Europe’s Revival of a Deadly Culture
This year marked a turning point in how Europe presents its history and culture. The European Union designated 2018 as the “European Year of Cultural Heritage.” This represents a drastic change in Europe’s perspective about its past. Since World War ii, Europe has been generally timid about its history and culture—but no longer.
Europe shares a common cultural heritage. That heritage was established by Charlemagne, the late eighth-century emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. He and other self-proclaimed Christian emperors shaped what became Europe’s culture today. This shared heritage united Europe for centuries. But seemingly paradoxically, the same heritage also caused the death of millions. Nonetheless, it is this heritage that European leaders seek to revive again—on the largest scale ever!
This heritage is not a theoretical concept floating around in the minds of European elites. Historically, it has been the most practical and effective way to unite European citizens under one government for one cause. With Berlin as a strong driving force, Europe is again reviving its cultural heritage at all levels.
An Unprecedented Cultural Revival
The European Union is often seen as an oversized, ineffective bureaucracy that takes ages to get anything done. But this cultural revival is different; it is transforming Europe from top to bottom, and quickly. No effort has been wasted to make this year a success. When it announced the 2018 European Year of Cultural Heritage, the EU’s official website stated:
Each member state has appointed a national coordinator to implement the year and coordinate events and projects at a local, regional and national level.
Key stakeholders from the cultural sector as well as civil society organizations are closely involved in the year’s activities.
At the European level, all EU institutions are committed to making the year a success. The European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union, as well as the Committee of the Regions and the European Economic and Social Committee, will organize events to celebrate the year and launch activities focusing on cultural heritage.
In addition, the EU will fund projects supporting cultural heritage. A dedicated call for cooperation projects relating to the year has been launched under the Creative Europe program. A wealth of additional opportunities will be available under Erasmus+, Europe for Citizens, Horizon 2020 and other EU programs.
You can follow the events through Twitter hashtags such as #EuropeforCulture, #SharingHeritage, #EuropeanYear, #EYCH, #BerlinCallToAction, #religiousHeritage, #Kulturerben and a lot more. You can also learn more about Europe’s effort to promote culture on its website.
The European Year of Cultural Heritage is literally affecting Europe at all levels of government, down to individual citizens. Perhaps you’re skeptical about this statement, just as I was before I researched it. But don’t brush it off as an exaggeration. The undertaking is more successful than you might think. The website states that so far, 37 countries have organized 11,500 events, involving more than 6 million participants. You can click through the website and find links to each participating country and corresponding events in various cities, towns and local communities.
You can find dozens and dozens of websites and articles promoting and reporting on these cultural heritage events. But what is this initiative really about?
This cultural revival is taking place in entire nations, cities, towns, cathedrals, museums, castles, monuments, schools, artists, craftsmen and townspeople. Beyond that, it will ultimately affect the entire world—and you.
Europe’s cultural heritage has a lot to do with Europe’s Christian heritage. Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry has explained that when European leaders talk about culture, they are really talking about the Holy Roman Empire. It is the culture of that empire that Europe seeks to revive.
European culture and religion are inseparable. The emperors of the Holy Roman Empire Christianized much of Europe’s culture. The prime example of this is the Aachen Cathedral, which united artistic and architectural skill from across Europe into one building. For this reason, the cathedral was honored as Germany’s first United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization World Heritage site. Aachen Cathedral Provost Manfred von Holtum says, “Being a Christian is culture.” If someone in the Middle Ages wanted to learn about culture, he had to go to the Catholic Church. The cultural revival today leads people to the Christianity of the Holy Roman Empire.
Aachen Cathedral’s 40th anniversary as a unesco World Heritage site, held earlier this year, was attended by over 73,000 citizens. During the celebration, von Holtum gave a sermon explaining the connection between Christianity and culture. He stated (Trumpet translation throughout):
Being a Christian is culture. And this can go both ways: Christianity established culture; here in the Aachen Cathedral through worship and prayer, through pilgrimages and the very different expressions of religious activities, through music and cathedral tours, through readings of contemporary literature and through celebrations such as the awarding of the Charlemagne Prize or the Medal for Combating Deadly Seriousness [awarded during Carnival]. But it is also true that culture is a path to religion. How many people are brought into contact with religion—the Christian religion—each year by visiting this church, for the first time or after a long period of religious abstinence or after a break away from one’s own Christian past?
Like the celebration in Aachen, many of the European cultural heritage events promoted in 2018 have not only deep historic significance but also great religious relevance. For example, people who attend these events are taught about the role churches played throughout the centuries, why certain saints are honored, and what role religion plays in Europe today. Other places and events emphasize historic links. At Nuremberg Castle, you can learn about the former glory of the Holy Roman Empire and why Hitler found his inspiration there.
The ‘Cohesive Power’ of Culture
The EU’s effort to promote culture is meant to educate its citizens about their history and identity. But 2018’s cultural initiatives are still not enough for many people. During the European Year of Cultural Heritage Summit on June 22 in Berlin, cohosting organizations presented the Berlin Call to Action. Its preamble states (emphasis added throughout):
The 2018 European Year of Cultural Heritage marks a turning point for Europe’s ever growing movement for cultural heritage. We must build on this momentum to recognize and unfold the positive and cohesive power of our shared cultural heritage and values to connect Europe’s citizens and communities and to give a deeper meaning to the entire European project. The time for action is now. …
We, the undersigned citizens, organizations and institutions … stand ready to take up our shared responsibility to unfold the cohesive power and potential of our shared cultural heritage to advance a more peaceful, prosperous, inclusive and just Europe.
Today, in this European Year of Cultural Heritage, we have a unique opportunity to influence the debate on the Future of Europe. Confronted with so many challenges, and even threats, to core European values, this debate cannot be based exclusively on political, economic or security considerations. We must “change the tone” of the narrative about Europe. We must put our shared cultural heritage where it belongs: at the very center of Europe’s policies and priorities.
Berlin wants to unleash “the cohesive power and potential of [Europe’s] shared cultural heritage.” It is that culture that Charlemagne used to unite Europe. He was the instigator of the very first Europe-wide cultural revival after the collapse of the Roman Empire, a revival that later became known as the Carolingian Renaissance.
Charlemagne’s greatest success (as European leaders call it) was establishing a Christian culture that combined Greco-Roman tradition with Catholic tradition. Charlemagne learned from his father that only by using the Catholic Church would he be able to instill a common identity in Europe and unite his subjects.
It was also only through this church-state combine that he could motivate his citizens to fight for a “higher cause.” There is no other way to explain the fact that Charlemagne motivated his soldiers for 30 years to force the people of Saxony to convert to Catholicism, using torture methods that had never been used before.
Without Charlemagne, Europe would not have a common cultural heritage. Without Charlemagne, Europe as we know it wouldn’t even exist. Therefore, it shouldn’t come as surprise that Charlemagne has also been greatly venerated during the European Year of Cultural Heritage.
In the foyer of the European Council Building in Brussels, Austria set up a mini museum with a large depiction of the crown of Charlemagne at the entrance. The crown is the centerpiece of the Museum in a Nutshell, which depicts art from Vienna’s museums. Museum in a Nutshell is one of Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz’s cultural programs, which he has enacted as head of the Presidency of the European Council from July to December. You can read more about this particular event in “Why Is Austria Promoting the Crown of Charlemagne?”
With this cultural revival, the Holy Roman Empire is going public again! As Mr. Flurry noted in the October 2018 Trumpet issue:
A trend is unfolding in Europe that you should keep a close watch on. Europeans have been besieged by immigrants from the Middle East, growing Muslim populations within their midst, cityscapes filling with mosques and minarets, portions of their cities turning into Muslim enclaves that local police dare not enter, even Islamic terrorist attacks.
And more and more Europeans are looking for solutions in their own history. Specifically, their religious history.
If you know that history, this should be alarming! Request a free copy of our book The Holy Roman Empire in Prophecy and read Mr. Flurry’s article “The Holy Roman Empire Goes Public—Big Time!” to learn what this history is all about. You need to know!
For European leaders, it is no longer enough that they know that history themselves. They want all European citizens to know it, too. In 2017, former German Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg told Bavarians that if they don’t “recall where we came from, what our history means,” then other cultures will come in and define Germany. He urged them to remember their history “with its dark and bright sides” and to take a “non-apologetic stand for our culture.”
The Berlin Call to Action from the European Year of Cultural Heritage Summit also puts a high value on education. Read this carefully:
ACTION 6: PROMOTING BETTER KNOWLEDGE AND DEEPER UNDERSTANDING
Cultural heritage must be given a much bigger importance in educational activities—both formal and informal—for all ages. This will stimulate stronger public engagement for the safeguarding and transmission of our cultural heritage. Special attention must be given to history education and heritage interpretation placed in a broader context of Europe’s past, present and future. This will equip Europe’s citizens and especially our children and the youth, with the necessary tools for gaining a deeper understanding of the ongoing encounters and exchanges within Europe as well as between Europe and other cultures of the world. All of these activities will help build more respectful and meaningful relationships between people and the places where they live, work or visit. This will also facilitate a better understanding, respect and inclusion of new inhabitants in Europe.
This is a direct call to all European citizens to remember their history, specifically the history of how Europe encountered other cultures in the past. But exactly how did Europe encounter other cultures?
LOOK at the History of the Holy Roman Empire
Yes, the Holy Roman Empire did indeed “encounter” many other cultures during its centuries-long rule. But what were the results of these encounters? Europe’s cultural revival did lead to a better “inclusion of new inhabitants in Europe,” but that was only true if they converted to the culture and religion of the Holy Roman Empire!
The pagans in Europe were different from Charlemagne’s Christian Greco-Roman culture. The emperor’s response to their culture was to convert them by the sword. Either they converted to European culture and religion, or they died.
When Islamic hordes tried to instill their culture in Europe, Roman emperors and popes repeatedly responded by calling for military crusades to fight off the invaders.
Yet another encounter came with the Protestant Reformation. How did leaders of the Holy Roman Empire respond to that religious challenge? I think you know the answer. If not, study the history of one of the most bloody conflicts in human history, the Thirty Years’ War.
Think about the terrible inquisitions and unprecedented bloodshed that were committed by the Holy Roman Empire, and you might wonder: Why does Europe want to revive this culture?
Did people at the time of Charlemagne know that his cultural programs were part of his plan to subjugate the world? Probably not. But once he implemented the programs, people were willing to fight for their cultural heritage and for the empire.
This same empire is again rising from the ashes.
A Church-State Combine That Seeks World Dominion
Europe’s cultural revival is a major milestone for the seventh and final resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire. From the pages of the Bible, God revealed to the late theologian Herbert W. Armstrong that the Holy Roman Empire would have seven successive resurrections “ridden,” or led, by the Roman Catholic Church. At the time God revealed these prophecies to Mr. Armstrong, he was living through the sixth resurrection of that empire. This is why the Bible says in Revelation 17:10: “And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space.” When World War ii ended, Mr. Armstrong warned of another resurrection—the one that “is not yet come.”
Between each of these resurrections, the empire went underground, preparing to reemerge again. The Bible depicts these resurrections as seven mountains and corresponding valleys (verse 9). Based on these prophesies, we at the Trumpet expect a final resurrection of that empire—the seventh resurrection—which is rising right now. (Request a copy of our free booklet The Proof of the Bible to learn how Bible prophecy has proved the Bible’s accuracy.)
This cultural and religious revival in Europe shows that the Catholic Church is again gaining control over Europe. But just like in centuries before, not everyone will support that movement. Many people have moved away from the Catholic Church, protesting against it or abandoning religion altogether.
At the moment, the Vatican’s efforts seem peaceful—but this will change. Historically, the Catholic Church’s efforts to regain dominance have always been bloody. Prophecy foretells that the same will be true today. As Mr. Flurry wrote in May 2007: “Indeed, biblical prophecy indicates that full unity will not be achieved purely voluntarily. At a certain point, the mother church will abandon its efforts to woo her daughters back by flatteries and instead revert to the age-old method of preserving ‘Christian’ unity by exerting physical force.”
What does the Bible say about this last resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire?
Motivated by the church and enforced by the state, European citizens will again be required to accept this religious revival. Revelation 13:15-17 read, “And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.”
In his article “The Prophetic Beast—Who or What Is It?” Mr. Gerald Flurry explained:
This church-state combine will gain almost total power over people. It enforces its mark. Many people believe that this “mark of the beast” is a physical mark of some kind. But, as Who or What Is the Prophetic Beast? explains in detail, it is a sign—a sign that revolves around the day you worship God. It has to do with one of the Ten Commandments: “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.” But this religious-political power has enforced and will enforce its day of worship.
We are seeing this church-state union rising in front of our eyes! The European Union is promoting religious events again, on the largest scale ever! Anyone who does not accept this cultural revival, which will soon include Sunday worship, will face the greatest persecution mankind has ever seen.
But notice: European leaders want to force their religion on the whole world! The Berlin Call to Actions states: “This action plan should furthermore also have a strong external dimension, since the European Union must also take global responsibility and reach out to partners across and beyond the borders of the EU.”
Where is Europe’s 2018 Year of Cultural Heritage leading? A study of history and staying current with the news will help, but if you want to know the outcome of these events, you must consider prophecy. Request Who or What Is the Prophetic Beast? to help you in that study.
Book after book shows that culture played a crucial role in the history of the Holy Roman Empire. Those same history books outline crusade after crusade, inquisition after inquisition, and persecution after persecution. It developed torture instruments, sunk to deeper levels of perversion, and engaged in many other evils. Great intellectuals dedicated their lives to slaughtering those who believed differently. This history is horrifyingly bloody—but the worst is yet to come.
There Is Hope!
“But here’s the most astounding and inspiring part of Revelation 17: God put it in the minds of Europe’s leaders to do what they’re doing!” Mr. Flurry wrote in his February 2011 article “A Monumental Moment in European History!” He continued: “Verse 17 reads, ‘For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.’ The church leading the Holy Roman Empire is not God’s true Church. But God does allow this church to gain control of this German-led European beast power. Expect the Catholic Church to become more vocal and for this church-state axis to become more evident.”
God allows this empire to rise to bring the modern descendants of ancient Israel and ultimately the whole world to repentance—away from a sinful lifestyle and toward a life of true happiness and abundance. You can repent today and avoid the terrifying punishment that awaits the world. To learn how, study Repentance Toward God and How to Pray.
Why is the world the way it is? How can the most sophisticated and educated people in this world perform the most brutal acts of violence? Unless you understand the foundations of our present world, the paradox seems inexplicable. Many have posed this question but never found the answer. Mr. Armstrong posed the same question:
It’s an unhappy, restless world in frustration, staring a hopeless future in the face. It’s a world ridden with escalating crime and violence, immorality, injustice (even in its courts of law), dishonesty, corruption in government and business, and continual wars, pointing now to the final nuclear World War iii. Why this paradox of “progress” amid degeneration?
Unlike the philosophers of the world, Mr. Armstrong found the answer revealed in the pages of the Bible. The answer to this question is the key to understanding a mystery that has puzzled this world for centuries. The answer entails the most hope-filled revelation that you could ever hear of. The answer is there for you. Request your free copy of the book that solves life’s most basic mysteries and unlocks the Bible: Mystery of the Ages.