Light for the Last Days

Signs of the Times – December 2016

December 2016

Major famine imminent in Nigeria

The United Nations has warned that northern Nigeria faces the ‘largest crisis in Africa’ as a result of the war with Boko Haram which now affects three neighbouring countries – Chad, Cameroon and Niger. The UN estimates that 14 million people will need outside help in 2017, particularly in Borno State, after seven years of conflict that has killed at least 20,000 people and left 2.6 million homeless.

There are predictions of a major famine, due to the insecurity brought about by Boko Haram which claims to have established a caliphate in West Africa. Its wickedness defies belief as it has terrorised people with suicide bombings, kidnappings, rape, murder and merciless assaults on entire villages. It kidnaps young boys to fight in its army and young girls for sex slaves. It is motivated by a demonic form of radical Islam similar to ISIS with whom it is in alliance.

Boko Haram has prevented farmers and herders in the area from working the land. The governor of Borno, Kashim Shettima, said “Most of our communities have not been able to till their soils for the past four years. 80% of the people in Borno were denied access to their farms by Boko Haram.” Their removal from the economy is one of the reasons for the acuteness of the malnutrition crisis. With no livestock or crops there is nothing to eat. Villagers under siege are typically forced to abandon their crops, devastating local food supplies.

‘Right now the hunger crisis in north-east Nigeria needs to be right at the top of the world’s list of humanitarian crises,’ Save the Children humanitarian manager Dan Stewart said. It is forecast that to keep everyone alive throughout all of 2017 will cost about $1.5 billion.

Freedom of religion and freedom of speech in the UK workplace

The UK Prime Minister, Theresa May, has said Christians should not be afraid of speaking ‘freely’ about their faith at work and in public places. Mrs May’s comments were made as she endorsed a report on freedom of religion and freedom of speech by the Lawyers Christian Fellowship in response to a question from Fiona Bruce MP: ‘You raise an important issue that matters to both you and me, and I think that the phrase that was used by the Lawyers Christian Fellowship was ‘the jealously guarded principle’ of that ability to speak freely, as you say respectfully and responsibly, about one’s religion. I’m happy to welcome the publication of this report and its finding. Of course we are now into the season of Advent, and we have a very strong tradition in this country of religious tolerance and freedom of speech and our Christian heritage is something we can all be proud of.’

However, only days later the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) produced new guidance on the subject which, although calling for what it termed ‘a common sense approach‘, stated that employers can impose restrictions on discussion of religion or belief in the workplace. They said it would be acceptable to discuss ‘what is involved in particular festivals’ but ‘when discussion becomes proselytising – that is seeking to persuade someone to join a religion, cause or group – it may well be proportionate to restrict this in the workplace’.

In other words you can talk generally about religion or belief, but not evangelise with the aim of trying to win someone for Christ. Commenting on this the Barnabas Fund wrote: ‘Do the EHRC really mean that while chatting with colleagues during lunchbreak “you can speak about Christmas, but not about Christ”? There is a serious risk of such sweeping statements creating a “one size fits all approach” to the “regulation” of talking about faith in the workplace.’

This article also pointed out: ‘The EHRC is a QANGO (Quasi Autonomous Non-Governmental Organisation) – i.e. although it is funded by government, it is not controlled by ministers. As such, they are supposed merely to put government policy into practice. However, in cases like the recent guidance issued by the EHRC they sometimes end up making something similar to law without having any direct democratic accountability for their actions. We saw this in the recent court case against a Christian bakery in Northern Ireland, where the judge criticised the Northern Ireland Equality Commission for pursuing their own agenda rather than treating the Christians equally and fairly.’

A number of recent cases show how the EHRC policy has been used against Christians who stand up for their faith in the workplace and who share their faith with non Christians.

Ivory Coast on the brink as Islamisation looms

One hundred years ago, the Ivory Coast was in the midst of a Christian revival. Today, Christians face the prospect of a Muslim takeover, aided and abetted by the government. At a recent conference organised by Barnabas Fund to address persecution, Christian leaders from French-speaking West Africa shared their concerns about the future of the Ivory Coast.

Mass Muslim migration from nearby countries over several decades has brought the country to a tipping point. It is now estimated that only around one-third of the total population of the Ivory Coast are of Ivorian origin. Our partner writes: “This Muslim population has been given access to Ivorian citizenship and are able to interfere in the country policy making through their vote.”

Following a controversial and violent election in 2011, the Ivory Coast is now headed by President Alassane Ouattara, a Muslim who has campaigned for the naturalisation of all immigrants, a move which would give the Ivory Coast an instant Muslim majority, as at least 70% of the more than 2 million foreign migrant workers in the country are Muslims. There appears to have been a concerted effort to systematically destroy the historical records of the non-Muslim population; record offices have been deliberately torched across the country and, in 2013, the government passed legislation making it easier for foreign nationals to claim citizenship, giving them the right to vote in elections. In 2015, Ouattara secured a second presidential term with an apparent 84% of the vote.

The swift expansion of the Muslim population in the Ivory Coast is a clear example of Islamisation “from below”, encouraged and facilitated by government, in line with dawa (Islamic mission), which aims to convert entire societies. The rapid assault of Islam on Ivorian identity has wider implications in the region; Islam is now the fastest growing religion on the planet and by 2050 there are expected to be 670 million Muslims in sub-Saharan Africa, up from around 250 million in 2011. The Ivory Coast is now at a turning point, as Christians face the prospect of becoming a minority in a country where Christianity flourished less than a century ago; a stark warning to the region.

Barnabas Fund

Europe’s populist uprising

The concept of ‘dawa’, converting societies to Islam by mass migration of Muslims and a higher birth rate of Muslims is also relevant to Europe. The birth rate in native European communities has declined and Christian faith has been abandoned by the majority. Mass migration by Muslims living in communities with a high birth rate, means that, if present trends continue, before too long there will also be a Muslim majority in many parts of Europe.

For many years, Germany was the country in Europe most open to immigration. According to Eurostat, the official data body of the European Union, between 2005 to 2014, Germany welcomed more than 6 million people. Then in 2015 Angela Merkel opened the doors to 1 million refugees causing the chaotic scenes which we witnessed taking place across Europe as they made their way from Greece to Germany and other parts of Europe. Other countries also participated in a migrant race. In the same time frame, 2005-2014, three million people immigrated to France, or around 300,000 people a year. In Spain, the process was more chaotic: more than 700,000 migrants in 2005; 840,000 in 2006; almost a million in 2007 and then a slow decrease to 300,000 a year up to 2014. Most of this migration has been from Muslim countries.

In addition to this the EU’s ‘freedom of movement’ rules mean that there has been a mass movement of peoples from poorer east European nations that have joined the EU to more wealthy west European nations. This is likely to increase now that the EU has granted visa free access to the EU to around 50 million people in Ukraine and Georgia. The EU also made a deal granting Turkey visa free access to Europe in return for Turkey restricting migration from refugees into Europe. At present the EU is wavering on this deal and Turkish President Erdogan is threatening to open the migrant floodgates if the European Union halts its membership talks and wavers on implementing the visa free deal. This could result in another two million Muslims (either Turkish citizens or refugees) making their way to Europe.

None of this has happened with the consent of the people, many of whom are angry and fearful at what is happening to their countries. As a result there is anger at the EU elite who are blamed for creating the crisis. In an article on ‘Europe’s planned migrant revolution’ Yves Mamou writes: ‘The “refugee crisis,” in fact, helped to make apparent what was latent: that behind humanitarian reasons, a huge official immigration policy in Europe was proceeding apace. For economic reasons, Europe had openly decided years ago to encourage a new population to enter, supposedly to compensate for the dramatic projected shrinking of Europe’s native population.’ (Gatestone Institutehttps://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/9183/europe-migrant-revolution)

Further offence is created by the way the EU authorities have made the Europeans to give way to the immigrants. In the same article Yves Mamou writes:

  • In the new migrant order, the host population is invited to make room for the newcomer and bear the burden not of what is an “integration,” but the acceptance of a coerced coexistence.
  • “No privileges are granted to the Europeans or to their heritage. All cultures have the same citizenship. There is no recognition of a substantial European culture that it might be useful to preserve.” — Michèle Tribalat, sociologist and demographer.
  • When “good feelings” did not work, however, the authorities have often criminalized and prosecuted anti-immigration critics. The Dutch politician Geert Wilders is currently on trial for trying to defend his country from Moroccan immigrants whose skyrocketing crime wave has been transforming the Netherlands.

António Guterres, the incoming Secretary-General of the United Nations told a room of policymakers in Europe on 23rd November that “migration is not the problem but the solution”, and said politicians should ignore voters. He said European nations have no right to control their borders and that they must instead take in floods of the world’s poorest people. He insisted that every EU nation must be forced to “share the burden” of mass migration. He went on to declare: “We must convince Europeans that migration is inevitable and that it is the multiethnic societies which are multicultural and multireligious who are building wealth.”

All of this is provoking a reaction, which is generally anti-EU and anti-immigration. Some of it is motivated by racism. However there is a legitimate concern to save European countries from being overwhelmed by newcomers who have no desire to integrate into the existing European culture. In fact many of them wish to change that culture into an Islamic one.

In 2017 there will be a number of elections in Holland, France and Germany in which these issues will be critical and could lead to victories to right wing anti immigrant parties. Many of these also wish to change the status of their nations in regard to the EU, as has already happened in the Brexit vote in the UK. Geert Vilders is in a strong position to lead the largest party as a result of the coming Dutch election. He wants to ban mosques and leave the EU. In France the Presidential election is likely to end up with a run off between the anti-immigrant and anti-EU National Front leader, Marine le Pen, and the Conservative Francois Fillon, who is standing up for indigenous European culture and mores while opposing further large-scale immigration and accommodation to Islamism. There are also advances in right wing parties in Germany, Austria and Italy, which are both anti-immigrant and anti-EU.

On top of all of this we have the continuing crisis in the Euro currency and the possible collapse of major banks in Italy and the Deutsche Bank, the largest bank in Germany. If the Deutsche Bank goes down the Euro currency and economy will go down with it. Professor Otmar Issing, the first chief economist at the European Central Bank (ECB) and architect behind the creation of the Euro, has warned ‘the Euro will fall like a house of cards’.

This means we are likely to see continuing upheaval taking place across Europe in the coming year. Two possible outcomes are

  1. The falling apart of the EU and possible conflict within nations and between nations over the migration issue and the economic one.
  2. Some kind of dictatorship taking over, in which the elite enforce their ‘New World Order’ overruling and suspending elected national governments. (Revelation 13)

Either of these results would create a difficult situation for the population in general and Christian believers in particular. As Paul told us, ‘In the last days perilous times will come.’ Beyond all this we look forward to the soon coming of the Lord to take His people to be with Him and the day of His return to the earth ‘with the saints’ when ‘the government will be upon His shoulder’ as the ‘kingdoms of this world become the kingdom of our God and of His Christ and He shall reign for ever and ever’ (1 Thessalonians 4, Isaiah 9.7, Revelation 11.15, Revelation 19-20).

Shame over Middle East Christians.

Peter Oborne wrote in the Daily Mail (10/12/16) ‘Ministers will never admit as much, but for the past 15 years British foreign policy has been responsible for much of the destruction of the ancient Christian civilisation of the Middle East. For example Tony Blair’s decision to wage war in Iraq led to the massive exodus of Christians from that beleaguered country, down from 1.4 million in 2003 to about 275,000 today. And for the past five years Britain has backed the rebels in Syria once again with terrible consequences for Christians. This is because many of the rebels are militant jihadis who are intent on killing all Christians in the Middle East. Thanks partly to British policy the number of Christians in Syria has fallen from 1.5 million to an estimated 500,000 since that conflict started. It is no surprise therefore that our Government has banned three heroic bishops from Iraq and Syria from entering Britain in order to attend the consecration of Britain’s first Syriac Orthodox Cathedral in West London, a ceremony where Prince Charles was guest of honour and to which the Queen also sent a message of support. Considering the imposition of the ban, which was treated as a victory for jihadists, it was bitterly ironic that a letter from Theresa May condemning persecution of Christians in the Middle East was read out.’

Apparently the Bishops failed two Home Office tests – that they might overstay their welcome, deciding to stay in the UK as illegal immigrants and that might not have enough money to support themselves while they were here. Neither of these reasons makes any sense since they had risked their lives to serve their flocks in Syria and Iraq and their expenses were guaranteed by their hosts, who had invited them.

Gavin Ashenden suggests another reason they were refused: ’Might it have had to do with something that the Archbishop of Mosul was one of the three bishops? After the total devastation of his community, burnt buildings, brutality and blood, he addressed the West a couple of years ago: “Please, try to understand us. Your liberal and democratic principles are worth nothing here. You must consider again our reality in the Middle East, because you are welcoming in your countries an ever growing number of Muslims. Also you are in danger. You must take strong and courageous decisions, even at the cost of contradicting your principles. You think all men are equal, but that is not true: Islam does not say that all men are equal. Your values are not their values. If you do not understand this soon enough, you will become the victims of the enemy you have welcomed in your home.”

Gavin says this opinion might be dismissed as ‘racism, Islamophobia, or perhaps paranoia’ but goes on to show how the bishop’s warning is relevant to what is happening here. He gives the example of Nissan Hussein, once a Muslim, but now a Christian, living in Bradford, who was recently forced out of his house. ‘Since choosing to become a Christian he has been consistently beaten up and threatened by local Muslims. Last week he was escorted by armed police into hiding. He said: “The armed police arrived at about 3pm last Thursday. “It took me completely by surprise, but their [the police] professionalism was deeply reassuring, and they escorted my family and I to a safe haven outside Yorkshire. My family are distraught and extremely traumatised to be leaving. But when your life is at stake there is no other choice. This extreme persecution by certain people in the Muslim community because we are converts has broken us as a family.”

Despite his case featuring on Channel 4, the Church of England bishops have mainly ignored his pleas for help. Maybe the Home Office were worried that the Archbishop of Mosul would not ignore it, and might say- “I told you so”?

BBC promotes transgenderism.

The BBC has produced a number of programmes aimed at promoting transgenderism among primary school aged children, including ‘I am Leo‘ and its series ‘Just a Girl.‘ On 1st December the Victoria Derbyshire Programme told the story of ‘Jason’, a 10 year old girl who wants to be a boy. The child says: ‘I felt like a boy trapped in a girl’s body and it just really didn’t feel right, it was horrible. If I was to carry on living as a girl I don’t think I could do it.’ The child’s mother supported her wish to be a boy saying, ‘I think it’s really hard for a parent or anybody on the outside looking in to understand that they are trapped in the wrong body and that is how they feel and it’s like torture for them every day.’

The idea that children can be ‘trapped in the wrong body’ and therefore need to change their gender is now being promoted in the BBC, the Health Service and the education system. 120 children who identify as being transgender have had NHS treatment to pause their puberty over the last five years. ‘Jason’ ‘is one of the youngest. She is now having monthly injections of hormone blockers, which effectively and temporarily halt the progress of puberty. The treatment costs the taxpayer something like £1000 per month. The NHS has produced a ‘Guide to Hormone Therapy for Trans People’. The Guide makes clear that in addition to the hormone blockers, a child will need to take regular injections of the hormone appropriate to their ‘chosen’ gender.

Bob McCoskie of New Zealand’s ‘Family First’ reports that ‘the overwhelming majority of such children – from 75 to 98 percent – who experience gender dysphoria grow out of it by the time they reach puberty. The push in culture today to embrace and affirm such children’s wishes is founded more upon a political ideology than it is in careful science and experience.’ That political ideology is the antichrist and anti family agenda that is bent on destroying our society and denying the Biblical truth: ‘God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.’ Genesis 1:27.

Tony Pearce

Tony Pearce

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