Why Do Putin and the Pope Keep Meeting?

Pope Francis greets Russian President Vladimir Putin during a meeting in the Vatican Apostolic Library on July 4.
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Why Do Putin and the Pope Keep Meeting?

A possible answer to the mystery baffling news commentators

Russian President Vladimir Putin met with Pope Francis at the Vatican on July 4. This is his third meeting with the pope—a high number for a dictator who is closely allied with the Orthodox Church, which split from the papacy almost 1,000 years ago.

The meeting was private and little is known about what was discussed. But the situation in Ukraine was expected to be high on the agenda. A statement released by the Vatican said that the pair discussed the situation in Syria, Ukraine and Venezuela, as well as “the life of the Catholic Church in Russia.”

Putin called the nearly hourlong talk “very substantive.”

Following the meeting, Putin met with Italy’s president and prime minister. While speaking with Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, Putin asked for help in improving relations between Russia and the European Union. In particular, he called for an end to EU and United States sanctions that have cost his country $50 billion since 2014. Putin claims, however, that the EU has suffered even more with limited access to the Russian market. Conte offered his support in improving relationships between Russia and the EU.

This political and religious relationship between Russia and Europe has been improving for several years.

In February 2016, Pope Francis met with Patriarch Kirill, leader of the Russian Orthodox Church. This was the first time leaders from these two churches had met since the Great Schism of 1054.

Many regard the Russian Orthodox Church as essentially a tool of the government. There is unconfirmed evidence that Kirill is a former kgb agent, and definite evidence that many church leaders were kgb agents.

Putin, a former kgb agent himself, has used the Russian Orthodox Church as a political tool to rally Russians around his vision for their country. And now Putin appears to be getting the Catholic Church on his side. This warming relationship began to appear when Putin first met Pope Francis in November 2013. The same month, Ukraine unexpectedly suspended preparations to join the EU. Then came March 2014: Russia invaded Ukraine, and the Vatican remained silent. In February 2015, the pope condemned the “fratricidal violence,” implying that Ukraine was in the midst of a civil war, rather than identifying the foreign invasion. In June 2015, Putin met Francis for a second time.

The Trumpet has long expected Russia and a German-led Europe to make some kind of a deal. The Vatican, which often plays a very public political role, could be a big part of making that happen.

History warns us of exactly what to expect from a deal between Germany and Russia.

In the lead-up to World War ii, both Russia and Germany had growing imperialistic dreams. Secret cooperation under the 1922 Treaty of Rapallo allowed them to use each other’s expertise to advance militarily and without fear of being stabbed in the back. So when the leaders of Germany and Russia came together in 1939 to sign the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, the two were already old friends. This “non-aggression pact” split Eastern Europe between Russia and Germany and led to worldwide Communist support of the Nazi regime. That is until Hitler turned on the Russians in 1941.

This short snippet of history reveals the nature of centuries of Russo-German relations. They rapidly swing from best friends to worst enemies.

We see the same pattern repeating today. Europe, with Germany and the Vatican leading, is increasingly collaborating with Russia: inviting it back into Europe’s Human Rights Council, building the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, and holding discussions with the Italian prime minister about furthering Russia’s relations with the EU, for example.

Europe and Russia have several intersecting interests that have the potential to cause a lot of friction—fuel, a common border on Eastern Europe, etc. They need a deal to ward off the other’s threats. The Vatican could be helping make this happen.

The Bible prophesies that the last resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire is forming in Europe today. The Vatican forms the “holy” part of this otherwise political union. Revelation 17:1-5 describe a woman (symbolizing a church) riding a scarlet-colored beast. This “whore,” as verse 1 calls her, is the Catholic Church that rides, or heavily influences, the German-led European political beast. (To prove this biblically prophesied church-state union, please read our free booklet Germany and the Holy Roman Empire.)

In 2008, after Russia invaded Georgia, Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry offered this terrifying warning:

Russia and Germany fear each other. … [L]ook at history. Every time competition between Russia and Germany heats up, they form a deal with one another—just before going to war! …

The presence of a deal between these two nations is not a sign of peace. Like the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, and so many others before it, it is a sign of exactly the opposite. Both of these nations are looking to secure their shared border—so they can pursue their imperialistic aims elsewhere! It is a precursor to war!

This is why the Vatican’s cooperation with Russia is so concerning. Europe, and especially Germany, has been increasingly collaborating with Russia. And now Putin has made a third visit to Pope Francis, one of the most influential political players in Europe.

Watch this increasing collaboration: It is “a precursor to war!” The Bible shows that the imperialistic dreams of Russia and Europe will soon affect the entire world. To understand why Europe and Russia are working together and where it will lead, please read Mr. Flurry’s article “Germany and Russia’s Secret War Against America.”

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Germany’s Army and Police Becoming Far Right

Demonstrators with the right-wing extremist NPD junior organization walk through the city under the motto “Day of the German Future.” Policemen watch the situation.
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Germany’s Army and Police Becoming Far Right

Bundeswehr and police members support radically different policies from their government.

Members of Germany’s police and military are growing hostile toward their government. In the midst of the unending immigration crisis, officers and soldiers are sympathizing with the Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) party. Last month, Friedrich Merz from the Christian Democratic Union was the first to publicly address the issue.

Merz warned in an interview with Bild am Sonntag, “We are clearly losing parts of the military to the AfD. We are losing parts of the federal police to the AfD.”

Chief of the German Police Union Ernst G. Walter agreed with Merz: “The AfD is growing in popularity with the federal police!”

The AfD, which is accused of sympathizing with Germany’s Nazi past, grew in popularity by demanding German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s resignation and presenting a drastically different immigration policy.

In 2018, Merz ran for the Christian Democratic Union party leadership with the promise to win voters back from the Alternative für Deutschland. He lost the contest, but he is still seen as a chancellor candidate in the next national elections.

Jörg Radek, the head of Germany’s largest police union, echoed Merz’s warning. Many police officers “have faced difficulties,” as thousands of migrants have streamed uncontrolled into the country, he said. They feel that Chancellor Merkel’s government has prevented them from protecting the country. Their frustration “has been expressed in sympathy with the right-wing nationalist political spectrum,” Radek said. “The political aftermath of this is that today federal police officers vote for the AfD.”

Germany’s police officers have seen the consequences of the migrant crisis firsthand. They have seen millions of migrants flow over their border. They’ve dealt with those migrants who have rioted and committed rape and other crimes. They have watched the establishment of refugee shelters. And they have witnessed Germans attack those same shelters. All along, Germany’s police officers are the ones called to intervene when tensions rise.

The former head of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Hans-Georg Maasen, told Bild, “Friedrich Merz is right. The fury is very great over the fact that the federal government allowed millions of migrants without basis for asylum into the country, that Arab clans walk all over us, that employees of the security authorities are treated badly, and that this was all presented by politics as being without alternatives.”

Of late, videos have circled the Web, showing police officers tolerating, and even supporting, right-wing extremist marches

On May 1, hundreds of neo-Nazis demonstrated on the streets of both Eastern and Western Germany, imitating the Nazi marches of Adolf Hitler’s regime. Participants shouted, “Criminal foreigners out!” and “National socialism now!” The police stood by, watching and even protecting the march against counterprotesters. Spiegel Online commented on the marches in Duisburg:

The people were allowed to show the Nazi salute in front of police officers and were allowed to roar National Socialist slogans imitating Hitler. Speakers alluding to Jews were allowed to speak of the “internationalist octopus” and the “old parasite” and quoted the following Nazi song: “The hate-grenades are thrown into the parliaments because we are not democrats in our hearts we, then and now, are Hitler people.” That all happened. Everything happened undisturbed.

Other investigations have exposed a growing right-wing extremist network among police and soldiers that plan to overthrow the government. Investigations are still ongoing, but the evidence is alarming. Soldiers, reservists, policemen and members of the German intelligence service were all connected with the plans, which includes the assassination of politicians.

“How could the appalling evil and message of hate inspired by Adolf Hitler and the Nazi regime during World War ii ever resurface in this sophisticated age?” Trumpet executive editor Stephen Flurry asked In “The Resurgence of Nazi Germany.” “World history and Bible prophecy should strike us like a bolt of lightning with the proper answer to that question! But man has not learned history’s lesson, and Bible prophecy is laughed to scorn.”

There are parallels today to Hitler’s rise. In his day, the nation was divided. Many desired a more totalitarian regime; they hated Jews and felt suppressed.

As Hitler and his National Socialist movement sought to illegally take over the nation’s government in 1923, his putsch was prevented by the German police. But as Hitler legally rose to power in 1933, he quickly gained control of the security forces to execute his will.

In times of peace, a government is supported by its voters. But in times of turmoil and war, the government relies on its army and police to carry out its policies. Security forces hold the power to support or overthrow a government.

Germany’s security forces today officially fight to suppress right-wing extremism. But historically, they have also proved that they are willing to support the opposite side. But more than history, Bible prophecies warn about major changes coming to Germany. Revelation 17:8 exposes that the power that caused World War ii was not completely destroyed; rather, it went underground. It will rise to the surface one last time.

Many in Germany are frightened by the fact that Nazi ideologies are resurfacing in the police and army. Videos of Nazi marches with police officers standing on the sidelines have left people in disbelief.

A worse form of Nazism is about to rise in Germany. But the God who prophesied about all these events is allowing all of this for a purpose. He is about to intervene in the affairs of mankind to establish lasting peace on Earth.

You can learn more about these prophecies and the reemergence of Nazism in Germany by requesting a free copy of Germany and the Holy Roman Empire, by Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry. In his booklet, Mr. Flurry explains why God allows Germany’s militaristic rise and how God will end it permanently.

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Airbus Overtaking Boeing: Is the EU Overtaking the U.S.?

An Airbus A330neo aircraft performs during the 53rd International Paris Air Show at Le Bourget Airport near Paris, France, on June 19.
Mustafa Yalcin/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Airbus Overtaking Boeing: Is the EU Overtaking the U.S.?

In its 50th year, Airbus is set to surpass Boeing as market leader.

Europe is taking control of the skies. Fifty years ago, the idea of European aircraft manufacturing was ridiculed. Today, European aerospace corporation Airbus is set to surpass its American rival and dominate the sky. But the success story of Airbus is more than the story of a company; it’s the story of a European empire that is about to dominate the world.

In the 1960s, European aircraft manufacturers found themselves outperformed by their American competitors. With the rise of Boeing, Lockheed Martin and McDonnell Douglas, German and French manufacturers faced an existential crisis. The two competitors joined forces to challenge their American rivals.

On May 29, 1969, Germany’s economics minister and France’s transport minister signed a historic agreement to create a French-German aircraft company—Airbus. Spain and the United Kingdom also joined.

Visionaries in Europe saw it as a milestone in the European unification project. But critics at home and abroad ridiculed the idea. The odds seemed too great for the rivals to compete against America’s giants. Since World War ii, American manufacturers had dominated the sky. European attempts to challenge its superiority were barely noticed.

But now, 50 years later, Boeing can no longer ignore Airbus. In 2018, Boeing delivered 806 aircraft, but Airbus delivered 800. In 2019, Airbus will likely surpass Boeing as market leader.

In the first half of 2019, Airbus delivered 303 aircraft, Reuters reported. This marked an increase of 28 percent over 2018. By the end of the year, the company plans on delivering up to 890 aircraft. Meanwhile, Boeing has been losing orders.

Boeing’s 737 Max and Airbus’s A320neo are the firms’ most important models. But two fatal accidents of the 737 Max have grounded the Boeing model since March. Meanwhile, the Airbus A320neo is gobbling up Boeing’s lost orders.

Earlier this year, Germany and France signed another historic agreement to produce a joint fighter jet and develop a Future Combat Air System. On June 17, Spain also agreed to join the alliance, which is projected to revolutionize European military production.

Today, Airbus is rising to dominate the sky with the production of commercial and military aircraft.

Airbus truly is an empire today. The company surpasses national borders and leads commercial and military production. The vision that was once scoffed at and ridiculed is today reality.

But Airbus stands for more than just an industry. It stands for the entire European project.

Although still divided, Europe has made astonishing progress toward unity. On January 22, France and Germany signed the Aachen Treaty, promising stronger cooperation—and stronger competition against the U.S. Many doubt that they will succeed—viewing Europe’s political and economic rivalry as too great to overcome—but such a development has incredible potential. Just as the world scoffed at Airbus, the world scoffs at the idea of a United States of Europe. Nonetheless, a European empire will soon dominate the world. That is more than just speculation; it is prophesied in the Bible.

In his most popular book, The United States and Britain in Prophecy, late theologian Herbert W. Armstrong explained that America’s greatness was prophesied. He also proved that national sin would cause God to replace abundant blessings with unparalleled curses (Deuteronomy 28). One of these curses is the rise of enemy nations to devour America’s blessings (verses 15, 25). Airbus’s climb above Boeing is just part of the prophesied power shift.

Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry explained in “Who Is the Modern-Day Jeroboam?” that we are currently seeing a resurgence in America. But this resurgence is only temporary and will be followed by the nation’s sudden collapse.

Request your free copy of The United States and Britain in Prophecy to learn more about these prophecies. As Mr. Armstrong explained in his book, America and Britain’s decline foreshadow the best news this world could ever hear. God has a master plan to bring prosperity to all mankind after it has learned from the consequences of its rebellion against Him.


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DNA Study Shows Bible Correct on Philistine Origins

A team of archaeologists extract skeletons at the excavation site of the first Philistine cemetery ever found on June 28, 2016, in the Mediterranean coastal Israeli city of Ashkelon.

DNA Study Shows Bible Correct on Philistine Origins

But you won’t find that in the reporting or the scientific study.

Hundreds of news sources picked up on a recently published study claiming the Philistines were immigrants from southern Europe. But none, at least from my reckoning, drew attention to the most compelling aspect of the study.

That is: The Philistines likely came from exactly where the Bible says they came from—ancient Crete.

Instead of drawing attention to the Bible, articles covering the July 3 study stressed the general “southern European” origins for the ancient Philistines.

Take a look at these headlines:

These headlines are factual and true, but they simply don’t go far enough.

To be fair, it wasn’t the editors’ fault. The authors of the study didn’t connect the Bible to its results either; strange, since the Bible is the best historical source for understanding both the origin and culture of the Philistines.

The eighth-century b.c. prophet Amos wrote, “Are ye not as children of the Ethiopians unto me, O children of Israel? saith the Lord. Have not I brought up Israel out of the land of Egypt? and the Philistines from Caphtor, and the Syrians from Kir?” (Amos 9:7).

One hundred years after Amos, Jeremiah recorded, “Because of the day that cometh to spoil all the Philistines, and to cut off from Tyrus and Zidon every helper that remaineth: for the Lord will spoil the Philistines, the remnant of the country of Caphtor” (Jeremiah 47:4).

The Bible says that the Philistines, at least in part, came from Caphtor. Any good Bible atlas or dictionary will tell you that Caphtor is associated with the Mediterranean Island of Crete, just south of Greece.

But what does the report say?

The groundbreaking study, “Ancient DNA Sheds Light on the Genetic Origins of Early Iron Age Philistines,” analyzed the dna from 10 different ancient people discovered in excavations on the southern coast of Israel. These people were all buried in Ashkelon, one of the five major cities of the Philistines.

Three of the people were carbon-dated to around 1600 b.c. give or take 100 years. These early inhabitants of Ashkelon had similar dna to those from eastern Mesopotamia or Anatolia (the area of modern-day Turkey).

The next four individuals were dated to around 1250 b.c. with a similar margin of error. Unlike the earlier group, these Ashkelonites had similar dna to southern Europeans, rather than the local population.

The final three people were dated to around 1000 b.c. However, their make-up was different again, with the “European” dna being largely bred out of the population.

The authors summarized their findings this way:

We find that all three Ashkelon populations derive most of their ancestry from the local Levantine gene pool. The early Iron Age population [1250 b.c. group] was distinct in its high genetic affinity to European-derived populations and in the high variation of that affinity, suggesting that a gene flow from a European-related gene pool entered either at the end of the Bronze Age or at the beginning of the Iron Age. Of the available contemporaneous populations, we model the southern European gene pool as the best proxy for this incoming gene flow.

Or more simply, the study shows that there was an influx of foreigners from “southern Europe” sometime after 1600 b.c. and before 1250 b.c. (again, give or take 100 years). In itself, this discovery is noteworthy and complements what we already know from the material culture of the Philistines. As the authors bring out, the now-proven fact that the Philistines were from southern Europe is also indicated by the Philistine’s Greek-like culture (for more on this please read “Uncovering the Bible’s Buried Civilizations: The Philistines”).

However, it seems like the study’s conclusions and definitely the reporting on the study don’t go far enough.

I don’t pretend to understand all the nuances involved in comparing the genome of ancient individuals. However, in reading through the fine print of the study, something jumped out at me that is surely most important. This part of the study compared the “southern European infused” Philistines to their closest relatives elsewhere.

And guess where the most similar people are found?


Buried under the subhead “Genetic Discontinuity Between the Bronze Age and the Early Iron Age People of Ashkelon” it says:

The best-supported one infers that [the ‘European Philistines’] derives around 43 percent of its ancestry from the Greek Bronze Age ‘Crete_Odigitria_BA’ and the rest from the [earlier local population].

Surely the fact that the closest match they found in the study comes from Crete—right where the Bible says—deserves a mention.

But you won’t find it mentioned in any of the articles, apart from a passing reference in this one. The article quoted Ashkelon excavator and participant in the dna study Dr. Daniel M. Master, who concedes that while not enough evidence is in, the best matches come from Crete. The article stated (emphasis added):

With the new dna study, researchers are getting ever closer to empirically pinpointing the Philistines’ exact origins, but require more ancient dna samples from the Aegean to provide a precise location.

Cautious not to over-reach from the study’s general impressions, Master said that there are “better matches from Crete,” emphasizing that until there are more samples available, “at the moment we cannot prove the specific location from whence they came.”

If the best matches are from Crete, as the study and Dr. Master attest, then why aren’t more people reporting it? And why isn’t that in the abstract for the paper or even in the conclusion. Why bury it in the middle of the study?

Of course, four bodies from Ashkelon is not a huge sample size. And more information needs to be gathered.

No one is asking for a screaming headline stating, “BIBLE PROVED TRUE!” But how about writing something like “From our limited sample size, it looks like the Bible is correct in stating that the Philistines came from Crete”?

Instead, the biblical text is ignored almost entirely. That is astounding, considering it is the best-written source of history for the Philistines.

Without a doubt, every person involved in the dna study, and likely most of those excavating at Ashkelon, down to the humble square volunteer, is aware of what the Bible says about Philistine origins. Most of the excavators at Ashkelon are likely motivated to dig in the Middle East dust because, at some level, they believe in the accuracy of the biblical text.

And for that matter, most people reading all the articles about the Philistine dna study believe in biblical accuracy as well.

And so, when Crete turns up as the location of the closest relatives of the Philistines, why doesn’t anyone shout it from the rooftops! I wrote, “Ding! Ding! Ding!” next to the words “Crete_Odigitria_BA” when I read through the study.

I’m likely oversimplifying the study and its results. But it seems odd that people would painstakingly excavate millennia-old bodies from the earth in Ashkelon, spend years in the lab analyzing their dna in comparison with the dna of countless others from the region, and then, when the facts come out, not relay to the public everything those bones have to say.

It’s no surprise that the scientific community seeks to downplay the biblical connections to archaeological discoveries. It has been doing so for years, even at Israel’s foremost academic institutions. Sadly, if the biblical connection doesn’t make it to the study or the final academic report, it will not make it to the public.

At the same time, more evidence has been uncovered that upholds the veracity of the Bible. On Friday, archaeologists excavating at Khirbet a-Ra’i announced they had discovered biblical Ziklag. From its location to the Davidic period remains to the likely destruction at the hands of the Amalekites, the archaeological remains seem to match the biblical account nicely. Thankfully, there are some archaeologists who don’t shy away from accepting when the facts on the ground match the text.

To make sure you don’t miss any archaeological discovery that aligns with the Bible, check in regularly with our sister website and be sure to look out for our new Watch Jerusalem print magazine.

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Russia-China-India Trilateral

(From left) Russian President Putin, Indian Prime Minister Modi and Chinese President Xi pose for a group photo on June 28 prior to their trilateral meeting at the G-20 Osaka Summit 2019.
Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

Russia-China-India Trilateral

Are we on ‘the precipice of monumental change’?

On the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Japan, a trilateral meeting was held between Russia, India and China. The June 28 meeting is a milestone in the creation of a new, world-changing alliance.

Meeting for a second year in a row, following a 12-year break, the cooperation highlights the East’s increasing reliance on those in its own sphere and less on the Western world—especially the United States.

The South China Morning Post quoted Chinese President Xi Jinping saying, “China, Russia and India should take on global responsibility to safeguard the fundamental and long-term interests of these three countries and the world.” These words are remarkably similar to the language that has been used in the six meetings that Russian President Vladimir Putin has had with Xi in the past two months.

These nations are preparing to step up in what they consider a failing Western order.

Following the meeting, the Diplomat reported that Putin said Russia, India and China are “laying the groundwork for equal and indivisible security architecture in Eurasia.” According to the Diplomat, this type of language shows the importance that needs to be placed on meetings between these three leading powers in the East, writing that “we appear to be on the precipice of monumental change with regard to the post-Cold War status quo.”

Director general of the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s Asian Affairs Department, Wu Jianghao, said the meeting laid a framework for future cooperation between the three countries. This increasing cooperation is only adding to U.S. worries that India is switching from the West’s camp and embracing Eastern powerhouses Russia and China.

All three nations have disputes with the U.S. The U.S. imposed tariffs on Indian goods after New Delhi bought S-400 air defense systems from Russia, China’s trade war with the U.S. just passed the one-year mark, and Russia is still burdened under numerous U.S. sanctions imposed after its 2014 annexation of Crimea.

Consequently, the three have already planned their next meeting. In September, they will meet at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, Russia, where Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be Putin’s guest of honor. There is certain to be many more future meetings between the three leaders.

This growing relationship is directly fulfilling Bible prophecy. Right now, groundwork is being laid to form the end-time power bloc that Revelation 16:12 labels “the kings of the east.”

The identity of some of the nations that will comprise this alliance can be found in Ezekiel 38: “Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, and prophesy against him, and say, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Behold, I am against you, O Gog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal”‘” (verses 2-3; New King James Version).

In April 1981, late educator Herbert W. Armstrong wrote in the Plain Truth, “There is general agreement among students of prophecy that ‘Gog’ in the land of ‘Magog’ is the vast regions of northern Eurasia extending from the Baltic to the Pacific. ‘Meshech’ is Moscow, ‘Tubal’ is Tobolsk. The Bible margin says ‘Prince of Rosh,’ which is Russia.”

Our free booklet Russia and China in Prophecy explains, “In his book Compendium of World History, Dr. Herman Hoeh correctly identified Meshech and Tubal as fathers of those who comprise greater Russia today. Magog fathered the people of China ….”

The Bible clearly states that both Russia and China will lead this kings of the east alliance. But what about India?

Ezekiel 38:5 says, “Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them ….” Russia and China in Prophecy continues, “Ethiopia and Libya should be translated ‘Cush’ and ‘Phut.’ Although portions of the tribes of Cush and Phut migrated to African nations, the rest settled in areas of India. The context of this passage shows that it refers to modern-day Indians (and perhaps Pakistanis) rather than to the African peoples. … India—with its population of more than 1.2 billion people—is almost certain to join the Asian bloc that is prophesied to congeal in the end time.”

These three nations are prophesied to join with other Asian nations to form this end-time kings of the east alliance. We watch meetings, such as the G-20 trilateral, so closely because they are leading to the fulfillment of Bible prophecy, culminating in the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

For thorough proof of the identity of the nations that will comprise the kings of the east alliance and to understand its role in Bible prophecy, please read our free booklet Russia and China in Prophecy.


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Poll: American Patriotism at 18-Year Low

A crowd waits for President Donald Trump to speak at the National Mall in Washington, D.C., on Independence Day.
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Poll: American Patriotism at 18-Year Low

A democratic nation needs patriotism to survive.

Just days before Americans celebrated the Fourth of July, Gallup released new data showing that fewer Americans than ever are extremely proud of their country.

A poll of all 50 states revealed that fewer than half of American adults are “extremely proud” to be American—marking an 18-year low—and 3 percent are not proud at all.

Supporters of the Democratic Party tended to be the least proud of the United States. Only 22 percent of Democratic supporters said they were very proud to be American.

To many, these results are unsurprising. “Record-low American patriotism is the latest casualty of the sharply polarized political climate in the U.S. today,” reported Gallup. “Since the start of George W. Bush’s second presidential term in 2005, fewer than 60 percent of Americans have expressed extreme pride in being American.”

The data points to some serious problems with how an increasing segment of Americans view their country. A number of recent events exemplify this.

On July 1, the Charlottesville City Council voted to cease celebrating Thomas Jefferson’s birthday. This Founding Father and third president of the United States has been widely demonized by the left for being a slave owner. Instead of celebrating Jefferson’s birthday, Charlottesville will now hold Liberation and Freedom Day on March 3, marking the arrival of the U.S. Army in the city in 1865 during the Civil War. The decision to stop celebrating Jefferson’s birthday is one of many attacks on his legacy. In March, Hofstra University students called for his statue to be removed from their campus.

Also on July 1, the Wall Street Journal reported that Nike had decided to cancel its special edition Air Max 1 Quick Strike sneaker. The shoe sported a Fourth of July theme with the 1770s-era Betsy Ross version of the American flag, with 13 stars to represent the original 13 colonies.

The reason for the cancellation? Former nfl quarterback Colin Kaepernick contacted Nike after pictures of the shoe began to circulate online and complained that he found the flag offensive because of its alleged connection to the era of slavery.

Nike listened to Kaepernick and pulled the product from shelves just before it was scheduled to go on sale.

There is something very concerning about this decline in American patriotism. It is one of the most important domestic trends in recent years.

In the introduction to his booklet Great Again, Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry writes:

Do you believe the United States of America has been mainly a positive force in the world for most of its history?

Do you have a favorable view of the Founding Fathers, the Constitution, separation of powers, rule of law, Manifest Destiny, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, free-market economy and America’s role in World Wars i and ii?

If you do, then surely you are deeply alarmed by the state of America today.

All of these pillars of American history and identity are being vilified and destroyed. America’s educators are teaching oncoming generations to be embarrassed by them. Even the nation’s leaders see them as shameful. On many foundational issues, they share the views of America’s worst enemies!

The decline in patriotism is a result of a deliberate assault, which the mainstream media cannot see. America has combatted tyranny and autocracy in this world, but now it is being undermined from within.

“There is a spiritual dimension to America’s decline that most people do not see,” writes Mr. Flurry. That dimension is critical to truly understand why patriotism in America is declining.

To learn more, please request Mr. Flurry’s free booklet Great Again.