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Monday, December 10, 2012

Russia will not allow a repetition of the Libyan scenario in Syria

Russia will not allow a repetition of the Libyan scenario in Syria, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Sunday.

“We’ll not allow the Libyan experience to be reproduced in Syria. Unfortunately our Western partners have departed from the Geneva accords and are seeking the departure of [Syrian President] Bashar al-Assad,” Lavrov said, adding Russia was not clinging to any individual leaders in Syria.

Russia and China vetoed a Western-backed UN resolution on Syria on July 19 over fears that it would lead to foreign military intervention in the Middle East country.
The resolution was tied to Chapter 7 of the UN Charter, which would have provided for the use of force to put an end to the rapidly escalating conflict.

Russia says it has no special interest in seeing Assad remain in power, but that the “Syrian people” should decide his fate.

A number of Western countries have been trying to persuade Moscow to support a resolution effectively authorizing a military operation, but Russia has repeatedly insisted that the Western drive for a stronger crackdown on Syria is preparation for a “Libyan scenario.”

In Libya, rebels ousted and killed long-standing dictator Muammar Gaddafi in October 2011 after a months-long military standoff in which they received assistance from NATO forces. Russia did not use its veto power in the UN Security Council to block the intervention in Libya that was started under the pretext of protecting civilians there.

Lavrov also said Russia was not holding any talks on the fate of embattled Assad.

Meanwhile, Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev said the Syrian leadership had assured Russia there was no danger of the spread of chemical weapons in the Middle East country.

“The Syrian government is assuring us that it will not allow their spread [chemical weapons]. We hope that this will be so,” Patrushev said.

He was echoed by Lavrov, who said Russia is more concerned that the chemical weapons could fall into hands of Assad's opponents, whose ranks allegedly include al-Qaida affiliates. Official Damascus said on Saturday that the insurgents have taken control of a chemical factory in Aleppo, which could be used to manufacture chemical weapons, AFP reported.

RIA Novosti

Japan Latest economic data sparks recession fears

Japan on Monday confirmed that the world’s third-largest economy shrank in the three months to September, stoking fears the country is slipping into a recession.

Financial turmoil in Europe, a strong yen that has dented exports and a painful diplomatic row with major trade partner China have dented Japan’s economy, dousing hopes it had cemented a recovery after the 2011 quake-tsunami disaster.

Some economists have warned the current quarter is likely to see another contraction, meaning two successive quarters of negative growth that would reflect a technical recession.

On Monday, official data confirmed earlier figures that showed Japan’s economy shrank 0.9% in the July-September quarter, or down 3.5% on an annualized basis.

Revised figures from the Cabinet Office also showed the nation’s growth in the previous quarter was essentially flat, further underscoring recession fears.

Separate data released Monday showed Japan’s current account surplus was down about 30% on-year to 376.9 billion yen in October, although the latest figure beat market expectations for a 218 billion yen surplus, according to Dow Jones Newswires.

The current account is the broadest measure of Japan’s trade with the rest of the world, including exports, tourism and overseas income.

Japan’s current account surpluses have been hit by a slowing global economy and a spike in fuel imports due to the shutdown of most of the country’s nuclear reactors following last year’s disaster which triggered a major atomic crisis.

Last month, Tokyo approved $10.7 billion in fresh spending to help boost the limp economy, more than double a package announced in October.

The new package was announced as the nation prepares for Dec 16 elections which are expected to see Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and his Democratic Party of Japan defeated by the main opposition Liberal Democratic Party led by Shinzo Abe.

Abe has vowed to spend heavily on public works and pressure the Bank of Japan into launching aggressive monetary easing measures to boost growth if his party wins the election.

The BOJ has unveiled two policy easing measures in recent months as its counterparts in the U.S. and Europe launched major moves to counter slowing growth.

The yen has been weakening as speculation grows that the BOJ will usher in further easing measures after its policy meeting this month, with the central bank’s closely-watched Tankan corporate sentiment survey due this week.

“The BOJ will have no choice but to consider additional monetary easing in case its own Tankan survey shows worsening in near-term corporate sentiment,” said RBS Securities chief Japan economist Junko Nishioka.

Japan Today

A Syrian chemical attack or a US-led military showdown?

For the past week, US officials have kept up a flow of leaks to the media suggesting that Syrian President Bashar Assad was on the verge of ordering his army to unleash chemical weapons. The details built up as the week went by, starting with the detection of “unusual movements” of Syrian chemical weapons units, advancing to reports that the Syrians were “mixing precursor chemicals” for the nerve gas sarin and on Thursday, Dec. 6, that bombs had been made ready with sarin gas for loading onto Syrian Air Force fighter-bombers when Assad gave the word.

Saturday, Dec. 8, British Foreign Secretary William Hague reported evidence from intelligence sources that Syria is preparing to use chemical weapons. British intelligence sources added that Syria's chemical weapons are concentrated at five air bases and are being closely watched. They said contingency plans have been drawn up if they show signs of being readied to be loaded and used as weapons.

Who are the close watchers and what are the contingency plans?
In its last issue, DEBKA-Net-Weekly’s military sources disclosed that US, Israeli, Jordanian and Turkish special forces are spread out on the ground in Syria, armed with special gear for combating chemical arms. They are close enough to count the convoys carrying canisters, shells or bombs loaded with poison gas and their reports are supplemented by orbiting US military surveillance satellites and drones able to pinpoint the position of the chemical munitions at any given moment.

DEBKAfile also reported Saturday that the rebels had seized a “chlorine factor” at Al Safir, the cover name for Bashar Assad’s largest chemical store and base, where also he keeps Syrian Scud D missiles armed with chemical warheads ready to fire at Israel.
The strange thing about these tactics is this: If “US officials” – military and intelligence – were able to keep track step by step of the movements of Syria’s poisonous weapons, believe that sooner or later Assad will use them and have issued grave warnings, why didn’t they take preventive action in good time?
Yet to date, President Barack Obama has held back from ordering an attack on the Syrian army’s chemical units – just as the Syrian ruler is abstaining from issuing the final “go” order to use those weapons.
It seems that neither wants to go first.

We seem to be witnessing a high-stake poker game between Washington and Damascus over a deck of chemical cards, each waiting to see who blinks first.
If the Americans attack, Assad will feel he is justified in releasing his poisonous gas over Turkey, Jordan and Israel.

But if Assad loses his nerve and lets loose with chemical weapons inside or outside Syria, the Americans will come crashing down on him with the full might of the US air, sea and marine forces standing by off the Syrian coast, along with Turkish, Israeli and Jordanian strikes against targets in Syria.

Tuesday Dec. 6, Syrian chemical weapons units positioned near the capital, Damascus were first sighted by military and intelligence personnel heading north on the road to Aleppo armed with shells loaded with nerve agents - sarin and possibly XV. Three days later, the movements continued to destinations unknown.

Intelligence experts are speculating that these convoys may be decoys for distracting attention from still- undiscovered poison gas caches. Large-scale Western naval and marines forces are therefore on elevated readiness for responding to any unexpected Syrian moves.

Those experts offer two theories about the destination of the chemicals weapons. One is that they are not destined for any of the battle fronts against the rebels, but for the Alawite Mountains; Assad is getting ready to retreat from Damascus and barricade himself in his mountain stronghold accompanied by the forces still loyal to him. Another theory is that from the Allawite Mts. near the coast, the Syrian ruler was planning to hit American and Turkish soldiers with chemical weapons as they came ashore.


Over 1 Million Americans Enter Poverty In Last Two Months

And we thought last month's delayed foodstamp data was bad. The just reported foodstamp number for September was a doozy, with 607,544 new Americans becoming eligible for foodstamps, as a record 47.7 million Americans are now living in poverty at least according to the USDA
The monthly increase was the highest since May 2011, and with August's 421K new impoverished America, over 1 million Americans made the EBT card their new best friend. It is unclear just which atmospheric phenomenon will get the blame for this unprecedented surge in poverty, which comes at a time when the pre-election economic data euphoria was adamant that the US economy was on an escape velocity to utopia. 
Instead what we do know is that in August and September, over three times as many foodstamp recipients were add to the economy as jobs (324,000). We also know that with the imminent impact of Sandy, which will send foodstamp recipients soaring, it is now looking quite possible that the US may end 2012 with just over a mindboggling 50 million Americans living in absolute poverty and collecting the $134.29 average monthly benefit per person, instead of working. Welcome to the recovery indeed.
Individual Americans on foodstamps:
Foodstamps at the household level rose to a record 24 million:
Aggregating foodstamp, disability and nonfarm payrolls data shows that since the start of the Depression in December 2007, 21.8 million Americans have shifted more or less permanently to the entitlement line, even as the US still has to generate 4.4 million jobs just to break even.
And the same shown on a monthly basis:
Source: SNAP
Zero Hedge

Into Darkness

Joseph Herrin (12-07-2012)

A fact of which I am thoroughly convinced is that Satan has control of the mainstream media. This control extends to the major production studios and the movies that are released each year.

This past year the top movie in the news, and second highest grossing film, wasThe Dark Knight Rises. The name of this movie is a homonym of the phrase The Dark Night Rises. This movie received a surfeit of media attention when there was a shooting at a Colorado theater in which the movie was playing on its first night of release. Twelve people were killed, and at least 58 injured in the chaos. The senseless slaughter of life, coupled with the theme of the movie, foreshadows the time of tribulation that is approaching for the earth.

Satan uses the media to broadcast his own malevolent plans for mankind, albeit in cloaked form, for he is a deceiver. It is noteworthy that Batman is a cloaked and horned super-hero (See image above). Even the horns are a type of deceit, for they are identified ostensibly as bat ears. Satan is a master of the double entendre. His cunning is observed in both words and images.

I would not read nearly as much into what is being signified by these Hollywood productions unless the message found a harmony with God’s words. This movie, and another that I will mention in a moment, are focused upon a powerful being arising with great wrath to destroy civilization. This is in keeping with the message of the following Scripture.

Revelation 12:12
“Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he has only a short time.”

This message of Satanic wrath and vengeance was observed during the 2012 London Olympics. In the writing Good Morning to the Night I shared that the Olympic organizers had chosen a song to be played by the group Muse every time the athletes entered the main stadium. The song was titled Survival, and it included the following lyrics.

Race, life’s a race
And I am gonna win
Yes, I am gonna win

And I’ll light the fuse
And I’ll never lose
And I choose to survive
Whatever it takes
You won’t pull ahead
I’ll keep up the pace
And I’ll reveal my strength
To the whole human race
Yes I am prepared
To stay alive
I won’t forgive, the vengeance is mine
And I won’t give in
Because I choose to thrive

I’m gonna win

These words are Luciferian. Satan was using others to voice his own words of rebellion and vengeance on a world stage where all nations would be watching. In saying that he will “light the fuse” he is indicating that he is about to pour forth his wrath upon the nations. His greatest anger will be unleashed upon the people of God, whether the natural descendants of Abraham, or the spiritual offspring of Yahshua. Satan is setting the stage to reveal his strength to the whole human race. He knows his time is short and he is determined to go down fighting. The last words of the song above are as follows:

Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight!
Win! Win! Win! Win!

Yes I’m gonna win

Those who are Christians and believe the word of God know that this is a hollow boast. Satan is not going to win. However, he is granted authority for a season to overcome the saints of God.

Revelation 13:3-7
And the whole earth was amazed and followed after the beast; and they worshiped the dragon, because he gave his authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, "Who is like the beast, and who is able to wage war with him?" And there was given to him a mouth speaking arrogant words and blasphemies; and authority to act for forty-two months was given to him. And he opened his mouth in blasphemies against God, to blaspheme His name and His tabernacle, that is, those who dwell in heaven. And it was given to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them; and authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation was given to him.

What I want to point out is that Satan frequently uses the voices of men to telegraph his own words to the world. This occurred again in a second “official” Olympic song by Elton John.

Good Morning to the Night

Repeatedly, Satan has been declaring that darkness is about to fall upon the earth. Even as Christ was a bringer of light, Satan is a bringer of darkness. It was at night that the Jewish religious leaders roused a mob to arrest Yahshua and deliver him to the Romans to be crucified. Christ commented on the timing of their actions.

Luke 22:52-53
Then Yahshua said to the chief priests, captains of the temple, and the elders who had come to Him, "Have you come out, as against a robber, with swords and clubs? When I was with you daily in the temple, you did not try to seize Me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness."

Satan’s domain is darkness. When he is ruling, all will become dark as night. During those centuries when nearly all Christian light was snuffed out from the earth, and the Roman harlot church had destroyed all Bibles in the native tongues of the people, Satan had great sway over mankind. That period has come to be known as “the Dark Ages.” Another dark age, much shorter, but also more intense, is about to fall upon the earth. It will be an hour for a remnant of God’s people to shine forth brightly even as Christ shown brilliantly for a brief season upon the earth.

Isaiah 60:1-2
“Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of Yahweh has risen upon you. For behold, darkness will cover the earth, and deep darkness the peoples; But Yahweh will rise upon you, and His glory will appear upon you.”

We are quickly approaching that time when great darkness will fall upon the nations. I have shared in previous writings that I believe the year 2013 will be one of much darkness and tribulation. The number 13 is Biblically significant. It is the number of rebellion and apostasy. The year 2013 will be the year of the Serpent on the Chinese calendar. The symbolic building known as One World Trade Center is scheduled to reach its full height and be opened for occupancy in 2013. There is much about this building that is spiritually significant. You can read more about it in the article Babylon Rising.


Scheduled for release in May of 2013 is another movie that Satan is using to telegraph his own words of defiance against Yahweh and vengeance upon the world. It is the latest movie in the Star Trek series and is titled Into Darkness. Listen to the words spoken in the trailer, perceiving them to be Satan speaking to mankind.


Following are the words transcribed for those who are unable to view the trailer.

You think your world is safe. It is an illusion. A comforting lie told to protect you. Enjoy these final moments of peace, for I have returned, TO HAVE MY VENGEANCE...

So, shall we begin?

These are the only words uttered in the official movie trailer. They are cleverly disguised, but are the words of Satan spoken to mankind. The words are accompanied with images of destruction and the evident arrival of some alien being upon the earth. This is a parable of Satan being cast down to the earth. It is a parallel to Revelation 12:12. “Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he has only a short time.”

I have occasionally had people write and object to the fact that I would use Satanic sources such as movies, or the Olympics, to declare to the body of Christ what is about to occur. Some have argued that Satan, being a deceiver, may be lying, or that Satan is not God and does not control what is about to occur on the earth. A careful appraisal of the words of Revelation 12:12 reveal, however, that the devil is given divine understanding of the time he has left. He realizes (in truth) that his time is short. As a result, he unleashes all his wrath and fury upon the earth.

What is being broadcast through these Satanically controlled media sources, and worldwide venues such as the Olympics, is that the darkness of night is approaching. Satan and his angels are filled with wrath for having been cast down from heaven and they will exact vengeance upon everything Yahweh has created. The earth will be laid waste and mankind will suffer tremendous slaughter. The Scriptures have foretold these days with the following words:

Mark 13:14-23
“But when you see the abomination of desolation standing where it should not be (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. And let him who is on the housetop not go down, or enter in, to get anything out of his house; and let him who is in the field not turn back to get his cloak. But woe to those who are with child and to those who nurse babes in those days! But pray that it may not happen in the winter. For those days will be a time of tribulation such as has not occurred since the beginning of the creation which God created, until now, and never shall. And unless the Lord had shortened those days, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect whom He chose, He shortened the days. And then if anyone says to you, 'Behold, here is the Christ'; or, 'Behold, He is there'; do not believe him; for false Christs and false prophets will arise, and will show signs and wonders, in order, if possible, to lead the elect astray. But take heed; behold, I have told you everything in advance.”

For 2,000 years the church has been discussing when the days Christ foretold would take place. Generation after generation has wondered whether these things might occur in their days. Now, at the end of the age, the time is at hand. Christ has not left His people in darkness that they should fail to perceive the nearness of these things.

I Thessalonians 5:2-6
For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night. While they are saying, "Peace and safety!" then destruction will come upon them suddenly like birth pangs upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day should overtake you like a thief; for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness; so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober.

Compare this passage to the dialogue from the Into Darkness movie trailer. The Scriptures state that destruction will come when mankind are speaking of “Peace and safety.” The otherworldly speaker in the trailer states: “You think your world issafe. It is an illusion. A comforting lie told to protect you. Enjoy these final moments of peace...”

Satan is far more aware of Yahweh’s timetable than the majority of Christians. He knows the end of the age approaches. He knows that he will soon be judged, and his power and authority removed. In wrath he is even now laying his plans and plotting his violence. The earth will be shaken. The nations are about to descend “into darkness.”

Understand that Satan is not omnipotent. What is coming to the earth is in keeping with the plan of the ages established by the One who does have “all power and all authority.” After His resurrection Yahshua declared:

Matthew 28:18-20
"All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth... and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."

These words should be a source of great comfort and assurance to every man, woman, and child who belongs to Christ Yahshua. He is with us ALWAYS. He is with us “even to the end of the age” when Satan comes down to the earth with great wrath. Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ.

Romans 8:35-39
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written, "For Thy sake we are being put to death all day long; We were considered as sheep to be slaughtered." But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Yahshua our Lord.

People of God, I have had correspondence with a number of saints recently, and a great many over the years, who have clung to a belief that they will be raptured out of the earth before tribulation falls. This is a false hope. Did we not already read that God would shorten the days of “great tribulation” “for the sake of the elect”? If the elect are not present, then such a statement is nonsense.

Consider further what the apostle Paul has declared above. The first item on the list of things the saints must endure, but which cannot separate them from the love of Christ, is “tribulation.” Paul quotes the prophets of old who foretold the suffering of the people of God. “For Thy sake we are being put to death all day long; We are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” There is suffering appointed for the people of God, but take comfort, for we are also told:

Psalms 116:15
Precious in the sight of Yahweh is the death of His godly ones.

That the church will NOT be raptured prior to the days of tribulation is declared in many places. Consider what is conveyed in the following words of Christ to His saints.

Revelation 13:7-10
And it was given to him (Satan, the dragon) to make war with the saints and to overcome them; and authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation was given to him... If anyone has an ear, let him hear. If anyone is destined for captivity, to captivity he goes; if anyone kills with the sword, with the sword he must be killed. Here is the perseverance and the faith of the saints.

In the midst of these verses Christ repeats a phrase He uttered often in the gospels. “If anyone has an ear, let him hear.” Tragically, many Christians today do not have an ear to hear that it is appointed unto them to suffer. Yet this passage begins with Satan making war “with the saints,” and it ends with “Here is the perseverance and faith of the saints.”

Do you have an ear to hear? Or has Satan deceived you so that in an hour of tribulation you will fall away from Christ? Please consider that Christ will never forsake those who trust Him and who walk in obedience before Him, but you can fall away from Christ. In the parable of the sower Yahshua testified that tribulation would induce many Christians to fall away. The reason for this occurring is that a large number of Christians embraced a faith in Christ that looked forward only to blessing and peace and safety. They did not fully count the cost. They did not accept the fact that they would have to suffer for their obedience and allegiance to the Son of God.

Matthew 13:20-21
“And the one on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, this is the man who hears the word, and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he falls away.”

It is not just Satan that is declaring that the darkness is falling, and the dark night is at hand. In a previous post I shared some prophetic artwork from a sister in Christ in Middle Georgia. One of the artist’s paintings that I featured is titled “The End of the Road.” The other was titled “When the Sun Goes Down.” Yahweh has been declaring through many signs, both in the heavens and upon the earth, that the church is heading “Into Darkness.”

Are you prepared? Are you walking according to the leading of the Spirit. Are you daily manifesting faith and trust in God? Have you come out of Babylon that you might not be caught up in her sins and partake of her plagues? This Christmas season may be a good test of all of these things. Will you follow the Spirit and “come out and be ye separate,” or will you choose to avoid suffering and conflict in this world and compromise with darkness and embrace that which is unclean?

Your choices today are establishing habits for tomorrow. Choose today to walk in the light that in the hour of gross darkness you will not be left wandering in the blackness of deception and the confusion of global tribulation.

May you be blessed with peace and understanding in these days.

Joseph Herrin (12-07-2012)


Muslim Persecution of Christians for October, 2012

Church Attacks

Canada: As happens regularly in Egypt (see below), a Molotov cocktail was hurled through the window of a newly opened Coptic church near Toronto. Unlike in Egypt, however, firefighters came quickly and little damage was done: "Police have no suspects or motive in the incident."

Egypt: A Muslim mob, consisting mostly of Salafis, surrounded St. George Church in the Beni Suef Governorate. Armed with batons, they assaulted Christians as they exited the church after Sunday mass; five were hospitalized with broken limbs. The Salafi grievance is that Christians from neighboring villages, who have no churches to serve them, are traveling and attending St. George. The priest could not leave the church for hours after the mass, even though he contacted the police; they came only after a prominent Coptic lawyer complained to the Ministry of the Interior concerning the lack of response from police. "I want the whole world to know," he said, "that a priest and his congregation are presently held captive in their church, afraid of the Salafi Muslims surrounding the church." Separately, a group of Muslims, led by Mostafa Kamel, a prosecutor at the Alexandria Criminal Court, broke into the Church of St. Mary in Rashid near Alexandria and proceeded to destroy its altar, on claims that he bought the 9th century church; in fact it had earlier been sold to the Copts by the Greeks, due to the Greeks' dwindling numbers in Egypt. Two priests, Fr. Maximos and Fr. Luke, rushed to the police station to try to bring the police to help. Kamel and his two sons also came to the police station, where they openly threatened to kill the two priests and their lawyer. "We stayed at the police station for over six hours with the police, "Fr. Maximos said, "begging prosecutor Kamel and his two sons not to demolish the church." Fr. Luke said that the prosecutor had so far lost all the cases he brought against the church, "So when this route failed, he tried taking the matter into his own hands."

Indonesia: On a Sunday, "unknown assailants" set fire to the Madele Pentecostal Church in the city of Poso by dousing a collection box with petrol and setting it alight. Flames eventually spread to the pastor's residence. Only the intervention of the fire department and volunteers prevented the blaze from causing major damage to the two buildings. Weeks earlier in the same region, Christian homes were attacked and bombed. Also, two law enforcement agents who were investigating a recent attack on the Christian community were kidnapped; their murdered bodies were later found dumped near an "extremist Muslim" group's training ground. Because Poso has a large Christian presence, Muslim attacks are frequent, including the 2005 beheading of three Christian girls going to school. Meanwhile in Aceh, Indonesian officials, using the famous pretext that a permit had not been issued, shut down nine [more] Christian house-churches and six Buddhist temples; they argued that homes cannot be used "for religious ceremonies or functions." According to the report, "Local Muslim extremists welcomed the decision. Yusuf Al-Qardhawy, head of the Aceh branch of the Islamic Defence Front (FPI), called on other jurisdictions to follow Banda Aceh and enforce Islamic law and stop any non-Muslim worship activity that is not approved." Further, the province of Aceh is the only one "which is subject to Sharia. Compliance is ensured by the 'morality police,' a special force that punishes violations in dress and behaviour."

Iran: Security forces dismantled a network of four underground house churches and arrested seven Christians on a Sunday night. Iranian propaganda media described the churches as a "network of criminals" affiliated with "Zionist propaganda." Sunday's arrests are the latest in a wave of detentions in Shiraz. In the past few weeks, Iranian Intelligence Ministry agents in the city have arrested around 30 Christian converts and transferred them to detention centers. According to another report, "State security agents have been permanently stationed at two churches in Esfahan, Iran, in the latest effort by the Islamic regime to frighten people off Christianity. The agents constantly interfere in the activities of St. Luke's and St. Paul's, and harass those present. They order the pastors around and stop church elders from talking to Muslim seekers. They also try to frighten away visitors by warning them of dire consequences if they continue attending, and create tension among the members by spreading false rumours. The children of church members are also threatened and often forbidden from attending…. This campaign of harassment by the Islamic authorities is not confined to churches in Esfahan. Similar tactics have been deployed at the central Assemblies of God church in Tehran."

Kazakhstan: Two Protestant churches were raided, according to members, under the ruse of a criminal case launched 15 months ago. First, masked police raided Grace Church and seized computers, valuables and religious books they insisted were "extremist;" then police requested church members to give blood samples, to see if the church uses "hallucinogenic" substances for communion. Nine days later the New Life Church was raided, also under the pretext of the unrelated criminal case: "Members of both churches fear the authorities will use the case to prevent them gaining the mandatory re-registration," which critics say is being used to shut down Protestant churches.

Kenya: A grenade was thrown into the Sunday school building of St. Polycarp Anglican Church; it blew off the roof, killing one boy and injuring eight other children who were attending Sunday school; some required surgery. The attack came soon after a Somali member of the Islamic terrorist organization Al Shabab, who had earlier targeted four other churches, was sentenced to prison after he confessed to planning attacks on Parliament. According to the mother of one of the children, "We are in Eastleigh [a region with a large Somali population]. Many Christians, including myself, thought that something might happen. Every week we'd wonder 'What if it's this Sunday?' But we'd still go to church." Likewise, a parliament member said, "The life of an innocent child has been taken and others have been cruelly injured and traumatised in what should be the safest of places. The sanctity of life has been heartlessly breached in a sanctified place. Such acts seem to be designed to spark civil unrest and intimidate the Christian church. In the face of such an outrage we ask, with the prophet Habakkuk, 'O Lord, how long?' and let us trust that God in his mercy will bring justice and relief as we cry out to him."

Nigeria: After a renewed spate of church attacks, thousands of Christians continue to flee northern areas of Nigeria, which are predominantly Muslim, and where the jihadi organization Boko Haram holds sway. An Islamic suicide bomber rammed an SUV loaded with explosives into St. Rita Catholic Church holding Sunday Mass; he killed eight people and wounded more than 100. One "journalist saw the bodies of four worshippers lying on the floor of the church after the blast, surrounded by broken glass. The body of the suicide bomber had been blasted into nearby rubble." The church building, charred black, was devastated. Also, the Church of Brethren was raided by Islamic gunmen who killed at least two people and set the church ablaze. Many churches, fearing further attacks, are shutting down.

Pakistan: The Catholic Church of St. Francis, the oldest of the archdiocese of Karachi, was attacked by a Muslim mob of 600, who destroyed property but did not manage to break through the front door. According to a priest: "Fr. Victor had just finished celebrating a wedding, when he heard noises and shouting from the compound of the church. Immediately all the faithful, women and children were sent to the parish house. The radicals, shouting against the Christians, broke into the building and started devastating everything: cars, bikes, vases of flowers. They broke an aedicule and took the statue of the Madonna. They tried to force the door of the church, throwing stones at the church and destroying the windows." Police arrived an hour later, giving the terrorists plenty of time to wreak havoc. The Archbishop of Karachi lamented that "the church of San Francesco has always served the poor with a school and a medical clinic run by nuns. For nearly 80 years it carries out a humble service to humanity without any discrimination of caste, ethnicity or religion. Why these acts? Why are we not safe? "

Syria: Two churches were attacked. One bomb was detonated near the historical gate of Bab Touma ("Thomas' Doorway") which is largely populated by the nation's Christian minority. The bomb exploded as people were going to their churches for Sunday Mass; up to 10 people were killed. "Terrorists are doing this," said George, a Christian who, like many residents in Bab Touma, lives in fear of the rebel fighters trying to gain control of the capital.Another car bomb exploded in front of the only Syrian Orthodox Church in the town of Deir Ezzor, currently under opposition control. Five people near the church were killed. In September, the same church was desecrated and vandalized by armed gangs.

Tanzania: Muslim mobs burned several church buildings in various parts of the nation after an argument by two children concerning the supernatural powers of the Quran allegedly led a Christian boy to defile Islam's holy book: two church buildings were set ablaze, while the roof of another one was destroyed. On the island of Zanzibar, Muslim rioters also demolished a building belonging to the Evangelical Assemblies of God; and in Dar es Salaam, three more church buildings were set on fire and another destroyed. "We shall continue attacking the churches until they are no more in Tanzania" was echoed in several mosques in Tanzania," said one source.

Rape and Murder of Christians
Egypt: Ali Hussein, a Muslim gang leader—accompanied with his two ex-convict brothers—broke into the home of a Christian family on a Sunday morning, demanding that Hiyam Zaki, a mother of two children, to "come and live with him." Earlier, Hussein had demanded that the family either pay him one million Egyptian pounds, or forfeit the Christian woman to him. Because the family had refused his demands, the gang opened fire indiscriminately, killing one of her relatives and her father. Earlier, to terrorize the inhabitants of the village, the Muslim gang went to the stables and slaughtered all the animals. Hussein was killed under the hail of bullets, although it is not clear who shot him. A Muslim mob then surrounded the hospital demanding revenge for the "Christian killing of a Muslim man," even as they chanted that Hussein the gangster is "the beloved of the Prophet." Similarly, although the abduction and forced Islamization of Christian minor girls is common in Egypt, especially with the ascendancy of Muslim Brotherhood, the case of 14-year old Sarah, who was kidnapped on her way to school by the son of a Salafi leader, actually caused a stir. After filing a missing persons report with police, Sarah's father received an anonymous call telling him that he will never see his daughter again. Security is believed to know the girl's whereabouts but is not acting. After several human rights organizations called for the girl's release, "the Salafist Front issued a statement on October 28, warning human rights organizations, especially the National Council for Women, not to attempt to return Sarah to her family, as she has converted to Islam and married a Muslim man." Moreover, Salafis projected Islamic mores on the Christian family by saying that if Sarah returns to her family, she will be "killed" by her father," to which her father replied, "I want my child back in my arms, even if she became a Muslim."

Nigeria: Up to 30 Christian college students were shot or had their throats slit at a university in the Muslim-majority north. During the night, masked gunmen went door-to-door in the off-campus housing section of Federal Polytechnic College in the city of Moby: "the gunmen separated the Christian students from the Muslim students, addressed each victim by name, questioned them, and then proceeded to shoot them or slit their throat." Among motives cited are reprisals against the fact that former Boko Haram Muslims, renouncing terrorism, converted to Christianity. Other former Boko Haram members have not converted to Christianity but have seen the "goodness of the Christian religion" and now warn Christians before there is an attack.

Pakistan: A 14 year-old Christian girl, Timar Shahzadi, was kidnapped by Muslim men as she was returning from school. According to the pastor close to the family, the girl was with friends when the abductors pounced and dragged her away, and her family fears that she will be "forcefully converted to become a Muslim and then married off if immediate steps are not taken." The family reported the incident to the local police station, but police have not yet conducted any investigation. Also, a court decreed that a Christian girl, known as Rebecca—who was kidnapped, forced to convert to Islam, and married to her abductor—to be returned to her kidnapper "husband," despite her father's pleas and the girls traumatized presence in court. And 24 year-old Shumaila Bibi, another Christian woman, was "seized at dawn, forced to endure sexual abuse and to marry the young Muslim man who abducted her with the help of his family" and forced the woman to convert to Islam. Days later, Shumaila managed to escape. However, with the help of his family, her "husband" denounced her flight and, reversing the facts, reported her family as "kidnapping" her. The police accepted his version of the facts and opened an investigation claiming that the girl converted and married "of her own free will." The future of Shumaila is hanging by a thread. Kidnapping and forcing girls to convert to Islam and/or be sex-slaves sold to wealthy Muslims is a common occurrence in Pakistan. Read here for a list concerning the "Rape and Murder of Pakistan's Christian Children."

Sudan: Asia Omer, a Christian mother of seven, the youngest of which is four months old, was killed in an aerial bombardment near a church by "Sudanese government forces as they continue a ruthless campaign of ethnic and religious cleansing in the predominantly Christian regions of the Nuba Mountains." Another Christian mother of seven sustained a critical injury but did not receive medical care. Other Christians were also wounded in the bombing, including the teenage son of a church leader. "President Omar al-Bashir's forces have been targeting the Nuba Mountains in South Kordofan state, which has one of the largest Christian populations in Sudan, since June 2011. The Islamic regime is trying to 'cleanse' the region of non-Arabs and non-Muslims as Khartoum pushes forward its plans for a '100% Islamic"' constitution."

Syria: A Greek Orthodox priest, Fr. Fadi Jamil Haddad, was kidnapped by armed groups from among the opposition. Days later, his body, which was "horribly tortured and his eyes gouged out," was found dumped near the place he was abducted. Earlier, the kidnappers had asked the priest's family and his church for a ransom of 50 million Syrian pounds (over $550,000 euros)—a sum impossible to raise. A source of Fides condemns "the terrible practice, present for months in this dirty war, of kidnapping and then killing innocent civilians." Also, the last remaining Christian in the center of Homs, an 84 year-old Greek Orthodox, was killed, and the convent of the Jesuits hit again. A top Russian Orthodox official expressed the church's concern, saying "We are deeply worried by what is going on in Syria, where radical forces are trying to come to power with the help of Western powers. Where they come to power, Christian communities become the first victims."

[General Abuse and Suppression of Non-Muslims as "Tolerated" Citizens]

Bosnia: According to a new report, Christians are leaving the Muslim majority nation in mass "amid mounting discrimination and Islamization." Currently there are just 440,000 Catholics left in the Balkan nation, half the prewar figure. As standard in Muslim nations, "while dozens of mosques were built in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo, no building permissions were given for Christian churches. The cardinal already waits 13 years on permission to build just a small church." "Time is running out as there is a worrisome rise in radicalism," said one authority, who added that the people of Bosnia-Herzegovina were "persecuted for centuries" after European powers "failed to support them in their struggle against the Ottoman Empire."

Egypt: On Al Hafiz TV, a Muslim cleric explained why it is that Christianity cannot be taught in Egyptian classrooms: because, among other things, it bans polygamy and divorce, and allows females an equal inheritance with the male -- all things that contradict the teachings and practices of the Muslim prophet. The cleric complained that, based on such Christian teachings, Muslim men who try to exercise their Islamic rights—including polygamy, double-inheritance, and easy divorce (including via text-messaging)—become "criminals, and the religion [Islam] that taught them such things taught them crimes." Two Christian boys, one 10 the other 9 years-old, were arrested under accusations from a local cleric that they defiled a copy of the Quran. After the boys were released, the Egyptian media, following the claims of the Muslim Brotherhood, credited President Morsi with their release, even though the boys' lawyer insisted that the Islamist president had nothing to do with their release.

Iran: Many reports more than usual, are appearing of Christian men and women, especially Evangelical Protestants and Muslim apostates, being "dragged to prisons". According to a council member of the Church of Iran house-church movement, "We have learned that at least 100, but perhaps as many as 400 people, have been detained over the last 10 days…. [I]t has become clear that Protestant Christians are now viewed as enemy number one of the state." Some of those arrested, after serving time and being tormented, are "forced to say that in exchange for freedom, they will no longer attend church services." At least five apostates were confined in cells housing dangerous criminals on charges of "creating illegal groups," "participating in a house church service," "propagation against the Islamic regime," and "defaming Islamic holy figures through Christian evangelizing."

Maldives: Customs officials at the Male' Ibrahim Nasir International Airport seized 11 books about Christianity, from a Bangladeshi expatriate who came to the Maldives via Sri Lanka. According to the Maldives Religious Unity Regulations, "it is illegal in the Maldives to propagate any faith other than Islam or to engage in any effort to convert anyone to any religion other than Islam. It is also illegal to display in public any symbols or slogans belonging to any religion other than Islam, or creating interest in such articles." Violation of the Religious Unity Act is subject to two to five years in prison and fines.

Pakistan: A 16 year-old boy, Ryan Stanten, was arrested on "charges of blasphemy, terrorism, and cybercrimes," because he forwarded text messages to his friends which were intercepted and deemed blasphemous by Muslims. Accordingly, a "furious Muslim mob" attacked the boy's home, setting furniture on fire and shouting "death to the blasphemer" and "kill Christian infidels." Other Christians in the region fled.

Saudi Arabia: Despite promises to reform school textbooks, the Saudi education system continues to indoctrinate children with hatred and incitement, especially against Christians and Jews. The textbooks teach – among a long list of hate-filled passages, all of which originate in the Qur'an and the Hadith [stories of the life and sayings of Mohammed] -- that "Christians are the enemies of the Believers" and that the "the Apes are the people of the Sabbath, the Jews; and the Swine are the infidels of the communion of Jesus, the Christians."

Switzerland: Muslims in the nation are complaining about a billboard campaign from Swiss International Airline, which has a logo taken from the Swizz flag, of a cross, with the words "the cross is trumps." According to the report, "Muslims in Switzerland have responded negatively to the advertising, which they believe promotes Christianity over other religions…. Many Muslims feel this Christian slogan (of Swiss) is a provocation and an assault against Islam." The airline maintains that its ad campaign does not carry any religious or political message—in fact, that the word "trumps" is a pun for a Swiss card game—and apologized for upsetting Muslims.

A history textbook used in 10th grade classrooms portrays the nation's oldest most indigenous inhabitants, the Christian Assyrians, as traitors. Although objections were raised back in 2011 and the Turkish Ministry of Education eventually issued a statement promising to revise the texts in the next printing of the book in 2012, the books were reprinted without any changes. "In fact, the negative and slanderous portrayal of Assyrians has increased in the new edition. The book now not only portrays Assyrians as traitors in the past but says the Assyrians continue their betrayal of Turkey today."

Gatestone Institute

UK manufacturing output sees sharp fall

UK manufacturing output registered a surprisingly sharp fall in October, resurrecting fears of recession.

Output fell by 1.3% from September, the Office for National Statistics said, with food and drink output, notably beer, down following the Olympics.

It was the worst fall since June, when activity was depressed by extra public holidays for the Diamond Jubilee.

Meanwhile, estimates for growth from a leading think tank confirmed the weak economic picture.

The National Institute for Economic and Social Research's (NIESR) monthly estimate of gross domestic product (GDP) suggested that output grew by 0.1% in the three months to the end of November, the same as in its previous estimate for the three months to October.

Although it said it did not expect this "anaemic" rate of growth to continue, it expects GDP growth of just 1.1% next year, not enough to begin to close the UK's negative output gap and bring down the rate of unemployment in 2013.

It also adds to evidence that the UK economy may be relapsing into recession after a short rebound over the summer.

The ONS's most recent growth estimate suggested the economy expanded by 1% in the third quarter of the year, following nine months of mild contraction - in part thanks to the boost from tourist spending during the London Olympics.

Guns, beer, coke and drugs
Compared with a year ago, manufacturing output in October was down by 2.1%.
Production of alcoholic beverages was down 10% from September, and 16% from a year earlier.

There were also sharp falls in activity in the coke and refined petroleum, weapons and ammunitions, and pharmaceuticals sectors.
The figure for the wider measure of industrial output, which also includes energy production and mining, was down 0.8% in October, after falling 2.1% in September.

The seasonally adjusted index of production fell by 3% in October 2012 compared with a year ago, the 19th consecutive monthly fall on the same month a year ago.

The figures were worse than economists had expected.
"Very disappointing - triple dip [recession] here we come," said Alan Clarke at Scotiabank.

"Manufacturing was diabolical. Sadly, I think there is not a lot to suggest that it is temporary. Survey data has been fairly downbeat."

The chief economist at the British Chambers of Commerce, David Kern, said the industrial production figures were "bleak", and added it was clear that "the manufacturing sector is facing major obstacles to a sustainable recovery".

However, he said there were reasons to be confident about the sector's prospects.

"Manufacturing is still a significant sector of our economy and is still benefitting from a competitive exchange rate, not withstanding sterling's rise over the past year... the sector is well-managed, and has the potential to recover."

Oil and gas extraction fell in the month at the fastest rate since records began in January 1998, although that was partly due to maintenance works, which included the temporary shutdown of the largest oil field in the North Sea.

The news comes in the same week as the government's Autumn Statement, which said the economy would shrink this year, rather than expand, as had first been predicted.