Europe is uniting and destined to become the most powerful group of nations in the world — far exceeding that of the United States of America, Russia or China. Many don’t realize that Europe is already ahead of the U.S. in certain aspects, and most don’t grasp the awesome significance of what is happening in Europe right now in front of our very eyes.
Der Stern Online published a series of articles, dated March 25, 2004, titled, “Fascination Europe.” It pointed out:
“It will be a day which the old continent had never experienced before. A historical day. Not a day when walls fall or wars end, but a day when a group of children appears. They will come from 25 nations, wear their native cloth, and sing together Ludwig van Beethoven’s ‘Ode to Joy’ — the hymn of Europe. For the ceremony on May 1 in the Dublin residence of the Irish President, governmental leaders from 25 nations will assemble — under one flag, the blue-golden star-spangled banner of Europe. When it waves on that Saturday, a goal will have been officially reached which no one dared to believe in for most of the last century — the unification of Europe.
“… Never before in history has a united Europe existed that was so great and so manifold and so free… Densely populated Europe has the biggest inland commerce via water transportation in the world… Its export exceeds that of the United States.
“May 1, 2004, is supposed to be a historical date, but all will really start shortly thereafter. Great Europe is to become a world power … economically, culturally and perhaps even militarily… ‘Economically a giant, but politically a dwarf,’ a Belgian minister scoffed 25 years ago regarding Europe, but European politicians are in the process of developing new strategies, especially in Paris. ‘The EU’s intervention troop of 60,000 soldiers, 400 airplanes and 100 vessels can be mobilized within 60 days,’ Michele Alliot-Marie, France’s Minister of Defense, said. In addition, 1500 special soldiers are planned to intervene at a place of crisis within 48 hours. According to the Minister, ‘that is unique in the world.’
“… German and European Unification complimented each other. Without Germany’s integration in Europe, the victorious allies of Word War II would not have stood by approvingly to observe the ‘German giant’ getting back on his feet.”
The magazine pointed out, too, that a United Europe has been a dream for a long time. We know, of course, from the pages of the Bible and from history, that Europe united nine times before — after the fall of Rome — and that a last and final resurrection of the ancient Roman Empire is happening right now. According to Der Stern Online, “Voltaire said in 1767 that Europe will become a great republic of cultivated spirits. Shortly thereafter, Immanuel Kant spoke of a European House. In 1849, Victor Hugo coined enthusiastically the phrase, ‘United States of Europe’ — a slogan that was later used by Winston Churchill during a speech in 1943.”
Interesting, too, is a chart published by the magazine, dealing with the different religions in Europe. It points out that the Protestants dominate in the North, while the Catholics have the majority in the South. Greece is the only EU member state with a Greek-Orthodox majority, reflecting Greece’s status as heir of the East-Roman Empire.
Europe and the Catholic Church
As we mentioned many times before, continental Europe will ultimately be united and spiritually led by the Catholic Church. It is no accident that the Pope has been strongly proposing and demanding a reference of Christianity — as defined and understood by Rome — in the European Constitution. How Rome defines Christianity can be seen in recent statements by the Pope, addressing Australian bishops who were ending their five-yearly visits to Rome. As Reuters reported on March 27, 2004, the Pope said: “Sunday should be a day for God, not for secular diversions like entertainment and sports.” The article also pointed out that the Pope “encouraged Christians, especially young people, to remain faithful to Sunday Mass, saying the secular culture was undermining family life.”
Zenit quoted the Pope, in addition, as follows: “Sunday Mass, because of its special solemnity, the obligatory presence of the faithful, and its celebration on the day when Christ conquered death, expresses with great emphasis the Eucharist’s inherent ecclesiastical dimension… Sunday is the SUPREME DAY OF FAITH, AN INDISPENSABLE DAY, THE DAY OF CHRISTIAN HOPE.”
It may come as a surprise to some, but Sunday is none of the above, when we properly understand true Christianity. Sunday is NOT a day commanded to be kept holy in the Bible, NOR is it the day when Christ was resurrected from the dead. For more information on these undeniable facts, and on the history as to how and why the Church of Rome began to teach the “sanctity of Sunday,” please read our free booklets, “Europe in Prophecy” and “God’s Commanded Holy Days.” Also, you might want to listen to our recent sermon, “Christ’s Death and Resurrection,” which is posted on our Web.
The Catholic Church and Israel
Zenit reported on March 25 that Catholics “living in Israel and in the Occupied Territories are facing a hard time because of the authorities’ systematic refusal to grant visas.” The article pointed out that, as a result, “the church in the Holy Land might not have enough personnel to run the shrines, parishes, hospitals and schools.” It continued: “The refusal of visas raises questions about the Fundamental Agreement between the Holy See and the state of Israel, signed 10 years ago.” One bishop was quoted as saying: “We are dealing with a very serious problem indeed, one which is getting worse by the day. Promises made by top-ranking government officials have not been kept so far. They won’t let us know the reasons behind the new policy. There are no official channels of dialogue to bring about a resolution to the situation.”
It is anticipated that this situation will not continue to be ignored by Europe and the Catholic Church for much longer.
Anti-Semitism Up Across Europe
As Associated Press reported on March 31, 2004, a report submitted to the European Parliament points out that “France had a six-fold increase between 2002 and 2003 in the number of violent anti-Semitic incidents and documented threats… There were many incidents of Jewish people assaulted and insulted, attacks against synagogues, cemeteries and other Jewish property, and arson against a Jewish school… It said anti-Semitic incidents rose in Britain by 75 percent in the first three months of last year… In Germany, such incidents rose by 69 percent from 1999 to 2000. And incidents in the Netherlands and Belgium both ‘significantly increased’ in 2002… Attacks against Jews were ‘relatively rare’ in Greece, Italy, Spain and Austria, but anti-Semitic comments are ‘particularly virulent’ in daily life.”
NEWS-NETWORLD added that the 300-page report found that most attacks against Jews were carried out by “right-extremist activists, including Skinhead groups, as well as young Muslims, persons of north-African descent and other immigrants.”
Haider and Libya
NEWS-Networld reported this week that Austria’s Joerg Haider and vice-chancellor Hubert Gorbach will be visiting Libya on April 16. The article pointed out: “Haider had stayed in Libya several times before, and he had been received by Muammar al-Qaddafi, Libya’s leader of the revolution. He is also a friend of his son, Saif al-Islam, who is the honorary president of the Austrian-Libyan Society, that was founded in April of 2002. Haider is the President of that Society.”
Haider stated that Libya’s willingness to cease any development of weapons of mass destruction proves that the Iraq conflict could have been solved with peaceful means, too. The article mentioned that his new visit should not invite criticism — given the fact that very recently, high-ranking American governmental officials and Tony Blair officially visited al-Qaddafi. Haider stated that he is looking forward to economic contracts between Austria and Libya to help Libya with Austrian “know-how.”