Germany’s new chancellor, Olaf Scholz, is in a very weak political position. Leader of the Social Democratic Party, he is leading a divided government consisting of two parties from the left and one from the right.
Meanwhile, the Christian Democratic Union (cdu) of his predecessor, Angela Merkel, named a new leader, Friedrich Merz, who is something of a rival to Merkel within the CDU. Merkel was a centrist who asked forgiveness for Germany’s past and opened borders to migrants. Merz is right-wing, has emphasized pride in German history, and has stated that immigrants should blend into a guiding culture rather than retaining their own and making Germany even more multicultural. Merz is less favored by party elites but popular with regular voters.
Merz is also of a different religion than Merkel. In June 2021, the Irish Times wrote, “Decades of Catholic cdu leaders were shaken in 2000 with the election of Merkel—a Protestant pastor’s daughter.” Merz, however, is a strong Catholic and, notably, considers the persecution of Christians around the world “an attack on our freedom.” Bible prophecy states that Germany and Europe will become much more Catholic and far more confrontational with Islamic nations and other powers. The shift to the right of one of Germany’s most important political parties could play a role in fulfilling this prophecy.
Austria has also experienced a change in leadership. After withdrawing from politics in December, political star Sebastian Kurz took a job with an American company, a move reminiscent of German political star Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg’s strategy after resigning in scandal in 2011. The Trumpet is watching both, especially Guttenberg, for an eventual comeback.
Meanwhile, European governments have steadily increased punishments for citizens who refuse COVID vaccines. The interior ministers of Germany’s states agreed to deploy more police forces to catch those who disobey coronavirus rules, prioritizing this over other duties, such as traffic enforcement, and the country is considering implementing a vaccine mandate. Austria instituted a vaccine mandate that began February 1. Also in February, Italy began fining unvaccinated individuals over 50 who showed up to work. France has barred people who are unvaccinated, even if they have tested negative for COVID-19, from entry to entertainment and hospitality venues. “The people of Europe are being conditioned to accept more tyrannical leadership,” wrote Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry in the summer of 2020. The implementation of vaccine passport laws shows this prophecy in action.
Iran has continued expanding its radical terrorist influence in the Middle East. Its rival, Saudi Arabia, has been at war with Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen for seven years. In November 2021, it conducted air strikes on targets in Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, including what it claimed was a secret site of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). Iran has been accused of smuggling weapons to the Houthis for years, but if its IRGC is deployed in the capital city, its involvement is deeper than previously realized. A Houthi takeover of Yemen would enable Iran to threaten shipping through the Bab el-Mandeb strait. This sea gate is so crucial that Djibouti, which lies directly across the strait, hosts more foreign military bases than any other country in the world. The U.S. Department of Energy says this passage at the southern end of the Red Sea is one of the world’s most important oil choke points.
While Iran’s control over Yemen is strengthening, its grip on Syria could be slipping. Shipping containers that likely held Iranian munitions in the Syrian port city of Latakia exploded in an air strike on Dec. 28, 2021. Israel is suspected of conducting the attack. Iran has supported the Syrian regime of Bashar Assad throughout the nation’s 11-year civil war. It transports weapons, personnel and other resources through Syria to Lebanon. Bible prophecy suggests that Iran will provoke a European empire into war, and threatening its oil supply will likely be a major factor. Yet a prophecy in Psalm 83 states that Syria (here called the Hagarenes), will ally with Germany (prophetic Assur). Iran maintains its alliance with Assad and Syria, but Bible prophecy shows that while the air strike on Iran in Yemen foreshadows growing Iranian power, an air strike on Iran in Syria foreshadows something very different.
Meanwhile, Europe is making other advancements into the Middle East that could help it counter Iran. French President Emmanuel Macron visited the United Arab Emirates in December and announced a $19.2 billion weapons deal that includes France’s largest-ever foreign sale of fighter jets. One analyst said this marks “the first time that a close U.S. partner in the Arab world will rely more on French technology than America.” This follows decades of American deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan that are ending in ignominy. Arab states that fear Iran and its radical Islamist allies are looking for support, leading them to Europe. Macron characterized the deal as “active cooperation in the fight against terrorism.”
As America’s strategy in the Middle East fails and Iran continues to threaten the security of Gulf states and their oil supplies to Europe, watch for Germany, France and other European nations to form the prophesied alliances of Daniel 11 and Psalm 83. Read about this in our booklet The King of the South.
Violent protests in Kazakhstan in January caused the government, which has ruled the former Soviet nation since it became independent in 1991, to call on Russian strongman Vladimir Putin for help. Putin
deployed Russian troops into the country. He is actively rebuilding Russian power in Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Belarus and beyond.
Putin strengthened Russia’s partnership with China at a Dec. 15, 2021, teleconference with Chinese General Secretary Xi Jinping in which the two announced that their nations’ relationship is now superior to a formal alliance. They pledged to support each other’s interests. In China’s case, this includes obliterating democracy and freedom in Hong Kong, conquering Taiwan, crushing China’s Uyghur minorities, and controlling the East and South China Seas. Putin’s interests include creating an energy crisis and a migrant crisis in Europe, reigniting war in the Balkans, working with Germany to divide it from its nato allies, and threatening war in eastern Ukraine.
On Dec. 20, 2021, Russia published a list demands for NATO and threatened military action if they were ignored (article, page 10). If followed, these would constitute the biggest changes in the world order since the end of the Cold War. It appears to have backing by China.
After China publicly backed Russia’s illegal annexation of Ukrainian territory, Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry wrote in “Asia Stands With Putin” that the support was “a stunning fulfillment of a biblical prophecy!” In our May-June 2014 issue, he wrote: “[W]e have been
proclaiming for over 50 years that Russia, China and other Asian nations would ally themselves in the end time. [W]e are in that end time now.”
Meanwhile, the Chinese government is stockpiling grain, apparently due to fear of famine. ZeroHedge wrote in 2019: “Does China believe that we are on the verge of a major global crisis? The Communist Chinese government has always been very big into planning, and it appears that they have decided that now is the time to hoard food, gold and other commodities.” In the two years since, China has dramatically increased its grain holdings. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says China will soon have 69 percent of the world’s corn reserves, 60 percent of its rice reserves, and 51 percent of its wheat reserves (the U.S. has 12, 1 and 6 percent of these same commodity reserves, respectively). A nation with 20 percent of the world’s population has managed to stockpile far more than half of the globe’s grain, leading to steep price increases across the globe that may push more countries into famine. In the event of a trade war, global famine or other emergency, China appears to be ready.
Inflation is eating away at America’s economic strength as a crime wave destroys its major cities, rampant political corruption destroys both its military and its electoral system, and wildfires burn down its forests.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on January 12 that the Consumer Price Index rose 7 percent in the 12-month period ending December 31, more than at any time in the last 39 years. Food increased 10 percent, gasoline increased 56 percent, and used cars increased 37 percent. Shadowstats.com states that if inflation were calculated the way it was in 1980, it would be more than 15 percent.
On Dec. 20, 2021, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announced new policies allowing the military to purge conservatives from the ranks. Based on the premise that the January 6 Capitol protest was an act of domestic extremism, these guidelines ban “advocating terrorism” or “supporting the overthrow of the government.” Service members’ social media activity will be monitored, and soldiers who support Donald Trump or think the 2020 U.S. presidential election was rigged may be dishonorably discharged.
The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, led by Facebook ceo Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, has hired Meghan Urisko. Urisko is a former steering committee member of the Democratic Socialists of America who is still an official “dues-paying member” of the socialist group’s Los Angeles and national chapters. The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative spent $419 million on election operations in 2020, bankrolling local government election offices and staffing them with far-left activists. Now Zuckerberg and Chan are hiring overt socialists, indicating that their election meddling will be even more overtly partisan in 2022 and 2024.
Colorado concluded 2021 with the most destructive fire in its history. The Marshall Fire scorched at least 991 homes in Boulder County. Sheriff Joe Pelle said he believes that downed power lines sparked the fire, which spread through dry vegetation, driven by winds reaching 100 mph. As a result, seven people were injured, three are still missing, and thousands were left without gas, water or power. The Bible dogmatically states that God controls the weather (Nahum 1:3; Job 38:28; Amos 4:7). It states that God gives gentle rain in its season as a blessing for obedience to His laws. It also states that He upends weather systems as a curse for disobedience (Leviticus 26:3-4, 14, 19-20). You can read more in our booklet Why ‘Natural’ Disasters?