Since the 19th century, Germany’s Catholics and Protestants have paid church taxes in order to fund the churches and schools of their faith. Now, politicians in Europe’s largest country are considering extending the scheme to the Muslim population, as a way of reducing the influence of foreign countries and encouraging the growth of a “German Islam.”
A “mosque tax” would be modeled on the Kirchensteuer or “church tax” that is currently paid by more than half of all Germans, collected through the tax system, and distributed to Christian and Jewish organizations. It currently amounts to around 8-9% of a person’s salary. Continue reading
It was 40 years ago this week that China opened its doors to the world and launched a series of ambitious reforms that would create one of the world’s largest economic engines.
“China is now the world’s second largest economy, the biggest manufacturer, top trader of goods, and the second largest consumer of goods and recipient of foreign investment,” Chinese President Xi Jinping said during a speech in Beijing celebrating the 40th anniversary of the landmark reforms.
“December 18, 1978, was an important day to be remembered in the history of the Chinese nation,” Xi added, saying that it marked the “start of a great journey of reform, opening-up and socialist modernization.” Continue reading
- “Turkey has been committing two major international crimes against Cyprus. It has invaded and divided a small, weak but modern and independent European state… Turkey has also changed the demographic character of the island and has devoted itself to the systematic destruction and obliteration of the cultural heritage of the areas under its military control.” — from “The Loss of a Civilization: Destruction of cultural heritage in occupied Cyprus.”
- “More than 550 Greek Orthodox churches, chapels and monasteries located in towns and villages of the occupied areas, have been pillaged, deliberately vandalized and, in some cases, demolished. Many Christian places of worship have been converted into mosques, depots of the Turkish army, stockyards and hay barns.” — Cyprus Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
- “UNESCO considers the intentional destruction of cultural heritage a war crime.” — Artnet News, 2017.
A sixth-century mosaic of Saint Mark, stolen from a church after Turkey’s military invaded Cyprus in 1974, was recently recovered in a Monaco apartment and returned to Cypriot officials. The ancient masterpiece was described by Arthur Brand, the Dutch investigator who located it, as “one of the last and most beautiful examples of art from the early Byzantine era.” Continue reading
The Russian military plans to build a military church to bolster the spiritual values of its armed forces.
The Russian military plans to build a military church to bolster the spiritual values of its armed forces. Construction will soon begin of the Main Church of the Armed Forces, to be erected in Patriot Park outside Moscow, according to Colonel General Andrei Kartapolov, deputy defense minister and chief of the armed forces’ Main Military-Political Directorate, a new organization responsible for political education of the troops. Continue reading
BRASILIA/RIO DE JANEIRO: Far-right lawmaker Jair Bolsonaro won Brazil’s presidential election on Sunday, promising to clean up politics, shrink the state and crack down on crime, in a dramatic swing away from the left in the world’s fourth-largest democracy.
The former army captain has alarmed many with vows to sweep political opponents off the map and comments denigrating women, gays and racial minorities.
He will be the first president with a background in the armed forces since the end of Brazil’s 1964-1985 military dictatorship, which he has publicly praised. He has tapped retired generals to serve as his vice president and run key ministries.
In his first public comments after his landslide victory, he pledged to respect democratic principles, but said he wanted to change the country’s direction.
“We cannot continue flirting with socialism, communism, populism and leftist extremism … We are going to change the destiny of Brazil,” Bolsonaro said in an acceptance address, promising to root out graft and stem a tide of violent crime. Continue reading
A deal between the Vatican and China, which would grant China the right to nominate future bishops, would likely end the diplomatic relationship between the Holy See and Taiwan that began in 1942.
Reports of the pending agreement come amid other reports of the suppression of religious expression throughout China.
A Human Rights Watch report estimates that over a million Muslim Uighurs are currently detained in re-education camps in the western province of Xinjiang. AP reported last week that reported that China’s government is seeking to drive citizens away from organized religion and toward the atheist Communist Party through scare tactics such as Bible-burning, shuttering churches, destroying crosses and forcing individuals to renounce their faith on paper. Continue reading
Right on the heels of another article where an ex-CIA officer recently said they will be coming for Christians. Donald Trump is the doorstop keeping the nation stable. When it’s removed, the fifth column will have its way.
In a closed-door meeting with evangelical leaders Monday night, President Donald Trump repeated his debunked claim that he had gotten “rid of” a law forbidding churches and charitable organizations from endorsing political candidates, according to recorded excerpts reviewed by NBC News. Continue reading
As many readers of this website have noticed, the United States has lost its character and become a dysfunctional society. In place of a largely homogeneous population once united in veneration of the Constitution, there exists today massive diversity which Identity Politics has used to disunite the population into separate interest groups.
No clause or article of the Constitution, nor the Bill of Rights, is safe. The George W. Bush and Obama regimes destroyed two of the most important protections of civil liberty—habeas corpus and due process. Bush declared indefinite imprisonment on suspicion alone without evidence or trial. Obama declared execution of US citizens on accusation alone without due process. The Justice (sic) Department wrote legal memos justifying torture, thus destroying the constitutional protection against self-incrimination. One of the authors of the memos is now a professor of law at UC Berkeley. The other is now a federal judge, indications that respect for the Constitution and enforcement of US and international laws against torture is fading in law schools and the federal judiciary. Continue reading
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan slammed Austria’s populist government for its decision to shutter seven mosques and expel dozens of Turkish-funded imams.
“These measures taken by the Austrian prime minister are, I fear, leading the world towards a war between the cross and the crescent,” Erdogan said, according to a report by AFP. Continue reading
When historians and analysts look at the factors surrounding the collapse of a society, they often focus on the larger events and indicators — the moments of infamy. However, I think it’s important to consider the reality that large scale societal decline is built upon a mixture of elements, prominent as well as small. Collapse is a process, not a singular event. It happens over time, not overnight. It is a spectrum of moments and terrible choices, set in motion in most cases by people in positions of power, but helped along by useful idiots among the masses. The decline of a nation or civilization requires the complicity of a host of saboteurs.
So, instead of focusing on the top down approach, which is rather common, let’s start from the foundations of our culture to better understand why there is clear and definable destabilization. Continue reading
The Chinese government is pressuring religious believers to remove images and messages related to their faith and replace those images with pictures of President Xi Jinping.
Communist Party officials have told thousands of Chinese Christians that Xi is able to provide for their health and wellbeing but Jesus is not, the Washington Post reports. A local report on social media claimed officials in Yugan county’s Huangjinbu township visited poor Christian households to help them embrace the party’s solutions to their material want. Continue reading
Artificial intelligence expert Anthony Levandowski has been making headlines of late with his goal of creating an AI-based “godhead,” but he’s not alone in that effort.
The former Google AI engineer developed The Way of the Future specifically to supplant the Christian godhead, which he believes will be accomplished in the next quarter-century. This contrasts with Kopimism, which finds “spiritual connection” in gathering all the world’s information and sharing it with everyone else. Continue reading
FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Humanity no longer needs God but may with the help of artificial intelligence develop a new form of collective consciousness that fulfils the role of religion, U.S. author Dan Brown said on Thursday.
Brown made the provocative remark at the Frankfurt Book Fair where he was promoting his new novel, “Origin”, the fifth outing for Harvard “symbology” professor Robert Langdon, the protagonist of “The Da Vinci Code”, a book that questioned the history of Christianity. Continue reading
Russian Orthodox Archbishop Hilarion Alfeyev issued what could only be viewed as a warning to Western churches during a speech last week at the Russian Embassy in London. Continue reading
In The Possessed, Dostoyevsky has his character Shatov exclaim:
If a great people does not believe that the truth is only to be found in itself alone (in itself alone and exclusively); if it does not believe that it alone is fit and destined to raise up and save all the rest by its truth, it would at once sink into being ethnographical material, and not a great people…
Put another way, if a nation has confidence in itself, it continues as a viable political entity. Once it loses that, it lacks cohesion and becomes only a collection of random people living together. Continue reading