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MHG #40 – JANUARY 2011 – THE STUXNET CYBER WAR

Maranatha!                    

THE MASTER IS COMING SOON!

Greetings my dear friends in the Name of Y’shua the Messiah, our Redeemer, for whom we earnestly wait. He said He would come again and gather His people to the Father’s House. And He said “Be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Master is coming.” (Matthew 24:42)

The prophetic clock may now be at one minute to midnight. But when the Master appears, will He find us watching, or sleeping?

This issue is a little late, but not too late to wish you a Happy Year. I don’t mean January 1st - but rather the whole year, or, for however long the Heavenly Master leaves us here on this planet.  I pray that He will minister in our hearts, and keep us, each one, close to His side.

I have just returned from extensive ministry in UK and India during October to December. It has been a joy to meet many of our regular readers in many places, and I am very thankful to all who have prayed and upheld me and my co-workers during this busy time.  The Lord wonderfully enabled, and He gave rich blessing, touching many precious lives.  HalleluYah!

Oh dear believer, let us “live in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming.” (1 John 2:28)

                     May Yahweh bless and keep you,

                                                    Your brother in the Messiah,  

Don Stanton

 

*   *  *    2010    *  *  *

 

THE YEAR THE WORLD WENT WILD! 

Every week disasters occurred. Earthquakes, heat waves, floods, volcanoes, super typhoons, blizzards, landslides and droughts killed at least a quarter million people in 2010 - the deadliest year in more than a generation.

More people were killed worldwide by natural disasters in 2010 than have been killed in terrorism attacks in the past 40 years combined. “It just seemed like it was back-to-back, and it came in waves.” Some of the greatest disasters were in -

January:  Haiti earthquake – 225,000 dead. 

February: Chile 8.8 super earthquake & tsunami (700 dead).  It was the 7th greatest quake on record.

April-May: Iceland’s massive volcano. Air traffic in Europe grounded for several weeks.

April-July: Gulf of Mexico. Deep Horizon Oil Disaster. America’s greatest environmental disaster!

July-Aug: Russia, several hundred fires raged during the hottest recorded summer in Russian history. An estimated 56,000 people all died from the effects of the smog and heat wave. Great grain loss. $15 billion damages.

July-Sept: Worst Pakistan floods ever – 20 million people affected.  Extensive food loss, and diseases.

Sept: Christchurch 7.1 earthquake – 100,000 buildings damaged, 500 aftershocks.

October: Indonesia’s triple disaster -  Volcano and 7.7 earthquake resulting in a tsunami.

December: Israel suffered its deadliest fire of modern times in the Carmel forest near the port city of Haifa. 170 homes caught fire. 42 Israelis were burnt to death or asphyxiated by the fast-moving conflagration, 36 of them inside a destroyed bus.  It took five days of grueling Israeli and international efforts to finally put out the disastrous fires. 

At December-end and January, Queensland was beset by massive floods that affected 200,000 residents in 40 towns and cities; in an area that was as big as that of France and Germany combined. Flood levels were in some places up to 13 metres - as high as a 3-storey apartment. This Australian flood  has been described as a disaster of ‘Biblical’ proportions. 

 

THE FINANCIAL CRISIS

2010 was also the worst year for bank failures since 1992  - 157 banks in the US went under. (As recently as 2006, before the bubble burst, there were none.) 

2010 saw the Euro crisis as Greece and Ireland had to be bailed out by the EU/IMF. And it is not over yet! Other EU nations are beset by crisis.

The NEW YEAR’s disasters began immediately

* A magnitude 7.0 earthquake hit Argentina just six hours into 2011.  The quake was so deep that it was barely felt on the surface, which raises worries that it may be a warning of a much bigger event to come.  

* A 7.1 quake struck Chile on 2nd Jan.

TOP STORIES

Some of the top stories published at end of 2010, or beginning of January, were:

1.   Cyberwar, and the super-powerful malware Stuxnet

2. Israel’s latest oil-gas discoveries

3.   China’s economic growth and its aggressive military buildup

4.   Unilateral Declaration of a Palestinian State proposed for mid-2011

5.   Lebanon on the brink of a Hizb’ollah coup

6.   Muqtada Sadr returns to Iraq

7.   Jordan alarmed as Iran builds a new eastern  front in Iraq.  

 

TOP MIDDLE EAST STORY OF 2010

 

 

THE STUXNET CYBERWAR

Dec 30/10: The Jerusalem Post reported that 60% of its online readers voted for the Stuxnet worm as the biggest Middle East story of 2010. 

As the year 2010 comes to an end, one of its greatest mysteries has yet to be revealed. Did the Stuxnet virus set back Iran’s nuclear program by two or three years as some computer experts say, or was it just a small glitch in the system, quickly resolved as claimed by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad?

What is for sure is that the sophisticated piece of malware (malicious software) which has grabbed the world’s attention, is just the beginning when it comes to the use of cyber (electronic) warfare in global efforts to stop Iran. 

The Stuxnet code consists of 15,000 lines and is described as being as sophisticated as the computer code which is used in cruise missiles.  “We can say that it must have taken several years to develop,” says Ralph Langer, a German computer consultant who was among the first to analyse the Stuxnet code.

The malware was discovered by a Belarus-based security firm in July. It is, of course, not the first piece of malware used to attack an adversary, but its unique ability to take over control systems of industrial systems and reprogram them had never been seen before.

It soon became clear that the worm was aimed at Iran and particularly two of its nuclear facilities – the Bushehr reactor and the Natanz uranium enrichment facility, infecting possibly as many as 60,000 computer systems. Some analysts have raised the possibility that Stuxnet was behind the decommissioning of 1,000 centrifuges in the beginning of the year. Others believe that at one point it caused a complete shut down at Natanz.

Who created Stuxnet? It could have been Israel.  It could have been the United States. It could have been the Europeans or the Russians.  

While widespread speculation has named Israel’s Military Intelligence Unit 8200, known for its advanced Signal Intelligence capabilities, as the possible creator of the software, Israel has not officially said a word about it. 

Stuxnet was designed specifically to spy on and then reprogram industrial control and data acquisition systems designed by the German computer giant, Siemens. And all of Iran’s control and data acquisition systems were manufactured by Siemens.  

Stuxnet is capable of reprogramming these systems and then hiding the changes made. So even if they clean the worm, they can’t fix what it did.

Stuxnet expert Ralph Langer called the attack “nearly as effective as a military strike, but even better since there were no fatalities and no full-blown war. From a military perspective,” he said, “this was a huge success.”  He said that the Iranian program has been set back by at least two years. 

Langer said that not only is Stuxnet not under control; it is still spreading and infecting their enrichment facilities at Natanz and the reactor at Bushehr.  

Langer’s recommended remedy for getting rid of Stuxnet is to throw out every infected system.  Just throw out every one of them and start over from scratch! And even then, he said, the risk of reinfection by outside contractors was high. 

It is extremely difficult to clean up installations from Stuxnet, and we know that Iran is not good in information technology security, and they are just beginning to learn what this all means,”  he said.

Regardless of the extent of the damage, Iran will eventually overcome Stuxnet and purge the malware from its computer systems. This, however, is likely just the beginning. The shadow war between Israel and Iran will continue. - Sources: Jerusalem Post, and Israel Report.

“MOSSAD, US, UK COOPERATING TO

SABOTAGE  IRAN  NUKES”

Dec 30/10. US and UK intelligence services are cooperating with the Israeli intelligence, Mossad, to sabotage Tehran’s nuclear program in exchange for Israel agreeing not to launch a military strike on Iran, according to the French weekly Le Canard Enchaîné which quotes French intelligence sources.

Acts of sabotage, in the past year in Iran, included an explosion that killed 18 Iranian technicians in a missile factory that manufactured Shihab missiles, the killing of five Iranian nuclear scientists, and the introduction of the Stuxnet virus into 30,000 computers in Iran’s nuclear reactors

These attacks were conducted by the Israeli Mossad with the help of the American and British intelligence agencies, CIA and MI6, the French sources said.

The sources said the cooperation continues, and more joint actions aimed at stopping Iran from completing its nuclear program are expected.

                      ISRAEL DISCOVERS ANOTHER   

     16 TRILLION CUBIC FT OF NATURAL GAS

Dec 29/10. The largest reserve of natural gas has been discovered in a joint U.S.-Israeli drilling operation. Noble Energy Inc. has announced it is estimated to be worth more than $95 billion.

Texas-based Noble Energy and its Israeli exploration partners described the Leviathan prospect -- 130 km (80 miles) northwest of the Mediterranean port of Haifa, and more than three miles beneath the Mediterranean’s seabed -- as the world’s biggest gas find in the past decade. Leviathan is named after the Biblical sea monster.

Tamar, a nearby site being drilled by Noble and Israel’s Delek Energy, was the largest gas find in the world in 2009, at 8.4 trillion cubic feet.

Production from Tamar is slated to begin in 2013 and it is being targeted for local consumption. Leviathan, its developers said, won’t be ready until 2017.

In his book, “Epicenter,” published in 2006, Joel C. Rosenberg included a chapter entitled, “Future Headline: Israel Discovers Massive Reserves of Oil, Gas.” The chapter described a trail of prophetic clues found in the Scriptures that seem to indicate that in the “last days” the nation of Israel will be blessed by discovering huge reserves of petroleum that will make the state quite wealthy.

The trail of clues can be found in the following Bible verses:  *Genesis 49:1 & 49:25,   *Deuteronomy 32:12-13, &  33:13, 19, 24,   *Isaiah 45:3,   *Ezekiel 38:8-13.

Those clues suggest Israel will be able to “dip his foot in oil” and draw “oil from the flinty rock.” The Jewish people will find “hidden treasures in the sand” and an “abundance of the seas.”

If you’ve been tracking the historic discoveries of natural gas and oil in Israel in recent times, then you will be interested in this week’s headlines: (last week of December).

 

*     BIG GAS FIND SPARKS A FRENZY IN ISRAEL      - Wall Street Journal

*     LARGEST NATURAL GAS RESERVE DISCOVERED IN ISRAEL WORTH 

      APPROXIMATELY $95 BILLION. - Haaretz

*     ISRAEL HAS ENOUGH GAS ‘TO BECOME  EXPORTER. - Agence France Presse

*     LEVIATHAN GAS WELL ESTIMATED AT $45 BILLION - Ynet News

*     ISRAEL REVELS IN GAS FIND BUT FACES EXPORT HURDLES - yahoo.com

Noble Energy owns 39.66% of the prospective discovery, alongside Israeli partners Delek Group Ltd. (22.67% each), and Ratio Oil Exploration (1992) 15%.

Except for the occasional small oil and gas find in its early years, Israel has searched in vain for energy. Noble drilled its first Israeli well in 1999, and quickly scored two modest finds.

In January 2009, Noble made a landmark discovery. The Tamar field contained premium quality gas—almost pure methane. Noble had expected to find three trillion cubic feet at the most. The reservoir ended up containing nearly three times that. Two months later, the company found a second, smaller deposit of gas at the nearby Dalit field.

Then, last summer, Noble dropped a bomb shell. The Leviathan field appeared to be a super-giant, according to three-dimensional seismic studies, with almost twice the gas reserves of Tamar.

Noble began drilling its first exploratory well in the field in October. It’s still early days, and getting all that gas out of the seabed may be more difficult than it may seem today. But Noble and its partners think the field could hold enough gas to transform Israel, a country precariously dependent on others for energy, into a net-energy exporter.

Such a transformation could potentially alter the geopolitical balance of the Mideast, giving Israel a new economic advantage over its enemies.

Israel can look forward to long-term energy security after the discovery of this huge off-shore natural gas field. But obstacles lie ahead in exporting its output. Experts pointed to a world glut in natural gas, and noted that, unlike oil which is sold on global markets, gas is geographic and needs a specific buyer.

But even if the hurdles to export prove insurmountable, the gas at Leviathan will give Israel, which has always been dependent on imports, long-term energy security. It has enough reserves to supply Israel’s gas needs for 100 years.

GAS BONANZA SPARKS FRENZIED

        RESPONSE AND CLAIMS

Leviathan sits at the center of a gas bonanza that has investors, international oil companies, Israeli politicians and even Hizb’ollah, Israel’s sworn enemy, clamoring for a piece of the action.

Even before Leviathan, a series of finds had put the so-called Levant Basin, stretching offshore in the Mediterranean, on the international energy map.

The Leviathan find raises the prospects of other major discoveries in the region -- off the shores of Cyprus, Lebanon, Egypt and Gaza.

Israel’s discovery has spurred Lebanon to do the same to help feed its growing electricity demands. Lebanese politicians are trying to lure companies to explore their nearby waters, while the two countries — still technically at war — have threatened each other over offshore resources.

Lebanon has staked out its own claim to offshore gas. In August, lawmakers in Beirut rushed the country’s first oil-exploration law through its normally snarled parliament.

Iran’s ambassador to Lebanon, Qazanfar Roknabadi, has weighed in on the bonanza, claiming that three-quarters of the Leviathan field actually belongs to Lebanon.

Russia is also undoubtedly keenly interested in the new discovery and developments.

 

NEXT FLASHPOINT IN MIDEAST

COULD BE THE GAS FIELDS

Jan 4/11.   The Sun, (NY)  reports:  The next flashpoint in the Middle East could be the gas fields off Israel’s Mediterranean coast, where the discovery of large cashes of natural gas is raising hopes that Israel could soon become energy-self-sufficient but where a dispute with Lebanon could be ignited.

The Iran-influenced Beirut government is threatening to defend its maritime “rights” and is complaining about Israel’s explorations. Lebanon’s appeals for international intervention begun last summer, immediately after Israel’s off shore gas explorations showed signs of positive results. Now that years of exploration have yielded what some energy experts estimate to be the world’s largest deepwater gas discovery in a decade, Beirut is raising the tone of its demands.

Lebanon’s foreign minister demanded the United Nations assure that “Israel does not exploit Lebanon’s marine and oil wealth, which lies within its exclusive economic zone.” Last June a Shiite politician with ties to Hizb’ollah, Nabih Berri, speaker of the parliament at Beirut, asserted that Israel’s newly-discovered gas was actually found in Lebanon’s territorial waters.

The United Nations has rejected an attempt by Lebanon to stop Israel from drilling for oil and natural gas in the Mediterranean. And while the UN is to date unwilling to intervene, it added to the confusion by saying Israel “unilaterally” delineated its maritime border with Lebanon.

As Joel Rosenberg says:

“This newfound wealth in the last days will certainly be a blessing for Israel, but it will also draw enemies and may very well help trigger the “War of Gog and Magog” when the nations ask the leaders of the Russian-Iranian alliance that comes against the Jewish state:

“Have you come to capture spoil [from Israel]? Have you assembled your [military forces] to seize plunder, to carry away silver and gold….to capture a great spoil?” (Ezekiel 38:11-13)

Over the past year we have seen the rapid consolidation of the Russian Confederation.

And we are also seeing the economic and military growth of the leading King of the East – CHINA.

 

    CHINA MAY BE BIGGER ECONOMY THAN U.S.

WITHIN TWO YEARS

 

Dec 2010. The Telegraph, UK. According to a highly respected economic research association, China will overtake the US as the world’s biggest economy within two years.

Obviously that’s not going to be the case in dollar terms. But in terms of purchasing power parity, China is already nearly there. By 2020 it will reach a size of output which is nearly half as big again as the US.

We all knew that the weight of economic growth had skewed dramatically since the crisis advanced to emerging market economies, but many in the West don’t yet seem to fully appreciate the speed with which economic and geo-political power is shifting. This is a truly seismic change.  - www.telegraph.co.uk

CHINA PREPARING FOR ARMED CONFLICT ‘IN EVERY DIRECTION’

Dec 31/2010.  Telegraph, UK.  The Chinese Defence Minister has said China is preparing for conflict ‘in every direction.’

“In the coming five years, our military will push forward preparations for military conflict in every strategic direction,” said Liang Guanglie in an interview published by several state-backed newspapers in China. “We may be living in peaceful times, but we can never forget war, never send the horses south or put the bayonets and guns away,” he added.

China says it is planning a “peaceful rise,” but the recent pace and scale of its military modernization has alarmed many of its neighbours in the Asia-Pacific, including Japan which described China’s military build-up as a “global concern.” 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/china/8229789/China-preparing-for-armed-conflict-in-every-direction.html

 

CHINA  AGGRESSIVELY ARMING ITS MILITARY

China announced in December that it was preparing to launch its own aircraft carrier in 2011, in a signal that China is determined to punch its weight as a rising superpower.

China is also working on a “carrier-killing” ballistic missile that could sink US aircraft carriers, fundamentally reordering the balance of power in a region that has been dominated by the US since the end of the Second World War.  

Adm. Robert F. Willard, commander of the U.S. Pacific Command, disclosed to a Japanese newspaper that the new anti-ship ballistic missile (ASBM) is now in the early stages of deployment after having undergone extensive testing. -  Washington Times

THE KINGS OF THE EAST, IN BIBLE PROPHECY 

REVELATION 16:12-16

“The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up to prepare the way for the kings from the  rising of the sun - the East.

And I saw coming out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs; for they are spirits of demons, performing miraculous signs, and they go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them together for the battle of the Great Day of YHWH EL SHADDAI - God Almighty .... Then they gathered the kings together to the place called in Hebrew, Har-Megiddo (Armageddon).”

ABDULLAH       JORDAN ALARMED AS IRAN BUILDS

                                             NEW EASTERN FRONT IN IRAQ

Jan 6/11. debka.com reported:  In an urgent phone call on Jan. 5, Jordan’s King Abdullah pressed Israeli PM Netanyahu for answers on what Jerusalem and Amman can do to curb Iran’s advancing domination of Iraq in the face of America’s inaction.

Referring to Hizb’ollah’s role, Abdullah said to Netanyahu: First Iran’s missiles had you jammed from the north and the south; now Iran and Hizb’ollah are cornering you from the east. And the Americans are not lifting a finger to stop this happening.”

Netanyahu confirmed that Israel still stood by the guarantee of support its armed forces and security services had granted the Hashemite Kingdom and its ruler for the past 60 years.

Both the king and the PM agreed that words are not enough. Since both their military and strategic policies are synchronized with Washington, the total disintegration of American strategic positions in Baghdad was an alarming setback to both Jerusalem and Amman.  Abdullah’s main concern was ...

MUQTADA SADR’S RETURN TO IRAQ      

On Jan 5, the anti-US radical Iraqi Shi’ite cleric, Muqtada Sadr, a close friend and ally of Hizb’ollah’s leader Hassan Nasrallah, came marching home from self-imposed exile in Iran. Also, the new Iranian foreign  minister,  Ali  Akbar

Salehi, paid his first visit to Baghdad – both in full sight of 50,000 US troops.

Sadr was greeted by thousands of supporters on his return to his old stronghold in the holy city of Najef south of Baghdad, three years after his armed militia was defeated in bloody revolts against US forces.

The two arrivals from Iran, the cleric and the diplomat, made it plain that Tehran has Iraq by the throat and plans to impose on Baghdad its regime structure.

Iraqi PM Nouri Maliki is already in Iran’s pocket; he is beholden to the radical Sadr’s support for his appointment. The same cleric – and therefore Iran - will control his fate - both by means of the 40-member Sadrist faction in parliament and the authority he wields from his seat in the religious city of Najef.

Tehran has also not neglected to carve out a position of influence in Baghdad for its Lebanese protégé, Hizb’ollah, whose officers and instructors have been training the commanders of Sadr’s powerful militia, the Mahdi Army, alongside Iranian instructors.

These two ultra-radical Shiite leaders, Sadr and Nasrallah, are now bound closer together than ever in an adventure for bringing Iraq under pro-Iranian Shiite domination. Iraq’s neighbors, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, could only shudder at the sight of the two black-turbaned Shiite extremists taking charge of Iraq on behalf of Revolutionary Iran against no opposition.  

This pair and Maliki have taken out of the hands of Washington and Baghdad the decision on whether a reduced US force stays on in Iraq after the main force departs in 11 months’ time. Muqtada Sadr has vowed to remove every last American from Iraqi soil and no one shows any sign of stopping him. US troops will be replaced by Shiite-dominated Iraqi forces, the Shiite militias commanded and funded by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Al Qods Brigades and Hizb’ollah militia detachments transferred from Lebanon.

Iran will in the coming months consolidate the Shiite takeover over Iraq. After US troops exit Iraq, the Iranians will be able to deploy their missiles and Hizb’ollah’s rockets in the bases the Americans leave behind in Iraq and point them at Israel, Jordan and Saudi Arabia.   http://www.debka.com/

 

LEBANON ON THE BRINK OF A HIZB’OLLAH COUP!

There is serious trouble brewing in Lebanon!

You may remember that in February 2005, the then Lebanese Premier Rafiq Hariri was assassinated near his home in Beirut. 21 others were killed and over 100 wounded in the car bomb attack that took Hariri’s life.

Now, 5 years later, the UN’s Special Tribunal for Lebanon is set to implicate Hizb’ollah in the assassination and bring indictments against several of its members.

Hizb’ollah has said, if that happens they’ll move to de-stabilize the fragile government of Lebanon and set up a parallel one under their own control. Their stated purpose is to hold the country hostage against the release of their indicted members.

RAFIQ     Rafiq Hariri’s son, Saad Hariri,    SAAD

is the current PM of Lebanon.

Saad has courageously refused to reign in the Special Tribunal to prevent them from naming Hizb’ollah in connection with his father’ death. Hizb’ollah has threatened to assassinate Saad.

In October, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visited Lebanon, specifically to clinch Iran’s grip on Lebanon and to forge it into Iran’s forward front for retaliation should Israel venture to strike its nuclear facilities. Ahmadinejad boasted that southern Lebanon is now Iran’s southern border with Israel.

Later in Oct., Hizb’ollah conducted a countrywide training exercise to prepare for taking over the country.

It is believed that both Iran and Syria are encouraging Hizb’ollah to wage a coup against the Saad government.

On the other hand there is a large contingent of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, aligned with the PLO’s (Sunni) Fatah faction.  They have promised that if (Shi’ite) Hizb’ollah makes good on its threats, they’ll shoot rockets into Israel and see that Hizb’ollah gets drawn into a much larger conflict than it wants.

                          UNILATERAL DECLARATION OF A  

PALESTINIAN STATE BY SUMMER 2011 ?

By JOEL C. ROSENBERG

Dec 28/10). A serious new threat to the peace and security of Israel and the people of the epicenter is rapidly emerging - the prospect that the Palestinian leadership will unilaterally declare their own independent, sovereign state as early as mid- 2011, and attempt to divide Jerusalem.  The world will try to force Israel to accept this new state rather than require the Palestinians to sit down and negotiate a fair and just arrangement that both sides can accept.

Make no mistake: a unilateral declaration by the Palestinians is not a recipe for peace. It is a recipe for war. Over 450,000 Israelis live in the West Bank. They are not going to quietly accept a Palestinian government in Ramallah deciding their fate. Nor will these Israeli settlers allow the Palestinian police to forcibly remove them from their villages, towns and cities. Especially Jerusalem. They will fight back.

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu would be under enormous domestic political pressure to back these Jewish citizens with the force of the Israeli military, and should violence intensify, he would likely order the IDF into battle. The results would not be pretty, and the Palestinian people would pay a heavy price.

World leaders, therefore, should be putting enormous pressure on Palestinian leaders to sit down to direct negotiations with the Israelis and find a peaceful solution through diplomacy, lest violence result. Sadly, that’s not what is happening. Instead, world leaders are putting enormous pressure on Israeli leaders to cut a fast deal with the Palestinians or face the prospect of a Palestinian state being imposed upon them. Already, Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, Uruguay and Turkey are moving to formally recognize a Palestinian state. More countries are preparing to do so soon.

Bible prophecy makes it clear that the nations of the world will, in the last days, divide up the land of Israel. But the Scriptures are also crystal clear that the nations will face the judgment of Almighty God for doing so.

“In those days and at that time, when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem, I will gather all the nations and bring them to the Valley of Jehoshaphat (Yahweh judges). Then I will enter into judgment with them there on behalf of My people and My inheritance, Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations; and they have divided up My land.” (Joel 3:1-2)

Top officials in the EU are pushing an initiative for the EU to formally recognize an independent Palestinian state by the summer of 2011. 

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in November that she opposed a unilateral declaration by the Palestinians, noting, “We do not support unilateral steps by either party that could prejudge the outcome of such negotiations.” But I believe it is increasingly possible that the Obama administration will also back such an initiative. Given how aggressively the White House and State Department are pushing for a Palestinian state — and how poor relations between President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu have been in 2009 and 2010 — U.S. support for the “unilateral option” is a real and serious threat.

Members of Congress, both Democrats and Republicans, are so concerned that the Obama administration will support the “unilateral option” that on Dec 16th they voiced their opposition to such an approach. “The US House of Representatives unanimously approved a resolution opposing the unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state.”

                                                                                                     - flashtrafficblog.wordpress.com/

 

             PERSECUTION  AT christMAS

Christmas is a season when the enemies of Christ like to attack churches – especially the large traditional churches which hold a big visible celebration. 

bomb explosion in Philippines

Dec 25.  During a Christmas Day mass on the predominantly Muslim island of Jolo a bomb explosion wounded a priest and 10 churchgoers.

COPTIC CHURCH BOMBED IN EGYPT

Dec 21. At least twenty-two Christians, celebrating the arrival of the New Year at church, were killed when a car bomb exploded during a New Year’s service in Alexandria, Egypt. Eighty more were wounded.

130 EGYPTIAN CHRISTIANS  JAILED

Recently some 130 Christian worshipers, including children, remain imprisoned in Egypt, a month after some 2,000 security forces attacked their church which was under re-construction, killing several people, according to American and local missionaries.

DEADLY BLASTS ROCK NIGERIAN CHRISTIANS

Authorities in northern and central Nigeria tried to restore calm on December 25, after suspected Muslim militants targeted churches and other sites in Christmas Eve attacks that killed as many as 38 Christians and injured over 50.

INDONESIANS SURROUND CHRISTIAN HOMES

Tensions remained high on December 26, near Jakarta where a group of angry Muslims backed by police surrounded homes of Christians in protests against what they called “unauthorized religious services.”

DEATH THREATS AT CHRISTMAS IN IRAQ

“Many” church services have been canceled in Iraq over the Christmas period following deadly attacks and new terror threats on Dec. 24 , several church groups said.

PAKISTANI GOVERNOR ASSASSINATED FOR OPPOSING BLASPHEMY LAW

Dec 24. Muslims began protests against plans to change Pakistan’s blasphemy laws, after an Islamic leader offered nearly $6,000 for the killing of a Christian woman he accused of offending Islam.

Jan 3/11. The governor of Pakistan’s Punjab province, Salman Taseer, was killed by his own bodyguard in Islamabad, allegedly because he spoke out against the country’s controversial blasphemy law.

Taseer recently made headlines for speaking out against the law, which was used to sentence Asia Bibi, a Christian woman, who was convicted of insulting the Prophet Muhammad. Friends of the governor say he knew he was risking his life by speaking out.

The guard told police that he killed Taseer because of the governor’s opposition to Pakistan’s blasphemy law.

Pray the Lord will raise up other leaders who are willing to speak up for the Christian minority in Pakistan. Pray there will be great support for reform. -  Source: BBC

VIETNAM CRACKS DOWN AT CHRISTMAS

Christians of house churches and other non-recognized groups prepared on Dec. 24 for a tense Christmas, after security forces halted Christmas celebrations and detained believers in several areas of Vietnam.

 IRAN ARRESTS 70 CHRISTIANS

In Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the so-called “Supreme Leader,” publicly warned a few months ago against the “network of house churches” that “threaten Islamic faith and deceive young Muslims.” During Christmas, at least 70 Iranian Christians were arrested in their homes and separated from their families.

Y’shua said “You will be hated by all nations because of My Name.” (Matthew 24:9).  He also said:

“Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when men revile, insult and slander you, and when they persecute you, telling all kinds of vicious lies about you because of Me. Rejoice, and be glad for your reward in heaven is great, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Matthew 5:10-12)

 

WHAT IS THE FASTEST-GROWING RELIGION? 

Dec 31/10. Most news reports suggest it is Islam. But the evidence suggests a new, or, perhaps, original form of biblically inspired evangelical Christianity is sweeping through places like China, Africa, India and Southeast Asia – making it, by far, the fastest growing faith on the planet. 

In “Megashift,” author Jim Rutz makes the point that Christianity is overlooked as the fastest-growing faith in the world because most surveys look at the traditional Protestant denominations and the Roman Catholic Church while ignoring Christian believers who have no part of either. 

He says there are 707 million “switched-on disciples” who fit into this new category and that this “church” is exploding in growth. “The growing core of Christianity crosses theological lines and includes 707 million born-again people who are increasing by 8% a year,” he says. 

Hundreds of millions of these Christians are simply not associated with the institutional churches at all. They meet in homes. They meet underground. They meet in caves. They meet, he says, in secret. 

“When I was a kid in Sunday school, I was really impressed that 3,000 people were saved on the Day of Pentecost,” Rutz writes. “I thought, ‘Wow, that’ll never happen again!’ But,” he says, “it now happens around the globe every 25 minutes. “By tomorrow, there will be 175,000 more Christians than there are today.” 

According to the author, until 1960, Western evangelicals outnumbered non-Western evangelicals by two to one. As of 2000, non-Western evangelicals outnumbered Westerners by four to one. That moved to seven to one by 2010. 

“There are now more missionaries sent from non-Western nations than Western nations,” he adds.   - www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=245201

 

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