance missions and fundraising. They have been observed examining sensitive U.S. targets such as subway systems, bridges and nuclear power plants.

It is alleged that Hezbollah funds itself by collecting donations from Islamist sympathizers across the Western Hemisphere and by taking commissions from Latin American drug traffickers. One South American drug smuggler investigated by Colombian officials in 2008 admitted that his traffickers gave 12 percent of their annual profits to Hezbollah in return for its support. Iranian-backed Hezbollah operatives spread out across the U.S., Mexico and Latin America are using the money that Americans spend on drug addiction to fund terrorism in the Middle East.

Several U.S. officials have warned that, in the event of an Israeli or U.S. strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities, Hezbollah could quickly move from surveillance and fundraising in North America to launching terrorist attacks. Hezbollah will be in a prime position to unleash chaos if so directed by Iran.

Anciently, the Prophet Ezekiel foretold of a day when end-time Israel would be beset by terrorism, rioting and societal collapse. This time is prophesied to result primarily from a great economic siege against America, but it could be enhanced by violence caused by foreign terrorists.

Neelie Kroes, Karl Theodor zu Guttenberg and Europe’s Digital Battle Plan

Neelie Kroes, Karl Theodor zu Guttenberg and Europe’s Digital Battle Plan

GEORGES GOBET/AFP/Getty Images

How 70 percent of households were so quickly connected with broadband technology

On December 18, the European Commission unveiled its agenda for digital expansion through 2014. The goal is to breathe fresh air into the Continent’s sagging economy with job prospects in the millions.

The Commission is inviting greater venture capital in broadband and cloud technologies, redefining far-reaching perimeters in fields of e-governance, security and copyright.

“Today I am presenting a ‘to-do’ list for 2013 and 2014,” said the EC’s vice president, Neelie Kroes. “It is for some a wake-up call, for others this is just a confirmation and for other this is just a dream. Broadband and jobs are the topics. But the message is that we need to take risks, and please just skip the word ‘risk avoiding’; we should push ourselves.”

In a press briefing, Kroes recounted seven key action items planned to jolt the finances of the European Union, with their impact reaching through to 2020, then went on to add the future roll-out of 10 more pending broadband-only items, revealing the size and scope of the Commission’s digital task list.

Brussels calculates the Union’s collective digital wealth is outpacing all other sectors by “seven times.” Kroes went on to claim the current structure renders the Continent unable to attain its “full digital potential,” and that these announced priorities will save over a million employment vacancies over the next three years.

Formally approved two years ago, the EU’s “Digital Agenda” established a 10-year plan using information and communication technologies to enlarge the Union’s economic clout, and also identified and addressed social objectives.

The Union abacus agency, Eurostat, unveiled data mid-month claiming a four-fold increase from just over six years ago in high-speed Internet access, positioning the Continent a mere 30 percentage points from reaching 100 percent coverage of households.

Of Dutch descent, Kroes has succeeded in substantially fining both Microsoft and Intel for billions and apportioning €7 billion toward broadband expansion throughout member states.

On November 13, in an exclusive survey conducted by Burson-Marsteller and EurActiv, over half of those polled said the Commission was failing, but said Kroes “received the best score overall—six—and was also judged to be the most improved commissioner and best communicator.” She is the EU’s digital iron butterfly.

However, some of our readers may remember her name for a rather different reason. An EU press release dated Dec. 12, 2011, recounted, “European Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes has invited Karl Theodor zu Guttenberg, a former federal minister of defense, and of economics and technology, in Germany, to advise on how to provide ongoing support to Internet users, bloggers and cyber-activists living under authoritarian regimes. This appointment forms a key element of a new ‘No Disconnect Strategy’ to uphold the EU’s commitment to ensure human rights and fundamental freedoms are respected both online and off-line, and that Internet and other information and communication technology (ict) can remain a driver of political freedom, democratic development and economic growth.”

Our February 2010 Trumpet print edition featured his image on its cover and headlined, “Why You Should Watch Him.” Editor in chief Gerald Flurry answered the question, Who is Baron Guttenberg? Events thereafter, and particularly the media coverage that followed, painted a picture of this rising star of German and Euro politics being cast into the shadows and governmental isolation. However, he in fact has refined, retooled, reorganized and reenergized himself into an invited adviser of the European Commission’s most popular personality, its vice president, Neelie Kroes.

On October 21 this year, theTrumpet.com reported, “Having voluntarily resigned from politics in the wake of a left-wing attack on his academic credibility, Guttenberg moved to Connecticut, accepting a post with Neelie Kroes, EU commissioner for Digital Agenda, in addition to joining a U.S.-based international think tank, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, under the title of ‘distinguished statesman.’”

Continue to watch moves of the Digital Agenda, Kroes and Guttenberg as Europe rises from its fiscal malaise into a biblically prophesied 10-nation combine of church and state in the spirit of Charlemagne and the tradition of the medieval Holy Roman Empire.