“Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” Ps. 30:5
CHRISTIANS FACE ‘IMMINENT EXTINCTION’ IN THE MIDDLE EAST, ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY WARNS: Christians in the Middle East are facing 'imminent extinction', the Archbishop of Canterbury warned last week. Justin Welby said followers of the faith were subject to the “daily threat of murder” and the situation was the worst “since the Mongol invasions of the 13th century”. Figures suggest that just one in 400 Syrian refugees given asylum in the UK last year was a Christian. Speaking on the BBC's Andrew Marr show, Welby said: “The plight of Christians in many parts of the Middle East has become more and more acute. As we approach Christmas, we need to pray for them and speak out for them.” In a recent article, Welby wrote that in the last few years, "Christians have been slaughtered by ISIS, and in many Middle Eastern countries they find themselves squeezed between the upper and lower millstones of pressure on them within society and of conflicts that afflict the region. Many have left. Hundreds of thousands have been forced from their homes. Many have been killed, enslaved and persecuted or forcibly converted. The Archbishop pointed out that the Christian population of Iraq was under half what it was in 2003, and many churches had been destroyed. “Across the region Christian communities that were the foundation of the universal Church now face the threat of imminent extinction.” he wrote. (UK Daily Mail) Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East; a state where Christians live normal lives and are entitled to the same rights as Jewish residents. Meanwhile, Muslim controlled-countries offer a consistent grim reality and little future to Middle East Christians who struggle to survive in the world’s toughest neighborhood. Pray for God’s hand to bring mercy, courage, provision, hope and rescue for endangered Christians who endure life-threatening conditions and ongoing persecution. “Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.” Heb. 13:3
IRAN ARRESTS OVER 100 CHRISTIANS IN CRACKDOWN ON CONVERSIONS: Iranian authorities have over the past few days reportedly arrested more than 100 Christians, as the regime seeks to crack down on conversions and what it construes as preaching by evangelicals. While Christians make up less than 1 percent—around 350,000 people—of Iran’s population, growing public interest in the faith apparently is causing concern within the Islamic corridors of power in Tehran. Although the existing Christian community is for the most part accepted by Iran’s theocratic rulers, conversion from Islam remains a criminal offense in the country. Rights groups have long criticized the mullahs for their mistreatment of Christian converts in addition to other religious and ethnic minority groups. For his part, Israeli PM Netanyahu in July 2018 accused Tehran of jailing and torturing Christians in a “brutal” campaign of persecution. (Medialine) This latest, 11 Dec. 2018 report of renewed persecution against Christians in Iran, especially Muslim converts, requires intense intersession on their behalf. Please pray for courage and for the Lord to keep them protected in his “hidden places”. Pray for greater freedom for believers in Iran to live out and proclaim the good news of Yeshua without fear of government reprisal.
THE GOAL: NO JEWS IN EUROPE AND NO JEWISH STATE IN THE MIDDLE EAST: “Decades after the Holocaust, shocking and mounting levels of anti-Semitism continue to plague the EU”, Michael O’Flaherty, the director of the European agency, said in a statement. “Jewish people have the right to live freely, without hate and without fear for their safety”. Nice words. But that is exactly the point. European Islamists, the lead actors of this new anti-Semitism along with the leftist useful idiots, are trying to stage a “final solution” of what they call the “Jewish-Zionist cancer” in the Middle East (Iran's Rouhani holds the copyright for that term). They really want a jüdenrein world- without Jews in Europe, fleeing from anti-Semitism, and without Jews in the Middle East, with the destruction of Israel. Europe has become the epicenter of the new war against Israel and the Jews. Europe fights the Jewish State in the political arenas, in the corridors of power in Brussels, in various Western European capitals and the UN, inside Israel with the NGOs it funds, the media and the diplomacy.
Europe is a bystander no more. It has become deliberately responsible for the abominable crime of cultural genocide: wiping out the past existence of a people – the Jews – to eliminate their current political legitimacy and its human, religious, cultural and historical rights. That is why Europe voted along with the Islamic regimes at the recent UN resolutions denying the Jewish history of Jerusalem. We are at the point that many Jews prefer to leave Europe to live in Israel. What a step back, the Jews flee again from Europe to seek peace and security in a country that has only enemies around it, those who as a single entity cultivate the will to find the way to destroy Israel and throw its corpse into the sea. (Arutz-7)
OHIO MAN ARRESTED FOR PLANNING ATTACK ON TOLEDO SYNAGOGUE: Damon M. Joseph, 21, was arrested last week and charged with attempting to provide material support to ISIS by planning an attack on a synagogue in Toledo, federal officials announced Mon. 10 Dec. 2018. After Joseph posted photographs of weapons and messages in support of ISIS on his social media accounts, undercover FBI agents began corresponding with him. After a gunman killed 11 congregants at a Pittsburgh synagogue, Joseph told an undercover agent that he "admired what the guy did with the shooting. I can see myself carrying out this type of operation if Allah wills it." On 4 Dec. 2018 Joseph said he was deciding between two synagogues in the area, saying the choice depended on "which one will have the most people." (Washington Post)
THE ISRAEL-EUROPE PIPELINE: A STRATEGIC UMBILICAL CORD: After two years in intense negotiations, shadowed by on-off parallel talks with Turkey, Israel has agreed with European nations to supply the EU with its future natural gas needs. The project will turn Israel into a significant fuel-exporting nation. It will take a year to put the financing in place. Then construction will begin on the longest and deepest underwater fuel pipeline in the world. Some 2,100 kilometers in length and lying three kilometers under the Mediterranean Sea, the $7 billion project will take five years to complete. Credit must go to Israel’s Minister of National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources Yuval Steinitz, who first proposed the project at a conference in the unlikely location of Abu Dhabi two years ago. The United Arab Emirates have already invested $100 million in the venture. Rarely discussed, this is a covert cornerstone underpinning the change in relationship between parts of the Arab world and the Jewish State. The project will be known as the East Med Pipeline Project. Natural gas will flow from Israel’s Leviathan offshore gas reservoir via Cyprus, Crete and Greece to reach its terminal on the southeast heel of Italy. This multinational pipeline will supply Europe with 125 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually by 2030. (J.Post) “I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; And so you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse.” Gen. 12:2-3
ISRAEL TO EMPLOY 1,000 FILIPINO WORKERS TO REDUCE HOTEL STAFF SHORTAGE: Minister of Tourism Yariv Levin and Philippines Labor and Employment Minister Silvestre Bello III signed a bilateral labor agreement on Tue. 11 Dec. 2018 to enable the arrival of up to 1,000 Filipino workers to reduce a severe staff shortage currently affecting the Israeli hotel industry. By filling vacant positions, the Tourism Ministry hopes to reduce vacation costs and further advance tourism as an engine for economic growth. According to the Tourism Ministry, there has been difficulty in recruiting Israeli workers, regardless of wages, for hotel cleaning jobs. Currently there are 1,550 vacant cleaning positions in Israel. For jobs requiring training, including cooks and waiters, there are approximately 1,600 unfilled positions. (J.Post)
IKEA TO OPEN FIFTH ISRAELI STORE NEAR JERUSALEM: The Swedish furniture and home accessories giant IKEA announced Tues. 11 Dec. 2018 that it plans to open a fifth store in Israel - in the small community of Stool, west of Jerusalem. Expected to employ around 400 people, the new branch is set to open in early 2020. IKEA’s first Israeli store opened in the coastal city of Netanya in 2001, and was followed by branches in Rishon Lezion, in the center of the country; in Kiryat Atta in the north; and, earlier this year, in the southern city of Beersheba. (Times of Israel)
CACHE OF GOLD COINS AND 900-YEAR-OLD GOLD EARRING FOUND IN CAESAREA: A small bronze pot was found earlier this month at the Caesarea National Park, and inside it were 24 gold coins and a gold earring, according to the Antiquities Authority. The cache was found hidden between two stones in the side of a wall, located in a house built in the Abbasid and Fatimid periods (909-1171 AD). The coins are dated to the end of the 11th century, which would link the coins to the Crusader conquest of the city in the year 1101, one of the more critical events in the city’s medieval history. The authority said it can be presumed that the treasure’s owner and his family died in a Crusade massacre, or were sold into slavery. They would have been unable to return to the home and retrieve their hidden gold. The cache was said to be “a unique combination of coins not yet seen in Israel” consisting of two types of coins: 18 Fatimid dinars, well known from previous excavations in Caesarea, where it was the standard local currency of the time, and a small and extremely rare group of six Byzantine imperial gold coins. “One coin would be equal to a farmer’s annual salary, so whoever owned the cache was likely wealthy,” assessed one authority expert. (J.Post)
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The suggestions, opinions and scripture references made by JNN writers and editors are based on the best information received.
Barry Segal with the Editorial Staff