New Alliances Shake Up the Mediterranean

From left: Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shake hands before signing an agreement for the construction of the Eastern Mediterranean natural gas pipeline, in Athens, Greece, on January 2.
Marios Lolos/Xinhua via Getty Images

New Alliances Shake Up the Mediterranean

The world is focused, rightly, on the Middle East right now. But another shift, just to the east, could be equally significant.

A new pipeline has set in motion a shift in alliances that has major implications for Europe and the world.

On January 2, Israel, Cyprus and Greece signed a deal to build a new natural gas pipeline, connecting gas reserves in Israeli and Cypriot waters to Greece. A later project is planned to connect Italy.

It’s a big deal. The $7 billion pipeline would supply 10 percent of Europe’s natural gas needs.

But while the three countries have been negotiating, Turkey has been plotting the pipeline’s demise.

It has formed an alliance with one of the factions in Libya’s civil war to try and extend its territory and thwart the deal.

Turkey and the United Nations-backed Libyan Government of National Accord (gna) signed an agreement on November 27 that sets the maritime boundaries between the two nations. The territory claimed by Libya cuts straight across the proposed pipeline route.

“In striking the deal with Libya, analysts say Ankara has essentially put both Greece and Cyprus on immediate watch, showing it is prepared to act tough to get its way and/or force new negotiations over their long-standing disputes,” wrote Reuters.

To cement the alliance, Turkey sent soldiers to Libya. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan confirmed their arrival on Sunday. Turkey also announced its plans to buy six new submarines, beefing up its ability to hold the territory it claims.

All this marks a big shift for the region. Here’s what it changes:

Cyprus

Cyprus is right in the middle of all this, and it’s a country that needs to be on your radar. It was also the subject of Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry’s November-December 2019 cover article, “Why Germany Conquered Cyprus.”

In that article, he explained that Germany has used its economy to dominate Cyprus because it is crucial to projecting power into the Middle East and North Africa.

He also forecast that Germany would gain more military dominance on Cyprus.

“Britain has two large bases on Cyprus, taking up about 3 percent of the country,” he wrote. “Yet the nation really controlling this area has been the United States; those bases have been an invaluable asset in America’s Mideast military campaigns. Now, however, Britain is leaving the European Union. … Justified as it might be, Brexit puts the future of those bases on Cyprus in doubt. I forecast that Britain is going to lose control of those bases. … Brexit gives Germany a chance to take over those British bases.”

Now, Cyprus is menaced by an expansionist Turkey. Turkey invaded the northern part of the island in 1974, and the Turkish Army still has a major presence there.

Now it is planning to set up a naval base on the island, the Turkish pro-government Milliytet newspaper reported on December 25. Turkey has also been sending its drilling ships into Cypriot waters, drawing condemnation from the European Union.

With Turkey stepping up the pressure, Cyprus needs allies more than ever. America won’t help much; it is looking to get out of the Middle East. It’s easy to see that Turkey’s expansion will push Cyprus closer to Europe—and Germany.

Turkey and Russia

Turkey’s shift from an alliance with the U.S. to an alliance with Russia has been one of the big stories of recent years. Yet as we’ve pointed out from the start of the shift, Turkey and Russia don’t have a huge amount in common, and the relationship cannot last.

Turkey stepping into the Libyan civil war could really strain relations with Russia. Russia is backing the Libyan National Army, sending mercenaries and weapons. Turkish soldiers and Russian mercenaries are now fighting on opposite sides of the war. They could even end up shooting at each other.

It’s possible that the two have already come to some kind of arrangement. But even so, it shows that as Turkey flexes its muscles in the region, its interests will increasingly put it at odds with Moscow.

The Neo-Ottoman Empire

Turkey is growing into quite the expansionist power. It has the most powerful military in the Middle East. Its navy is the fourth largest in the region. This year, it is scheduled to become the proud owner of a new aircraft carrier—the ultimate symbol of power projection.

Turkey has invaded northern Syria and sent more than 2,000 soldiers into Iraq. It has a major overseas base in Somalia and a smaller one in Qatar.

George Friedman described Turkey’s move into Libya as “a major shift.” In Syria, and elsewhere, it has already been “extending Turkey’s unofficial border into Ottoman-era territories.” This recent move steps up that policy considerably.

Libya is a major source of oil and gas. Turkey, unable to find any in its own territory, has been watching its neighbors strike it big with undersea deposits. Influence over Libya’s resources could help make up for Turkey’s lack.

“In addition to wanting to secure sources of energy, Turkey wants to make it clear that the Eastern Mediterranean is a region where Turkish interests have to be considered,” wrote Friedman. He concluded that “the maritime delimitation agreement with Libya has made Turkey the driving force in the region for now and, we think, in the long run.”

This is probably the biggest takeaway from the whole story. Whether it’s the Syrian war, Israeli natural gas or Libyan resources, Turkey is making a clear and bold statement: If you’re going to do anything, we must be involved. If not, we have the power to make things much more difficult.

The Alliance to Watch For

Turkey’s not a superpower, but it cannot be ignored. We’ve been watching for one country in particular to pay special attention to Turkey.

Russia and Turkey have a long history—of fighting. Just try counting how many wars they’ve been on opposite sides of. Hint: A lot of them are simply called “the Russo-Turkish War,” with the dates in brackets. They were so common, historians didn’t even bother giving them numbers.

Once the Ottoman Turks settled down and stopped trying to take over Vienna, they had a much more stable relationship with European powers—especially with Germany. As Germany unified and rose in power in the late 19th century, Turkey was its gateway to the Middle East. Turkey went through coups and revolutions, but Germany worked hard to remain its partner.

This culminated with Turkey fighting alongside Germany in World War i. Germany used this alliance to spread its influence across the Middle East. Turkey was the key pivot in Germany’s effort to stir Arabs into revolt against the British Empire.

“Germany sought to harness the forces of militant Islam to its cause with the help of its ally Turkey,” wrote historian Peter Hopkirk in his book On Secret Service East of Constantinople. “By unleashing a holy war against them, Wilhelm and his hawkish advisers aimed to drive the British out of India, and the Russians from the Caucasus and Central Asia. It was a bold and adventurous strategy, for there were no precedents for a jihad in modern warfare.”

Turkey and Germany already have a close relationship. Germany is Turkey’s top trading partner and the destination for 10 percent of its exports. Germany has been relying on Turkey to stop its migrant crisis. The EU pays Turkey to stop Syrian migrants from traveling to the rest of Europe.

Military relations between Turkey and Germany have been so close that, in 2017, Germany’s Handelsblatt wrote an article titled “Turkish Military Power, Made by Germany?

These days, relations between the two have been strained. Erdoğan seems to believe Germany supported the coup against him in 2016, and in 2017, Turkey arrested a German citizen working for a German news outlet. Any German cooperation with Turkey is unpopular with the German public because of Turkey’s attacks on Kurds in Syria. These types of tensions would normally doom a relationship. But German leaders have indicated they’re putting more controversial aspects of the relationship—like upgrades to Turkey’s Leopard 2 tanks—on hold until a more opportune time, rather than canceling them outright. When you see Turkey’s actions in Libya over the last month, it’s clear why. If Germany has any ambitions in the Middle East and North Africa, it pays not to upset Turkey.

A Bold Forecast

“You watch what happens with Turkey and Germany,” Mr. Flurry said in a May 2012 Key of David program. “Turkey’s going to be allied with Germany, and Germany is driving a wedge between those two great countries, Turkey and Iran.”

He based this statement on Bible prophecy—a prophecy that aligns closely with current trends.

Modern-day Turks are the descendants of Esau, also known as Edom. For proof, read our article “East, West or Neither?

Psalm 83 is a prophecy about Germany’s relations with a variety of countries in the Middle East. It’s an alliance that has never happened in history. That is because it is prophecy about Germany (modern Assyria) for today.

Edom is at the top of the list of German allies in this prophecy.

Turkey is also singled out in the book of Obadiah for a major warning. Obadiah says that Turkey will be “as one of them”—referring to the European conglomerate rising in Europe. It is not part of the European Union, but it is a close ally.

Obadiah 14 gives more detail: “Neither shouldest thou [Turkey] have stood in the crossway ….” This crossway is a reference to Turkey’s crossroads position between Europe and Asia; more specifically, it refers to the giant bridge spanning the Bosporus, a literal crossway between European and Asiatic Turkey. The Bosporus Bridge was completed in 1973.

In World War i, Turkey was the bridge for Germany, helping it reach out to other Muslim nations. As Turkey returns to Islam, could it play that role again? Turkey’s and Germany’s interests don’t align perfectly. And though powerful, Turkey is not a superpower—it needs an ally. And a powerful Germany would be a much better fit than either Russia or the U.S. Turkey is both geographically and religiously a nation that Germany can use to expand its power.

Germany’s rise in the world and its push into the Middle East is a key prophetic trend to watch. And the Bible says Turkey will play a key role in enabling that push.

The Bible also reveals that this push is about much more than dealing with Iran or containing the instability in the Middle East. Though it hides it today, the power rising in Europe wants to conquer Jerusalem.

“Jerusalem is one of the holiest sites in Islam. It is also probably the holiest site of the European Union. You will see that more and more as Europe completes its formation into a Holy Roman Empire,” wrote Mr. Flurry. “It currently has 28 member nations, but to play this part as a religious empire, Bible prophecy says the EU will pare down to a smaller number of core nations bound by religion and led by a single strong leader from Germany.”

Turkey will betray Israel in the Middle East, as well as Britain and America, by aiding Germany. All of these events are laid out clearly in prophecies written thousands of years ago. They’re unfolding according to a definite plan.

The book of Obadiah is one of the most sobering books in the Bible. It has some troubling passages about what Turkey will help Europe do to Britain and America—as well as what will come back on Turkey. Thankfully, it ends by saying that “saviours shall come on mount Zion … and the kingdom shall be the Lord’s” (verse 21).

If this book can prove so accurate about Turkey’s fate, then the part about saviors and a coming Kingdom of God can be trusted too. The events of the next few years are part of the process that will lead to the Kingdom being the Lord’s.

For more on what the Bible prophesies for this volatile region for the year ahead, read our free booklet The King of the South.

Battle for God’s Truth

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Two Stabbings Remind Europe of Islamist Threat

Police and firefighters gather January 3 at the site where police shot dead a knife-wielding man who killed one person and injured at least two others in a nearby park in a south Paris suburb.
CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT/AFP via Getty Images

Two Stabbings Remind Europe of Islamist Threat

New year, same problem

Two stabbings, both motivated by radical Islam, shook European cities in recent days. The first happened on January 3 in a suburb of Paris, France. The other happened two days later, on January 5, in a small western German town.

Coming at the start of what could be one of modern Europe’s tensest years, the attacks renewed fears of Islamic terrorism on European soil.

In France, an Islamic terrorist killed one man and injured several others. Counterterrorism officers took over the investigation into the knife attack in Villejuif, a Parisian suburb, after strong evidence emerged about the attacker’s conversion to Islam and subsequent radicalization.

The 22 year-old attacker shouted “Allahu Akbar” (“God is greatest”) as he rampaged through the street. He was shot dead when police arrived.

As the investigation progressed, police found a letter “with phrases fairly typical of a Muslim man who self-flagellates” and a bag full of Salafist literature, according to Philippe Bugeaud of the Paris investigative police. The attacker had converted to Islam in 2017 and was known for severe mental illness.

In Germany, a similar incident unfolded two days later in the small town of Gelsenkirchen. There, the attacker approached police holding a knife behind his back. Despite being warned multiple times to stop, he reportedly cried out “Allahu Akbar” and attempted to assault the officers. The officers, forced to defend themselves, shot him dead at the scene.

These attacks bring a painful problem back to the conscience of Europe at a time when many are celebrating their traditional holidays. Though a new year has begun, the threat of Islamic terrorism is not new. And it threatens to grow worse as terrorist networks expand and seek revenge on “soft targets,” meaning primarily civilians.

Germans clearly remember the December 2016 attacks on their Christmas markets. The French remember the Bataclan and Charlie Hebdo attacks, among numerous other stabbings and ramming attacks.

Terrorist attacks in the European Union have risen since the migration crisis began in early 2015. According to the European Parliament, there were two attacks, four deaths and 395 arrests in 2014. The following year, arrests spiked to almost 700, and there were 150 deaths in 17 attacks. Since then, arrests remained over 700 until 2018, and deaths remained close to 150 per year until 2017.

By 2018, after many nations increased security precautions and attempted to stem the flow of migrants, there were just over 500 arrests. There were 24 attacks, the second-highest number since the crisis began.

Most analysts realize radical Islam is not going away any time soon. Many view it as a growing power. Europe is searching for solutions to this deadly and ongoing threat, so far without much more than increased policing efforts to show for it.

But there is soon to be a radical change in policy, which will bring these two civilizations—Christianity and radical Islam—into deadly confrontation.

Though it is not openly admitted, many in Europe’s leadership already have strong Christian values and strong feelings against militant Muslim and terrorist ideologies. The most high-profile example at the moment is French President Emmanuel Macron, who was openly criticized in April 2018 for attacking secularism by supporting a restoration of links between church and state.

Macron himself admitted in April 2019 that “political Islam” is working against the republic, failing to integrate and pursuing a totally different version of society.

Radical Islam looks set to help Europe find its roots once more.

These two societies are set for a clash.

The Trumpet has predicted this clash for years. “A terrorist act could be that push that causes a war between these two great powers, and frankly, two great religions—one from Europe and one from the Middle East,” said Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry in a 2003 episode of The Key of David.

He made this bold statement because of a Bible prophecy found in Daniel 11, which describes a violent clash between radical Islam, led by Iran, and a rising European superpower, led by Germany. These are called, in biblical language, “the king of the south” and “the king of the north,” respectively.

What will be the ultimate result of this battle of civilizations? “And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over” (Daniel 11:40).

A stabbing on the streets of a European city may seem isolated and distant, especially to those who have never experienced firsthand the effects of radical Islamic terrorism. But prophecy shows these events are part of a worsening trend. Europe has not forgotten those killed.

Radical Islam, sponsored and led by Iran, will soon “push,” by a terrorist attack or other means, in such a way that the European response will be unlike anything this world has seen.

To understand the full implications of Islamic terrorism on European soil and how it is certain to change your world within a few short years, request your free copy of The King of the South, by Gerald Flurry.

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Is Reunification of Catholic and Orthodox Churches Imminent?

Russian Patriarch Kirill celebrates the Russian Orthodox Christmas service at Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow late on Jan. 6, 2019.
MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP via Getty Images

Is Reunification of Catholic and Orthodox Churches Imminent?

The breakup of the Orthodox Church presents an opportunity for Rome.

The Eastern Orthodox Church is breaking apart. The Russian Orthodox Church cut ties with the patriarch of Alexandria on December 26, following his decision to recognize an independent Ukrainian Orthodox Church. This schism follows the Russian church’s decision to cut ties with the archbishop of Athens and the ecumenical patriarch of Constantinople. Both leaders also recognized the new Ukrainian church.

There are 14 universally recognized Orthodox churches, plus the Orthodox Church of America and the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (which are not universally recognized).

The Russian Orthodox Church holds jurisdiction in Russia, Ukraine and other former Soviet nations. Therefore, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow opposes all attempts to recognize an independent Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Yet Orthodox churches in Egypt, Greece and Turkey have done so anyway. This development is splitting the Orthodox churches into pro-Ukrainian and pro-Russian factions. If the Eastern Orthodox Church breaks up over Ukraine, the pro-Russia faction will likely draw closer to Moscow, while the pro-Ukrainian faction will draw closer to the Roman Catholic Church.

The Eastern Orthodox Church split from the Catholic Church in the 11th century. The Roman Catholic Church has been trying to bring the Eastern Orthodox back under its dominion since the 1970s. But negotiations have stalled over the Eastern Orthodox Church’s refusal to accept the authority of the pope. Yet according to a report from the Union of Orthodox Journalists, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople told several abbots and monks last November that there were no dogmatic differences between Orthodoxy and Catholicism, and that eventual reunion with Rome is inevitable.

News site Angelus published an editorial titled “Could the Reunion Between Catholics and Orthodox Be Closer Than We Thought?” It highlighted the biggest obstacle to Catholic-Orthodox unity: tension between Rome and Moscow. If the Orthodox churches split into pro-Ukrainian and pro-Russian factions, the pro-Ukrainian faction might move toward reunification with the Catholic Church, unencumbered by Moscow.

For over 40 years, until his death in 1986, Plain Truth editor in chief Herbert W. Armstrong forecast that the Roman Catholic Church would pull its Protestant and Eastern Orthodox daughters back under its dominion as it rose up to rule over a united Europe. The November 1963 issue of the Plain Truth stated:

The mighty problem of achieving [Catholic] unity is twofold. First, it involves reconciliation of the Orthodox Schism that officially commenced in 1054 and divided the churches in the East—Greece, Russia, the Balkans and the Near East—from Rome. Second, it involves the restoration to the Roman Communion all Protestantism, which developed from 1517 onward.

This prediction was based on a prophecy in Isaiah 47, which describes a church called “the lady of kingdoms” that has power over many nations. Yet this church has protesting daughter churches that have split away. The Prophet Isaiah states that these protesting daughters will be brought back under their mother’s control. This mother will rise to prominence in the end time, exerting great influence over a European superpower.

The Roman Catholic Church has signed agreements with Orthodox, Lutherans, Methodists, Anglicans and other religious groups in its push to unify the world—and especially Europe—under its control. Political tensions over Ukraine may present a stumbling block to the Vatican’s efforts to reabsorb the Russian Orthodox Church, but it will not stop Rome from reabsorbing other Eastern Orthodox patriarchates. Just as Eastern Europe is being divided between a German-led European Union and a Russian-led Eurasian Union, it is also being divided between the Catholic Church, led by Rome, and the Orthodox Church, increasingly led by Moscow.

For more information on how the Roman Catholic Church is working to unite all Christians under the pope, read “Returning to the Fold,” by Stephen Flurry.

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American Espionage Power ‘Shattered’

Members of the Central Intelligence Agency stand on the cia seal at its headquarters in Langley, Virginia.
David Burnett/Newsmakers

American Espionage Power ‘Shattered’

Costly mistakes have made the worst fears of American spies come true.

Former Central Intelligence Agency official Duyane Norman told Yahoo News that “the foundations of the business of espionage have been shattered.”

“We haven’t acknowledged it organizationally within [the] cia, and some are still in denial,” he said. “[But] anyone who says otherwise just isn’t looking at the facts.”

In a twist of irony, modern technology pioneered by the United States is helping other nations blow the cover of American spies abroad.

The most common method adversaries have used to gain the upper hand is hacking. In spring 2014, hackers breached the Office of Personnel Management, which stores fingerprints, personnel records and security clearance background information for roughly 22 million American civil servants. This includes those in the intelligence services. The hackers were later identified as being employed by the Chinese government.

What followed could have been taken from a spy movie: a massive data breach, millions of compromised identities, and a once superior espionage force suddenly reduced to running from the bad guys.

A second breach occurred in June 2015, again causing major damage. And the damage continues to this day.

The leaked information blew the cover of American spies abroad in Russia and China. It became apparent the Kremlin was able to quickly identify new cia officers being posted at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow. This led to the cia pulling officers out of China—a major loss of intelligence on a rising superpower.

But that is not the only peril American spies are facing.

Facial recognition and the spread of cctv cameras in some countries have made it nearly impossible for American spies to use traditional methods of gathering intelligence.

London is teeming with these cameras. And in the United Arab Emirates, airports are equipped with facial recognition cameras. There are even claims that Singapore has implemented a real-time database, tracking flight, customs, taxi and hotel data. If, for example, a traveler takes too long between arriving at an airport and checking into a hotel, a security alert is triggered.

There are a number of countries in which certain mission types involving in-person intelligence gathering are no longer feasible. Besides the obvious ones like China, one of the most challenging environments for spies is now the European Union.

Mike Morell, former cia director and host of the “Intelligence Matters” podcast, stated that “facial recognition and biometrics make it very difficult to travel in alias,” especially in the EU, where member states share data with each other. The presence of a spy in one country could tip off others at the same time.

Increasing data-sharing by EU nations is making the cia’s job much more difficult.

“We can’t protect identities anymore. Tech is going to make it almost impossible. I think we need a new paradigm,” former head of the National Security Agency’s research directorate, Eric Haseltine, told Yahoo. “Our officers overseas are known. That’s a hard pill to swallow.”

The cia is losing its element of surprise. In 2011 and 2012, dozens of sources were killed in China and Iran as a result of compromised communications.

What is behind the decline of America’s vital intelligence services?

Under the Clinton administration, the cia suffered low morale and a lack of direction. State secrets were sold, and the drive to train top quality agents slackened. With the Cold War over and standards being reduced, the spies who once kept the world guessing had lost their element of surprise.

But America’s spy agencies are not just mired in data breaches and mistakes; they are, in reality, cursed.

God is no longer with the American people or their military and intelligence establishments. But at one point, He was. As proved in Herbert W. Armstrong’s book The United States and Britain in Prophecy, the people of the U.S. descended from the ancient Israelites.

Thousands of years ago, God set before Israel two ways of life: “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live” (Deuteronomy 30:19).

Those two ways of life are still in effect today. And they are impacting the United States. God warned: “I will break the pride of your power; and I will make your heaven as iron, and your earth as brass: And your strength shall be spent in vain …” (Leviticus 26:19-20). God is no longer blessing America’s military efforts.

“Unless or until the United States as a whole repents and returns to what has become a hollow slogan on its dollars: ‘In God we trust,’ the United States of America has won its last war!” wrote Mr. Armstrong in the October 1961 Plain Truth, predecessor magazine to the Trumpet. His warning is more relevant today than ever. It deserves your attentive consideration at a time when America’s adversaries are growing stronger, as America itself grows increasingly weaker. We see this in war and in America’s intelligence-gathering activities.

To understand the real causes of America’s waning power on the world scene, read our Trend article “America Has Won Its Last War.”

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Liberté, Égalité, and Down With Muslims!

Terrorist attacks are provoking dramatic changes across Europe and the Middle East.

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The Tragedy of Gray Divorce—It’s Not About Finances

iStock.com/Vasyl Dolmatov

The Tragedy of Gray Divorce—It’s Not About Finances

Some boast that divorce rates are plummeting. Not so for the senior set!

Published statistics appear to show that millennials are causing the American divorce rate to drop.

“Americans under the age of 45 have found a novel way to rebel against their elders: They’re staying married,” wrote Bloomberg’s Ben Steverman in September 2018, heaping high praise on Generation X and especially the millennials for lowering America’s divorce rate.

“New data show that younger couples are approaching relationships very differently from baby boomers, who married young, divorced, remarried and so on,” he continued. That sounds truly upbeat and positive. “Generation X and especially millennials are being pickier about who they marry, tying the knot at older ages when education, careers and finances are on track,” stated Steverman with swelling optimism. “The result is a U.S. divorce rate that dropped 18 percent from 2008 to 2016, according to an analysis by University of Maryland sociology professor Philip Cohen.”

The history of statistical interpretation has shown that numbers are often manipulated to prove what a person or organization already believes or would like to believe. Such beliefs, however, may be fantasy, speculation or intentionally false.

Is it true that Generation X and millennials are saving the beleaguered institution of marriage?

Gray Divorce on the Rise

As optimistic as the relatively recent data may sound, it is only a small slice of the marriage-divorce pie. Divorce is still common, and for one age group, it has hit an alarming rate.

Within just 10 months of its September 2018 article, Bloomberg published another article by Steverman: “Divorce Is Destroying the Finances of Americans Over 50.” It spoke of the high-profile divorce of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos representing millions of Americans splitting up in middle age. “The rate of divorce after age 50 has doubled in the U.S. since 1990,” Steverman wrote (emphasis added throughout). This is dire news with dreadful implications.

This phenomenon’s street name is “Gray Divorce,” or “Diamond Splitters.” Australia, Canada, India and the United Kingdom are experiencing the same trend.

“There are few things more devastating than divorce,” Steverman continued. “Even the very wealthy can find it financially draining, emotionally harrowing and just plain messy.” The Bezoses ended a 25-year marriage with four adopted children. Isn’t the word messy an insensitive description? When we consider the four children involved, six people went through a divorce.

One family law firm has estimated that among all Americans 18 years of age and older, whether they have been married or not, 25 percent have gone through a marital split. Let’s be honest: Divorce is always a group affair. The process and aftermath of a divorce involves much more work than cleaning up a mess of spilled breakfast cereal.

Impact on Senior Health

Of 30 articles found on the Internet on the subject of gray divorce, it’s interesting that the majority are published by financial institutions. In addition to Bloomberg, Forbes, Kiplinger and MarketWatch have joined the pack. The focus of their articles is the high financial risks associated with divorce and how to avoid them. Have we come to the time when the old adage money talks now applies to how to split up a long-term marriage?

A paltry number of articles related to gray divorce are not focused on finances. These discuss ways to cope with the traumas of divorce for the 50-and-over set. In September 2018, U.S. News & World Report featured an article titled “Divorcing After 50: How Gray Divorce Affects Your Health.” It was based on the findings of Susan Brown, a Bowling Green State University professor of sociology and codirector of the National Center for Family and Marriage Research. The article’s quip states, “Divorce-related stress and depression can make existing health conditions worse and set up seniors for additional risks.” In other words, divorce can lead to an early death.

NADOFOTOS/iStock/Thinkstock

Brown’s research shows that seniors over age 50 who divorce often experience a level of depression higher than a senior who loses a partner to death. In June 2019, Psychology Today published “Divorce Is a Risk Factor for Suicide, Especially for Men,” showing that divorced men were nine times likelier to die by suicide, compared to divorced women.

One unexpected health crisis related to gray divorce has shocked the medical profession. It is well known that sexually transmitted diseases are on the rise among teenagers and young adults. Now, stds are plaguing senior-age Americans. Why has this unexpected health crisis exploded in older Americans? “America is also experiencing a high midlife divorce rate,” reported the Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging in June 2019. “Consequently, older adults are looking for dates online, which lowers the chance that they know the background and sexual history of people they are dating. Older adults are also less likely to perceive themselves at risk for contracting stds.” Many stds have no symptoms, so many older adults don’t realize they are infected until serious or permanent damage has been done to their health.

Certainly divorce is a factor in this health crisis, but the degeneration of America’s moral values is the true cause. Promiscuity is risky behavior at any age. It can lead to a person’s death! Even worse, senior promiscuity sets an incredibly poor example for younger generations.

Impact on Family

I found only two articles on the Internet that focused on the impact senior divorce is having on families. Shouldn’t there be more alarm?

Many couples decide to slug through a disastrous or unhappy marriage until their children are grown and on their own. The general thinking in the baby boomer generation is that a divorce will not impact their adult children. The truth is far different from what boomers assume.

“While many couples stay together until the children are grown, divorce is tough on kids of any age and can negatively impact parent and adult child relationships,” wrote Kathy McCoy, a psychologist writing for Psychology Today. “One study found, for example, that adult daughters may tend to blame fathers for a gray divorce, and that changing family dynamics—like newly divorced mothers becoming more dependent on their children—also can negatively impact parent and adult child relationships.” McCoy showed that what seniors believe about divorce may not be true.

A second article, “‘Grey Divorce’ Is on the Rise. And It’s Changing the American Family,” by Adam Bulger at Fatherly.com, provides real-life examples of the effect of senior divorce on adult children and their grandchildren. Bulger proposed that “gray divorce” is hardest on adult children with children. He wrote about how one pregnant young woman, about to give her parents their first grandchild, was devastated when her parents split up right after she gave birth. Bulger also showed that young children become confused when Granddad and Grandma no longer live together or visit them at the same time. “Grandchildren unite families, which is great when families want to be close. However, closeness isn’t something for which divorcing grandparents often strive. In fact, the opposite is likely true,” wrote Bulger.

iStock/PixDeluxe
“Divorce is tough on kids of any age and can negatively impact parent and adult child relationships.”
Kathy McCoy, Psychology Today

“While the overall divorce rate is slightly down, [n]ow, roughly 1 in 4 divorces is gray,” wrote Bulger. “The amount of baby boomers in the U.S. (74.6 million), increased life expectancy, and shifting ideas of marriage have all contributed to the uptick.” Marriage and family have suffered violent assault for decades. Can we see that the baby boomer—now the senior—generation may be the responsible party to deliver marriage and family its death blow?

Who Can Save Marriage?

We can appreciate Ben Steverman’s optimism for the millennial generation’s proclivity to “stay married.” Yet this group of people is not going to save the marriage institution. A Pew Research survey titled “Marriage and Cohabitation in the U.S.,” published in November 2019, showed that 7 percent of American adults are currently living with an unmarried partner, and that from 2013 to 2017, 59 percent of American adults ages 18 to 44 lived with an unmarried partner, while only 50 percent have ever been married. The millennial generation (ages 23 to 38 in 2019) represents a large segment of this number.

The reason millennials’ divorce rate is low is that a large percentage of them simply never get married. They just live together! Why? They have been soured on marriage by their baby boomer parents.

“Millennials act differently from their parents—and, sometimes, that’s because of their parents,” wrote sociologist Pepper Schwartz for Pacific Standard online magazine. “The baby boom generation has had the highest divorce rate in recorded American history, but it’s also the only generation that has increased its divorce rate as the boomers aged into their 60s and beyond. A large number of millennials experience household and emotional instability growing up, and they didn’t like it.”

Can you begin to recognize the real tragedy of gray divorce? The now senior baby boomers have set a wrong example for their children, souring them on marriage. And many seniors are continuing to divorce—some two or three times—potentially souring their grandchildren on marriage. The true concept of what makes a marriage and a family has become painfully distorted, perverted and warped in this 21st century. Careless and selfish people are not only wrecking their own families, they are wrecking what remains of the stability of society.

Marriage is a sacred institution founded by the great God at man’s creation. It was designed to preserve the loving and joy-filled relationship of a man and a woman for life.

You can stop this tragic trend. How? By learning the true and transcendent purpose of marriage. In our secular world, people have lost the knowledge that marriage is a sacred institution founded by the great God at man’s creation. Marriage is governed by God’s laws. Obedience to God’s laws concerning marriage produces abundant joy, peace and a stable society. Marriage was designed to preserve the loving and joy-filled relationship of a man and a woman for life. Such stability would naturally produce a family of stable children who would be taught to do the same.

Can you imagine a world without the scourge of divorce? Such a world is coming in the near future. You can have a taste of that world today.

Herbert W. Armstrong, the most important theologian of the 20th century, saw clearly the tragic state of marriage and family, which is so clearly seen today. He wrote two significant books on how to have a happy, lifelong marriage and family life. This information is offered to you without cost or obligation. Request your free copies of Why Marriage—Soon Obsolete? and The Missing Dimension in Sex. If you study and put this knowledge into practice, you will advance the preservation of marriage and family.

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Democrats Criticize President Trump for Taking Out Suleimani

Anti-war activists demonstrate during a protest organized by Answer Coalition at Times Square in New York on January 4 following the killing of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force commander Qassem Suleimani by a U.S. air strike in the Iraqi capital Baghdad.
Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Democrats Criticize President Trump for Taking Out Suleimani

Many Americans no longer believe in the nobility of their cause.

American actress Rose McGowan took to Twitter to apologize to Iran for the January 2 attack that killed the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force, Qassem Suleimani. In the tweet, she also lambasted the Trump administration by calling it a “terrorist regime” holding the nation hostage.

https://twitter.com/rosemcgowan/status/1212976832544460801

Predictably, Shiite Iraqi militia conglomerates are angry. However, they are joined by some Americans, not just actors like McGowan, but also Democratic presidential candidates and political commentators, who are condemning United States President Donald Trump for green-lighting the attack, expressing fear of conflict with Iran.

Democrat presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren called the move “reckless” and lamented another “costly war.”

Sen. Bernie Sanders blasted the president for these actions that, as he put it, set the U.S. on the path to “another disastrous war.”

Political commentator Emma Vigeland asserted that the attack on Suleimani was an illegitimate and unjustified “act of war.”

Last year, U.S. Gen. Stanley McChrystal called Suleimani “singularly dangerous,” the man uniquely positioned to shape the future of the Middle East. Suleimani led the Iraq shadow war against the U.S.; he was responsible for the continuation of the Assad regime in Syria; he authorized the violent murder of protesters in Iraq; and he orchestrated attacks on coalition bases that led to the deaths of over 600 American service members and the wounding of thousands more.

But in the wake of his death, many Americans are criticizing President Trump for the attack, citing concerns that the move will escalate tensions with Iran and risk war.

This reaction is a stunning fulfillment of Bible prophecy!

In Leviticus 26, God outlines the parameters of His covenant with Israel, primarily the United States and Britain today. (For proof of this fact, request our free book The United States and Britain in Prophecy, by Herbert W. Armstrong.) He promises blessings for obedience and curses for disobedience.

God tells America in this end time that He “will break the pride of your power … and your strength shall be spent in vain” because of the nation’s sins (verses 18-20). Today, sin and lawlessness are rampant in the U.S., with fornication, homosexuality, drug use and abortion all enjoying mainstream support. As a consequence, God has broken the pride of America’s power.

Americans are no longer proud of their country or supportive of the fight against terrorist-sponsoring nations such as Iran. Instead, they view their own government as the terrorists.

Trumpet managing editor Joel Hilliker wrote in “What Young Americans Should Know About America” (emphasis added):

What happens when a nation has such a toxic view of itself? What happens when it destroys its own conviction about the nobility of its cause? At every turn we hesitate, we waver, we fear, we disbelieve, we apologize, we attack ourselves. This is the spirit of the age! This is the spirit of cursed Israel!

This is exactly what God said would happen to the nation that turned its back on Him. …

What a curse! America still has plenty of power, but the pride in that power has been broken. Our national will is broken. And no nation suffering this curse can long endure.

To be sure, the killing of Suleimani was a bold move. The impact of his death is not to be underestimated, and an Iranian response is to be expected. But his death does make the region of the Middle East safer—that is why many Iraqis celebrated after his death was announced.

https://twitter.com/alx/status/1212924563836801024

Mr. Hilliker continued, “God wants us to be bold. He wants us to be people of strength. If you believe in your cause, you are irrepressible! If you are plagued by doubt and self-loathing, the faintest gust of adversity will blow you off course. If you are weak, God can do little with you.”

Sin breeds insecurity, doubt and fear. But God says that the righteous are as bold as a lion. He wants us to be bold and have righteous pride in Him and the power that He has given us. To better understand what has happened to the U.S., read “America’s Broken Will,” by Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry.