Trends in the U.S. Lead to Europe’s 10-Nation Unification
Few consider the consequences that events in the United States have on Europe. U.S. trends toward liberalism and far-left policies, its withdrawal from the geopolitical scene, and its lack of leadership all impact Europe. Major nations in Europe are being forced by crises to unite in a powerful way. The increased desire to unite economically, militarily and politically includes calls for more religious values. The recent crises, each taken by themselves, are majorly significant. But taken all together, they reveal where our world is heading. Tensions are growing between nations and power blocs in this world; unchecked, they will lead to an unprecedented explosion.
During the Biden administration, calls for military unity, foreign political independence and the moral obligation to solve the world’s crises are rising. Over the years, Europe has grown more independent from and, in some cases, more hostile to the U.S. with each administration. But this trend has accelerated in recent years.
Most recently, France has been upset by a new alliance between the U.S., the United Kingdom and Australia that voided a sub deal between France and Australia. “It was really a stab in the back,” said French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian. “We built a relationship of trust with Australia, and this trust was betrayed. This is not done between allies.”
French President Emmanuel Macron was also perturbed by the alliance. As a result, a meeting of foreign ministers from the U.S., France, Britain and Germany on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York was canceled. This incident shows how tense the situation is as the once strong relationship is eroding.
But this was not the only time Europe has felt betrayed by the U.S. this year. In January, one of President Donald Trump’s last acts as president was to remove the travel ban for most European citizens to enter the U.S., which had been implemented due to the coronavirus. One of the first acts of the Biden administration was to reimpose it. The travel ban separates European families and causes difficulties and economic losses for European businesses in the U.S.
During the summer, Europe decided to remove its travel restrictions, which were never as strict as the U.S.’s, in hopes that the U.S. would return the favor. German Chancellor Angela Merkel made the issue a priority on her last visit to the White House in July. European Union Commission President Ursula von der Leyen also made the issue a priority. But the U.S. didn’t soften.
This is only one of many examples of how the relationship has been broken. This visible break in the partnership makes Europe’s call for military and political unity all the more concerning.
The U.S. decision to withdraw from Afghanistan has been one of the most obvious crises to directly affect Europe. Geographically, Afghanistan is much closer to Europe than to the U.S. The consequences of the U.S.’s chaotic withdrawal are therefore felt more strongly by European citizens. It has triggered a chain reaction of events that is dramatically transforming Europe.
Chaos in the Middle East means fears are rising in Europe. Major conflicts, increased terrorism, crime, human trafficking, human rights violations and other evils appear likely to continue to increase without the U.S.’s presence. Destruction leads to people seeking refuge. The Syria crisis led to the height of the refugee crisis in 2015 and 2016. Afghanistan threatens to be an even worse disaster.
This crisis is leading to a whole slew of events in Europe: calls to secure its exterior borders, a joint military force, the protection of Europe’s values, the strengthening of far-right parties, and politicians’ attempts to cooperate with the Catholic Church to solve the crises in the Middle East. The latter has led to church-state cooperation that seeks to fight the persecution of Christians and rebuild churches and Christian communities in the Middle East. It has also led to increased cooperation among European nations to fight terrorism at home.
“Europe can—and clearly should—be able and willing to do more on its own,” von der Leyen told the European Parliament in Strasbourg following the Afghanistan withdrawal. She called for a European defense union. But Europe lacks the overarching leadership to make the necessary decisions.
The Afghanistan crisis is visible to everyone. But another trend that has a direct effect on Europe is less evident. As the U.S. drifts further and further to the left, many in Europe are responding by seeking to revive their Catholic heritage to preserve morals and national cohesion.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán traveled to Rome to attend the 12th annual meeting of Catholic legislators on August 27. Catholic lawmakers, government professionals, nongovernmental organizations and church leaders came to Rome to discuss “the great issues of the world and the possibilities of Christian politicking, in an uncertain world,” Hungarian State Secretary Balázs Orbán wrote on Facebook.
The meeting was closed to the public, but topics on the agenda included the persecution of Christians in the world, the situation in Afghanistan, migration, digitalization and gender ideologies. Many of these crisis are a result of liberal U.S. policies and a lack of U.S. leadership. Many in the U.S. fail to see value in leading the world as their own lawlessness flourishes. Europe sees the increasing chaos and wants to bring back stability by establishing policies the Continent once had when cooperating with the millenniums-old Catholic Church.
Poland’s and Hungary’s politics are strongly influenced by the Roman Catholic Church; Orbán himself claims to fight for a “Christian Europe.” Andrej Babiš’s and his anti-establishment party (ano) are leading the Czech Republic in a similar direction. Austria under Catholic Chancellor Sebastian Kurz is also accused of following Orbán’s example, though he avoids open confrontations with the EU. Germany, after 16 years of Chancellor Merkel’s rule, could soon have a staunch Catholic as chancellor with Armin Laschet. Catholic President Macron has openly declared war against radical Islam in France and shows more and more support for the Catholic Church. The world’s trend toward liberalism is starting to turn Europe back to the heritage of the Holy Roman Empire.
In America, liberalism also has taken a toll. We have seen religion play an increasing part in politics. But rather than Catholicism, evangelicals rallied behind Donald Trump, seeing him as a savior and the U.S.’s only hope.
One might think the increased religious awareness in both regions would lead to cooperation to fight the liberal trends. On the surface, it could appear that way. In a letter dated August 12, Mr. Trump praised Mr. Orbán and thanked him for his friendship. The two consider themselves to be in the same fight.
But the Catholic Church and the evangelical movement are divided by some unbreachable issues. Many evangelicals see the Catholic Church and the pope as the “antichrist” or as the whore of Revelation 17. Some evangelicals have a more liberal view, but evangelicals are far from uniting with the Catholic Church.
The Catholic Church sees itself as the only way to salvation and believes it has a mission to bring other Christian denominations back under its fold. This desire expressed itself violently during the Inquisition.
During the Trump years, Europe’s animosity to the evangelical revival in U.S. politics was strong, though few noticed on the other side of the Atlantic. “They worship Trump like a saint,” Germany’s Tagesspiegel noted on January 29, pointing out that “Christian Zionists” among the evangelicals are the source of many of Trump’s policies (Trumpet translation throughout). Germany’s growing opposition to President Trump and his followers gives a strong indication of where German-U.S. relations are leading.
In “America’s Evangelicals: Why Christian Zionists Cheer for Donald Trump,” Tagesspiegel noted:
Whether it is to relocate the U.S. Embassy, approve the settlements, or confront Iran, conservative Christians influence Trump’s Middle East policy.
All Jews should come to Israel, God’s Promised Land. They should colonize it. The state should become strong and powerful. The satanic regime in Iran, which wants to destroy Israel, must be overthrown. When all of this happens, the prophecies will come true and the Messiah will come back to Earth in Jerusalem. All Christians have a duty to participate in this Second Coming, because the return of the Redeemer heralds the end times, the thousand-year peace.
That is the core of Christian Zionist belief of which there are approximately 30 million adherents in the United States. Some are also convinced that the Jews must convert to Christianity before the Messiah comes back.
Though Tagesspiegel uses provocative exaggeration to appeal to its readers, the overall point is true: Evangelicals do influence Mr. Trump’s policies. In the 2016 presidential election, Mr. Trump received 81 percent of the evangelical vote. A poll from the Public Religion Research Institute showed that a large majority of evangelicals approved of the president’s job and as many as 99 percent opposed his impeachment.
Here again we see that what is happening in the U.S. has a clear effect on Europe. Whether it is political or religious disagreement, Europe and the U.S. are drifting further and further apart. Even when they agree on the problem, they often disagree on the solution. As a result, Europe is realizing that it has to unite politically to make a difference in the world and to push its own agenda forward.
Whether the threat comes from increased liberalism or from other religions, the Catholic Church has always sought to defend its values by allying itself with that state. This is how we summarize that history in our free booklet Germany and the Holy Roman Empire:
As emperor of the “Holy” Roman Empire, Charles felt it his duty to spread the Christian faith using whatever means necessary. The New Encyclopedia Britannica says, “The violent methods by which this missionary task was carried out had been unknown to the earlier Middle Ages, and the sanguinary [bloody] punishment meted out to those who broke canon law or continued to engage in pagan practices called forth criticism in Charles’ own circle” (“Charlemagne, Emperor”).
The violence Charlemagne used to enforce the Catholic religion on his subjects was simply unknown in earlier empires! He forced his brand of Christianity on everyone. His empire may have had distinct ties to the ancient Romans, but it was certainly not “holy”—even if there was a great church guiding it.
And yet for centuries to come, the aim of succeeding emperors was to restore the traditions of Charlemagne in their quest to revive the Roman Empire!
Charlemagne united Europe under the Catholic faith. As the Protestant reformation threatened to split that unity, Europe responded with more bloodshed. “Approximately 40 million people were butchered during the so-called Holy Inquisition—the papacy’s nightmarish vaccine for the ‘heresy’ virus! The Roman and Spanish inquisitions virtually eliminated Protestantism in Italy and Spain! The world has probably never seen a more vile period than those dark and miserable years of the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries” (ibid).
This history gives us a strong warning of what could happen if the Catholic Church regained power and decided to deal with dissenters. The Bible reveals that we must take history’s warning seriously.
Many today believe that the Catholic Church will be a force for good, that it will bring European nations together and end the trend toward liberalism. And while it may do all that and more, the Bible reveals that this religious revival has its own dangers, just as it did in history.
Revelation 17:1 talks symbolically about a women riding a beast, representing a church ruling an empire (request a free copy of Who or What Is the Prophetic Beast?). Verses 12-13 state: “And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast. These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.”
This speaks about 10 nations that will be controlled by the Catholic Church and unite under one overarching government. This unity is motivated in part by a fear of Russian aggression, the threat from radical Islam, and destructive liberalism. These trends are due, in one way or another, to a lack of the right kind of leadership by the U.S. This is because God commanded ancient Israel to be an example for the world and lead the world to Him—but it failed. As the late Herbert W. Armstrong explained in The United States and Britain in Prophecy, the English-speaking people today are the modern descendants of ancient Israel. Their failure to uphold God’s law and His religion arouses God’s wrath and has led this world into increased hostilities.
The Bible reveals that Europe rises as an empire primarily because of the sins of modern Israel and of the world in general. Daniel 8:23 states: “And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up.”
As explained in Germany and the Holy Roman Empire, this clear prophecy reveals that a strong German leader is about to emerge on the scene due to “transgression,” or lawlessness. This coming Sunday is Germany’s federal elections, but none of the candidates appeal to the people, nor do they seem able to provide the necessary leadership. The lack of U.S. leadership and the lack of leadership in Europe increase the calls for this coming overarching leader in Europe. Once this man appears, all the events in Europe will radically accelerate toward their prophesied fulfillment.