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Turkey Deploys Hundreds Of Tanks, APCs And Commandos To Idlib; Attacks Syrian Army

by Tyler Durden

Mon, 02/10/2020 – 17:05

With the geopolitical situation now firmly on the backburner, we remind readers that the last time we checked into the flurry of recent events in Syria over the weekend, we found that the Syrian Army was making major gains inside Idlib in a military offensive condemned by Turkey and the United States, capturing the key town of Saraqib from al-Qaeda linked Hayat Tahrir al-Sham. Amid the military advance, in the latest embarrassment to the US State Department, the Syrian and Russian governments said they’ve recovered proof of US support for the anti-Assad al-Qaeda insurgent terrorists, publishing photographs of crates of weapons and supplies to state-run SANA.

In any case, the growing feud between Russia and Turkey over control of Syria last remaining rebel holdout in Idlib province escalated overnight, and as Bloomberg reports, Turkey sent hundreds of tanks, armored personnel carriers and commandos to the Syrian province of Idlib as preparations continue for a likely attempt to break the siege of some of its outposts by Bashar al-Assad’s forces.

The massive buildup over the weekend included the deployment of howitzers, multiple-rocket launchers, ambulances and trucks loaded with munitions, according to Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency.

Meanwhile, Turkey resumed talks with a Russian delegation in Ankara on Monday after failure to reach an agreement on Idlib on Saturday, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said, adding that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russia’s Vladimir Putin may meet if no deal can be reached

Turkey dramatically reinforced its forces across the border since Syrian troops killed five Turkish soldiers and a civilian in Idlib on Feb. 3 as they closed in on the country’s last major rebel holdout. 

“Five of our troops were killed and five others were injured in the shelling by the Syrian regime,” the Turkish Defense Ministry said on Monday, adding that “return fire was opened.”

It wasn’t the first shelling incident between Turkish and Syrian forces in Idlib. A week ago, six Turkish troops were killed by Syrian artillery fire in an incident that Russia said was a result of miscommunication. The casualties could have been avoided if Ankara properly notified Damascus that it was moving troops in a border area where Damascus was holding an anti-terrorist operation at the time, Moscow said.

Turkey’s Daily Sabah reported that in response to the alleged death of Turkish soldiers, 115 regime targets have been struck, 101 regime soldiers have been neutralized (i.e. killed), and 3 tanks and 2 mortars have been destroyed, as the conflict is rapidly devolving into an all out war between Syria and Turkey.

Turkey also called on Moscow to put pressure on Damascus to halt its offensive in Idlib. Meanwhile, Syria’s government has been using Russian air support to vanquish onetime al-Qaeda affiliates and Turkey-backed rebels in the province.

Erdogan last week threatened to use force to break the siege of military outposts in Idlib unless Syrian forces withdraw before the end of February. At least three of 12 Turkish outposts were confirmed to be cut off by Syrian forces in the area.

Feigning humanitarian concern, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar told Hurriuet newspaper that Turkey’s main goal was “to prevent a refugee exodus and humanitarian drama” adding that “we’re trying to reach a cease-fire and stop the bloodshed.” However, he then made it quickly clear that the fight over northern Syria is all about strategic positioning, noting that if the violation of the Sochi and Astana agreements, which were signed by Turkey, Russia and Iran to curtail fighting in northern Syria, “continued, then we have plans B and C,” Akar said. “We keep telling them not to force us” to implement those plans.

Ankara was expected to use its influence on anti-government militants to prevent fighting with Damascus troops in order to create the basis for a peaceful resolution. However, jihadist groups in Idlib continue hostile activities, with Russia saying there were several thousand attacks in the last two months alone, in which hundreds of Syrian troops and civilians died.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10396

Pope Pushes One World Religion on Israel’s Independence Day

By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz February 11, 2020 , 2:51 pm

They have said: ‘Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance.’ For they have consulted together with one consent; against Thee do they make a covenant; The tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites.” Psalms 83:5-7 (The Israel Bible™)

Historically, the Vatican was no friend to the Jews but its new initiative aligns the Catholic Church with Islam in a one-world religion that may be the biggest threat ever to the Jewish People. A major event to advance the project will take place on the anniversary of the birth of the State of Israel which, according to one rabbi, is fitting since Judaism is the last bastion, entirely incompatible with a New World Order.

At an address to Vatican diplomats last month, Pope Francis announced that the Vatican will be hosting a global event with titled,  “Reinventing the Global Compact on Education.” 

“A global educational pact is needed to educate us in universal solidarity and a new humanism,” the Pope said when he first proposed the summit.

A Vatican-backed website to promote the pact added: “Educating young people in fraternity, in learning to overcome divisions and conflicts, promote hospitality, justice and peace: Pope Francis has invited everyone who cares about the education of the young generation to sign a Global Pact, to create a global change of mentality through education.”

The Pope described the need for the global alliance.

“‘Never before has there been such need to unite our efforts in a broad educational alliance, to form mature individuals capable of overcoming division and antagonism, and to restore the fabric of relationships for the sake of a more fraternal humanity,’” he said.

The Pope cited the aphorism “It takes a village to raise a child,” explaining its place in his global vision.

“All change, like the epochal change we are now experiencing, calls for a process of education and the creation of an educational village capable of forming a network of open and human relationships,” he said. 

“Education is not limited to school and university classrooms,” the Pope said at the address last month. “[It is] principally ensured by strengthening and reinforcing the primary right of the family to educate, and the right of Churches and social communities to support and assist families in raising their children.”

The education initiative is a continuation of the Pope’s global vision as laid out in his Document on the Human Brotherhood for World Peace and Common Living Together signed by Pope Francis and Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayeb, Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, in February 2019 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. 

The agreement between the two religious leaders was criticized for its stance on the diversity of religions.

“The fact that people are forced to adhere to a certain religion or culture must be rejected,” the document read. “As too the imposition of a cultural way of life that others do not accept.”

Rabbi Pinchas Winston,  a prolific end-of-times author, noted that in many surprising respects, the Vatican is now practically indistinguishable from secularism.

“It used to be that the Catholic Church was the bastion that stood against liberalism in every way, denouncing it as heresy,” Rabbi Winston said. “This was the case for as long as the Vatican could impose its will on its people and influence the rest of the world. That reality has changed because they don’t have that power anymore. Pope Francis is a result of this change. He is a ‘man of the people.’”

Rabbi Winston noted that traditional values in the Catholic Church are indeed changing in ways that would have been inconceivable not so long ago.

“They used to say that secular values and liberalism were bad but when the people changed and liberalism became widespread, the Vatican reversed that position.,” Rabbi Winston said. “How can a religion claim to be from God when a man can decide to change it?”

Rabbi Winston noted that the theme of one-world order as presented by the Pope was presented several times in the Bible.

“Seeing the world as one is how it was in the days before the Tower of Babel,” Rabbi Winston said. “This was when men joined together to take over the world and kick God out.”

Rabbi Winston noted that the counterintuitive mix of secular intellectualism and religion appeared later in Genesis.

“According to Midrash, Esau impressed his father, Isaac, with questions that seemed to relate to religion but were only leveled on the intellectual level. The real intent of the questions was to generate chaos and division. The erev rav (mixed multitude) works this way, by making it appear that their intentions are pure and that they are good people. But their real intent is destructive; to disable truth.” 

“The secular present universalism as the source of all brotherhood but it is exactly the opposite. There is more diversity in the world than ever before in human history. To have one way to worship God before Moshiach (Messiah) comes and brings everyone up to speed is not realistic and harmful to anyone who does not conform. The Pope should be smart enough to realize that there are very good reasons for the differences. People are different. This new initiative by the Vatican is classic liberalism in the garb of religion.”

The date of the global educational summit is May 14, precisely 72 years after Israel proclaimed its independence. Rabbi Winston suggested that this could have a deeper meaning, indicating the inherent conflict between the Jewish People and universal religion.

“They can’t get rid of the Jews and what they represent anymore by simply attacking us, which was how it was done for 2,000 years,” Rabbi Winston said. “Are they trying to get rid of the Jews and the Torah by creating one world religion? Anyone who wants a one-world order has to get rid of the Jews because all of human history has proven that the core of Torah Judaism doesn’t change, even, when necessary, and the cost of death. We are still the same people in the same land with the same Torah.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10393

Even The Mainstream Media Is Now Admitting That Humanity Is Facing “A Perfect Storm”

February 9, 2020 by Michael Snyder

Over the last several decades, have we ever seen a year start as strangely as 2020 has?  Global weather patterns have gone completely nuts, large earthquakes are popping off like firecrackers, it looks like the plague of locusts in Africa could soon develop into the worst in modern history, and a massive plague of bats is severely terrorizing parts of Australia.  On top of all that, African Swine Fever is wiping out millions upon millions of pigs around the globe, the H1N1 Swine Flu is killing people in Taiwan, there have been H5N1 Bird Flu outbreaks in China and in India, and the H5N8 Bird Flu has made an appearance at a poultry facility in Saudi Arabia.  Of course the coronavirus outbreak which is causing people to literally drop dead in the streets in China is making more headlines than anything that I have mentioned so far, and it could potentially turn into a horrifying global pandemic that kills millions of people.

But other than that, it has been a rather calm beginning to the year, eh?

I have been repeatedly warning that the time of “the perfect storm” is upon us, and many others have also been using this terminology to describe what we are now facing.

Basically, we have entered a period of time when we will be dealing with one terrible crisis after another, and all of these challenges will collectively create a horrific nightmare that will just continue to intensify as time rolls along.

Surprisingly, even the mainstream media is now starting to talk about a coming “perfect storm”, although they have a bit of a different spin on it.  The following comes from a Guardian article entitled “Humanity under threat from perfect storm of crises – study”

The world is facing a series of interlinked emergencies that are threatening the existence of humans, because the sum of the effects of the crises is much greater than their individual impacts, according to a new global study.

Climate breakdown and extreme weather, species loss, water scarcity and a food production crisis are all serious in themselves, but the combination of all five together is amplifying the risks of each, creating a perfect storm that threatens to engulf humanity unless swift action is taken.

Of course the mainstream media would like to blame just about every crisis that humanity is facing on “man-made climate change”.

In essence, they would have us believe that humanity’s “carbon footprint” is way too large and that if we would just do everything that the socialists are telling us to do that everything will go back to normal.

To much of the population, their arguments can seem rather compelling at times, because without a doubt the weather is going nuts.

For example, a 1,000 mile-wide storm is currently slamming into the United Kingdom

THE PUBLIC has been advised to stay indoors today as Storm Ciara is expected to batter Britain with 90mph winds and heavy rain.

The 1,000 mile-wide storm, the strongest to sweep across the country for seven years, will bring travel chaos and the advice is: only travel if absolutely necessary.

And “climate change” is also being blamed for the absolutely crazy locust plague that is devastating parts of the Middle East and eastern Africa right now.  Approximately 360 billion locusts are eating everything that they can find, and UN officials continue to claim that the number of locusts could actually get “500 times” larger by the time June arrives…

With more rains expected in the region in the coming weeks, the number of locusts if unchecked could grow by up to 500 times by June, when drier weather is expected.

Meanwhile, the crust of our planet is literally shaking like a leaf.

Are we supposed to blame “climate change” for this too?

Over the past week, the Ring of Fire has been hit by big earthquakes day after day

EARTHQUAKES today hammered the Ring of Fire in the Pacific, as officials detected more than 50 tremors throughout the region. One of the biggest was a magnitude 6.2 earthquake in Indonesia.

Earthquakes have consistently rocked the Ring of Fire this week, with an average of 50 in the region every day, most in a middling magnitude of two or more. Some have grazed higher levels, however, with the largest pushing magnitude 6.

But right now people are more concerned about the coronavirus outbreak in China than anything else.

According to the latest official numbers coming out of China, there are now more than 40,000 confirmed cases and more than 900 confirmed deaths.

Of course there is an enormous amount of skepticism about the validity of those numbers.  In fact, one exiled Chinese billionaire believes that the true death toll could be more than 50 times higher

Exiled Chinese businessman Guo Wengui recently revealed leaks from Wuhan crematoriums. He claims based on the number of bodies their furnaces are burning, the death toll could be as high as 50,000. Wengui made the bombshell allegations in an interview with former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon.

I wish that Chinese officials would just be straight with us, but one thing that is becoming exceedingly clear is that this virus passes from person to person very, very easily.  In fact, nine members of one family in Hong Kong all got infected “after sharing a hotpot and barbecue meal”

Concerns about the way the virus spreads are likely to surge following a report that nine members of the same Hong Kong family have been infected with the deadly new coronavirus after sharing a hotpot and barbecue meal.  A hotpot – also known as a steamboat – is a bubbling cauldron of stock shared communally, to which diners add ingredients.

It wasn’t immediately clear if the food was contaminated with the virus, or if one of those present for dinner was a carrier.

Let us hope that the containment measures being taken in China and elsewhere will help, but at this point the number of cases just continues to escalate.

Unfortunately, what we have witnessed so far is just the beginning.

We are only in the leading edge of “the perfect storm”, and the great challenges that are still ahead of us will shake everyone to the core.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10389

Israel Has Begun The Process Of Mapping Out The West Bank Lands Of Judaea And Samaria For Annexation That Will Begin After Their Elections

Netanyahu remarked on the historic change of the Trump administration recognizing Israel’s right to Jerusalem and the West Bank – as opposed to the world, including previous administrations, which did not. “I’m happy that American policy changed under Trump’s courageous leadership, starting with

[canceling]

the Iran Deal, recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, moving the US embassy, recognizing our sovereignty in the Golan and recognizing the legality of settlements in Judea and Samaria,” he stated. Netanyahu also said that he withstood American pressure to make concessions that would have endangered Israel.

by Geoffrey Grider February 8, 2020

Israel has begun preparing a precise map of the parts of the West Bank, Judaea and Samaria, it will annex in accordance with the new US peace plan, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Saturday.

For bible prophecy watchers, we are living in truly exciting and unprecedented times as we begin to see the fulfillment of long-awaited scriptures from the prophets. Israel is the time clock of bible prophecy, with Jerusalem the epicenter, and from the moment that God placed Donald Trump into office things having been absolutely sprinting along. Today we learn that Israel is preparing to reclaim Judaea, the very land that Jesus said that the Jews would be living in during the time of Jacob’s trouble. Yes, we are that close.

“But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not, (let him that readeth understand,) then let them that be in Judaea flee to the mountains: And let him that is on the housetop not go down into the house, neither enter therein, to take any thing out of his house: And let him that is in the field not turn back again for to take up his garment. But woe to them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!” Matthew 24:14-17 (KJB) 

Prophecy clearly tells us that Israel will be back in Judaea during the time of Jacob’s trouble, as we see outlined in Matthew 24 and Luke 21. So if Israel is about to reclaim Judaea, we understand that the Jews and Israel are unknowingly preparing themselves for the coming Great Tribulation. Remember, 1948 did not restore the Jews to Israel, because if that were true then there would be no coming time of Tribulation for them. But that time is indeed coming, quickly, showing us that Israel was actually regathered to be scattered, not regathered to be restored. Their restoration can only come when King Jesus and His Bride arrive on white horses at the Second Coming.

“And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto. For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.” Luke 21:20-22 (KJB)

Keep that in mind when you read about all the things God is using President Trump to accomplish for Israel, He is really using him to set the stage for the arrival of Antichrist and the time of Jacob’s trouble. God is giving Judaea back to the Jews so the prophecy of them fleeing from there can be fulfilled! That’s what’s happening, Israel and the Jews are being groomed to be plunged into turmoil and chaos at the hand of God, according to the prophets and the scripture.

“Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.” Jeremiah 30:7 (KJB)

Pray for Israel and the Jewish people, and their coming time of trouble that will try the whole world. We get out of here in the Rapture, but the vast majority of them will not.

Israel begins mapping out West Bank land for annexation after election

FROM THE JERUSALEM POST: “We are in the middle of the process of mapping out the territory that will be part of Israel according to the Trump plan,” Netanyahu said at a Likud event in Ma’aleh Adumim. “It won’t take much time… Within a few weeks, it will happen.”

Ronen Peretz, director-general of the Prime Minister’s Office, will head the Israeli side of the committee, a source in the office said. An American diplomatic source said: “We are in close conversations with the Netanyahu administration.”

Earlier this month, US President Donald Trump presented his peace plan, by which the US will approve of Israel annexing some 30% of the West Bank, including all settlements and the Jordan Valley, as well as not expanding construction beyond that area, while being ready to recognize a Palestinian state in the rest of the West Bank.

THE COMING EVENT OF THE GREAT TRIBULATION AS FOUND IN THE TIME OF JACOB’S TROUBLE EXPLAINED

That state would be demilitarized, could no longer pay terrorists a monthly salary and would have to be democratic and provide its citizens with basic civil rights, according to the Trump plan. Immediately after the plan’s presentation, Netanyahu said he would annex Israeli settlements in the West Bank within a matter of days and the rest of the 30% at a later time. His plan soon changed to a one-step annexation after the March 2 election, in light of comments by special adviser to the US president Jared Kushner that the map included in the Trump plan was a “conceptual” one and that the specific border would have to be delineated by a joint US-Israel committee.

Netanyahu said of the delay: “It’s 800 square kilometers. It’s a lot of land… We’ve been waiting since 1967, and people are making a big deal over a few weeks. It will happen.”

He added that, “Trump will do it: I trust him completely.”

The prime minister’s speech was replete with digs at Blue and White leader Benny Gantz, including that he won’t be able to annex the territory. The upcoming election is a referendum of sovereignty, Netanyahu said. The prime minister explained that the peace plan reverses the usual demands, by which “Israel had to agree to concessions like freeing prisoners and freezing construction in communities [in the West Bank], and the Palestinians didn’t have to do anything. Now, it’s the opposite.

“Just to enter negotiations, they have to stop paying terrorists and withdraw their suit in the International Criminal Court,” he stated. “And to complete it, they have to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, give up on the right of return, recognize Israel’s security rights to the west of the Jordan River, demilitarize Gaza, recognize Jerusalem as capital of Israel [and] have a democratic government.”

Netanyahu began his remarks by discussing Israel’s historic connection to the West Bank and its victory in the Six Day War.

“Our great victory brought back parts of the homeland to our hands. We canceled the narrow and dangerous borders that [Israeli diplomat] Abba Eban called ‘Auschwitz borders.’ They moved from the suburbs of Tel Aviv to the protective wall of Judea and Samaria… We returned to the lands of our forefathers,” he said.

“Without our homeland, we don’t have a future. This is our identity; this is our heritage and here is our future,” Netanyahu stated. “Therefore, our enemies are trying to uproot us and take us out of the heart of our homeland… They will not succeed. We are here to stay – forever.”

Netanyahu remarked on the historic change of the Trump administration recognizing Israel’s right to Jerusalem and the West Bank – as opposed to the world, including previous administrations, which did not.

“I’m happy that American policy changed under Trump’s courageous leadership, starting with canceling the Iran Deal, recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, moving the US embassy, recognizing our sovereignty in the Golan and recognizing the legality of settlements in Judea and Samaria,” he stated.

Netanyahu also said that he withstood American pressure to make concessions that would have endangered Israel.

“I stood up to two US presidents who wanted us to withdraw and concede… I will maintain our place under the sun and I will not give up our homeland,” he said. “By myself, with my intellect and my heart, I blocked and I stood up to pressures that no prime minister stood up to,” Netanyahu stated. “Thanks to the great support I got from the people of Israel, we blocked the danger.” Gantz responded to Netanyahu’s speech, saying that “no one remains on the Right who believes your delusions about toppling Hamas and annexing territory.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10386

Major Fault Line In The Midwest Hit With Twenty-Nine Small Earthquakes

By Andrew Bieszad on February 4, 2020 in Featured, General

Most people do not know that the Mississippi River is one giant fault line called the New Madrid fault line. If a serious earthquake was to happen, it would be felt as far away as Atlanta. It has the potential to be as bad as a major California Earthquake, potentially cleaving the Mississippi in half and causing havoc all throughout the south and Midwest, not to mention destroying major cities such as New Orleans, Memphis, St. Louis, and Chicago.

There has been concern about this recently as west Tennessee and the areas of Arkansas and Missouri that border the Mississippi River area have experienced a small swarm of at least twenty-nine earthquakes.

A 2.7-magnitude earthquake on Tuesday morning was the latest to rattle part of Tennessee, geologists say.

The tremor hit about 5 miles northwest of of Dyersburg at 12:35 a.m., according to the U.S. Geological Survey. People near the city of roughly 16,000 told geologists they felt the quake, which was more than 7 miles deep.

Some people in Dyer County, about 75 miles northeast of Memphis, reported feeling “weak” shaking, with no damage, according to the USGS.

To the north and about one hour later, a 1.3-magnitude earthquake hit outside the town of Ridgely, geologists say.

The quakes were the most recent in a swarm to hit Tennessee in the past month, records show.

Eleven tremors have shaken the northwestern part of the state since Jan. 7, according to the USGS. The largest of those were 2.5-magnitude earthquakes, also hitting near Dyersburg and Ridgely last month, officials say.

Quakes have also been reported nearby in Arkansas and Missouri, bringing the regional total to 29, records show. (source)

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10383

In China, Deluded Communist Leader Xi Jinping Is Tearing Down All Churches And Mosques And Commanding The People To Worship Him As A God

The “Control Measures for Religious Groups,” as the 41 new rules are called, deal with everything from the holding of rites and rituals, to the selection of leaders and annual meetings, to the hiring of staff and the handling of funds. All of these must be reported — in advance, no less — to the comrades at the “Religious Affairs” office for their approval. In other words, without the permission of the authorities, you can’t organize a Bible study. And if you do get permission, you’d better hold it in a Party-approved religious venue, at a Party-approved time, with a Party-approved leader and using the new Party-approved Bible, which contains quotations from Confucius and, of course, Xi Jinping.

by Geoffrey Grider February 3, 2020

In China, Buddhist temples are being turned into shrines celebrating Xi Jinping, China’s President For Life. His picture adorns the walls, his recorded voice booms out of the loudspeakers, and it is his “Thought” — not Buddha’s — that the monks are now required to meditate upon.

If it’s because of the preaching of the gospel of the grace of God, then the destruction of religion is a good thing. After all, religion is man’s attempt to understand God, and it is doomed to failure. Preaching of the cross destroys religion, but in the best possible way. But to destroy religion – Catholic, Muslim, Buddhist – and replace it with another religion of man, then that is a bad thing. This is exactly what is happening in China right now, as their deluded leader has decided he is a god.

“For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.” 1 Corinthians 1:18,19 (KJB)

All dictators suffer from little god syndrome, come to think of it, so do a lot of Charismatic preachers, but I digress. Adolf Hitler demanded the German people worship him as a god, and they did, right up to the moment when he nearly destroyed the entire country. China is in deep, deep trouble, so deep in fact that it’s starting to look like God’s hand of end times judgment is upon them. We will keep following this story for you and see how bad it’s going to get.

How Deluded China Leader Xi Jinping Destroyed Religion Making Himself A God To The People

FROM THE NY POST: Catholic churches torn down or denuded of their crosses and statues. Images of the Madonna and Child replaced with pictures of “People’s Leader” Xi Jinping. Signs posted outside evangelical churches forbidding anyone under the age of 18 from entering. The Ten Commandments painted over with quotes from Xi.

These are just some of the ways that the Chinese Communist Party is persecuting Christians in China.

But it’s not just Catholics. In China’s Far West, over a million Muslims languish in concentration camps — Beijing cutely calls them “vocational training centers” — while mosques are being torn down, religious signs removed and ancient cemeteries leveled.

Elsewhere in China, Buddhist temples are being turned into shrines celebrating Xi Jinping, China’s President For Life. His picture adorns the walls, his recorded voice booms out of the loudspeakers, and it is his “Thought” — not Buddha’s — that the monks are now required to meditate upon.

Not even the Taoists, China’s ancient folk religion, have escaped this new Cultural Revolution. Temples that have stood for over 1,000 years have been closed and ancient statues smashed, all on the orders of “Religious Affairs” officials.

Perhaps some of those who are concerned about protecting cultural sites in Iran could spare a thought for the daily demolition derby now going on in China. A demolition derby that is about to get worse, a lot worse.

On Feb. 1, 2020, new restrictions on all forms of religious activity came into force.

The “Control Measures for Religious Groups,” as the 41 new rules are called, deal with everything from the holding of rites and rituals, to the selection of leaders and annual meetings, to the hiring of staff and the handling of funds. All of these must be reported — in advance, no less — to the comrades at the “Religious Affairs” office for their approval.

DELUDED DICTATORS WANTED TO BE CALLED A GOD IS NOTHING NEW

In other words, without the permission of the authorities, you can’t organize a Bible study. And if you do get permission, you’d better hold it in a Party-approved religious venue, at a Party-approved time, with a Party-approved leader and using the new Party-approved Bible, which contains quotations from Confucius and, of course, Xi Jinping.

No Communist directive would be complete without a Catch-22 and the “Control Measures” contain a doozy: “Religious groups must also report to the appropriate government authorities any and all other matters that should be reported.”

Translation: We can shut you down at any time for any reason.

The “Control Measures” are part of Xi Jinping’s New Cultural Revolution, one goal of which is to stamp out all religious groups that the Communist Party cannot co-opt and control. “A religious group cannot carry out any activities,” warns the new rules, “without registration with the Civil Affairs office and the approval of the Religious Affairs office of the people’s government.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10380

4 Plagues Are Marching Across Asia Simultaneously: Coronavirus, African Swine Fever, H5N1 Bird Flu And H1N1 Swine Flu

February 2, 2020 by Michael Snyder

The coronavirus outbreak that is raging all over China right now has been making headlines on a daily basis all over the globe, and rightly so.  At this point we don’t know if it will ultimately become a horrifying global pandemic that will affect tens of millions of people, but what we do know is that the virus spreads very easily and the number of cases has been rising at an exponential rate.  Meanwhile, three other plagues have also been marching across Asia, and most people in the western world don’t even realize that this is happening.  What I am about to share with you in this article is quite chilling, and the months ahead will be very dark if these plagues continue to spread.

Long before we ever heard of this new coronavirus, African Swine Fever was devastating pork farms from one end of China to the other.  There is no vaccine for “pig ebola”, there is no cure, and once it hits a farm the only thing that can be done is to kill every single pig so that it won’t spread anywhere else.  But even though draconian measures have been implemented, it has just kept spreading, and at this point “about two-thirds of China’s swine herd has been lost”

Video of people fighting over pork at Chinese meat counters will likely become more common as the fallout from the African swine fever outbreak in China progresses.

Brett Stuart, president of the market research and analysis firm Global AgriTrends, estimates that about two-thirds of China’s swine herd has been lost to the disease and contrary to official government reports of recovery, more pigs are dying every day as ASF continues to spread.

Prior to this crisis, approximately half of all the pigs in the entire world lived in China, and they would usually slaughter about 700 million a year.  But now pork production has absolutely plummeted, and this is driving pork prices in China through the roof

In China itself, pork prices are at an all-time high at just under $300 per hundredweight and the country outbids Japan, which is usually the top bidder. Food inflation is soaring and some Chinese people have been unable to buy pork in six months.

Unfortunately, this insidious disease has also been devastating farms in many other nations all over the planet.  In particular, Cambodia, North Korea, South Korea, Vietnam and the Philippines have been hit particularly hard.

It has been estimated that one out of every four pigs in the entire world has already died, and this crisis is far from over.

Fortunately, African Swine Fever does not affect humans, but this new coronavirus seems perfectly suited to be transmitted from person to person.  Johns Hopkins has put up a map that is continually updated, and according to the latest official numbers there are now 14,637 cases and the death toll has risen to 305.  But by the time you read this article those numbers are likely to be even higher.

Of course many are extremely skeptical that the official numbers coming out of China are accurate, and this is something that I have written about repeatedly.  There have been multiple reports that indicate that China has been falsely categorizing the deaths of many of the victims to keep the death toll down, and it is also suspicious that so many corpses are being taken “directly to the crematorium”

Radio Free Asia (RFA) has tweeted a disturbing video on its Twitter account on Saturday morning detailing how those who died of coronavirus in Wuhan, the outbreak area in China, were loaded up on a bus and taken “directly to the crematorium.”

RFA said (in a translated tweet): “[Latest Situation of Wuhan Fifth Hospital] Some Wuhan citizens entered Wuhan Fifth Hospital on February 1st and found many patients who died of pneumonia. The corpses were packed directly to the crematorium. Paramedics are busy rescuing the dying patient.”

RFA’s video is in line with our report from Friday that said those who died of the deadly virus were hauled off to a crematorium in Wuhan by Chinese authorities.

At this point we don’t know how bad this outbreak will ultimately become, but we do know that the very first death outside of China has now been confirmed

The Philippine Department of Health said a 44-year-old Chinese man from Wuhan was admitted on Jan. 25 after experiencing a fever, cough, and sore throat. He developed severe pneumonia, and in his last few days, “the patient was stable and showed signs of improvement, however, the condition of the patient deteriorated within his last 24 hours resulting in his demise.”

The man’s 38-year-old female companion, also from Wuhan, also tested positive for the virus and remains in hospital isolation in Manila.

Meanwhile, there has been a very alarming resurgence of the H5N1 bird flu in China.

According to the Daily Mail, more than 17,000 chickens have been culled in an effort to keep this new outbreak from spreading further…

China has reportedly seen an outbreak of a ‘highly pathogenic’ strain of H5N1 bird flu which has already killed 4,500 chickens.

The outbreak was initially reported at a farm in Shaoyang city in the southern province of Hunan, south of the epicentre of the Coronavirus in Wuhan.

According to the Reuters report, Chinese authorities have already culled 17,828 poultry in the wake of the outbreak.

Unlike African Swine Fever, humans can become infected by the H5N1 bird flu.

And according to the World Health Organization, the mortality rate for human cases is approximately 60 percent.

So let us hope that this current outbreak remains limited to chickens.

Alarmingly, the H5N1 bird flu has also popped up at a facility in India

Authorities in an eastern Indian state will start culling chickens and destroying eggs from Tuesday to contain a bird flu virus of the H5N1 strain, a government statement said on Monday.

The samples collected from a poultry breeding and research farm of a veterinary college in Odisha state tested positive, the statement said.

We haven’t heard much about the H5N1 bird flu in recent years, but this is an extremely deadly disease, and so we will want to monitor these developments very carefully.

On top of everything else, the H1N1 swine flu is starting to spread once again.  In fact, more than 100,000 people in Taiwan “sought medical treatment for flu-like symptoms at hospitals across the country over the past week” and there have been 13 confirmed deaths

At a time when the world is panicking over a 2019-nCoV coronavirus outbreak, the H1N1 flu virus is actually posing a greater threat in Taiwan, claiming 13 lives in the country in just one week, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

At a weekly meeting Friday, CDC Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) said 116,705 people sought medical treatment for flu-like symptoms at hospitals across the country over the past week, including 61 more confirmed flu cases.

Not too long ago, the H1N1 swine flu caused mass panic all over the globe, and I personally knew someone that was killed by it.

So the truth is that all of these outbreaks are very concerning.

And never before have we seen so many alarming outbreaks occur simultaneously.  Could it be possible that we have entered a period of time when mass pandemics are going to become “the new normal”?

Hopefully none of these current outbreaks will end up killing millions of people all over the globe.

But we have been warned for a long time about how vulnerable we are, and the experts assure us that it is just a matter of time before a mass pandemic brings death to every corner of the planet.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10377

On The Day That Qassem Soleimani Was Killed Ayatollah Khamenei Prayed To Imam Mahdi, The Islamic Antichrist, Who They Believe Is Almost Here

Who is Imam Mahdi and why was Khamenei congratulating him on the day of Soleimani’s death? In short, he is Islam’s messiah, the 12th of 12 Imams who are successors to Mohammed. Said to have been born in 879 CE, the Imam Mahdi is believed by Shi’a Muslims to still be alive, but hidden from mankind in “occultation” until a time of such upheaval on the earth that only his reappearance will rescue mankind and, in fact, usher in an age of global peace; Islamic peace, that is; a kind of peace in which all mankind is living in submission to the Allah of the Koran.

by Geoffrey Grider February 1, 2020

Why did Ayatollah Khamenei congratulate Imam Mahdi on the day of Soleimani’s death? Because the real Prince of Persia is undeterred. He is still coming, and Iran will do anything to pave his way.

If you’re a Bible believer, this story today from the Jerusalem Post is a fascinating one, absolutely saturated with prophetic meaning of what is soon to come in the days after the Church is removed in the Pretribulation Rapture. While we as born again believers in Jesus Christ look for our Blessed Hope of being caught up in the clouds as our apostle Paul teaches us, Iran is also waiting for their savior as well, someone known to Muslims as Imam Mahdi. He is known to you and I as Antichrist.

“Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.” 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4 (KJB)

The Iranian Revolution that took place in 1979 was designed to prepare Iran and the Middle East for the appearance of Imam Mahdi, the Islamic Antichrist. Why is Iran in 2020 a nation in a constant state of war, upheaval and chaos? Because they are not looking to be a law-abiding member of the United Nations, they are waiting for Imam Mahdi to come and lead the world into an Islamic caliphate. Iran leaders live in constant anticipation the arrival of the Mahdi just as you and I live in constant anticipation of meeting Jesus in the clouds. And guess what? We are both about to receive the desires of our hearts.

Now you know why Pope Francis signed a peace covenant with Islam last year, why they are building the Chrislam One World Religion headquarters in Abu Dhabi, he is preparing the Catholic Church to receive not Jesus Christ, but Imam Mahdi. All the pieces fit perfectly together as prophecy continues to unfold in glorious, end times harmony. Please enjoy this timely and fascinating article from the Jerusalem Post. The article is also highly ironic because when Imam Mahdi does appear, the Jews for the first three and a half years of the time of Jacob’s trouble will think he is their Messiah and follow him. Pray for the Jewish people.

Are you ready for what comes next?

The fall of Qassem Soleimani and the Mahdi Doctrine

FROM THE JERUSALEM POST: When he left Damascus for Baghdad late Thursday evening January 2, Qassem Soleimani was flying high. As the military leader, chief strategist and charismatic face of what he knew to be the world’s emerging and greatest empire, he had it all: prestige, power, presence.

Not only did he command that rising empire’s independent military force, he was nothing less than the voice of Allah to leaders in nations soon to be absorbed: Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon; Yemen and the Sinai. Although no one ever said so in quite these terms, he was, in fact, a rising prince of Persia. And the arms at his disposal! In addition to an immeasurable arsenal of conventional weapons, there was a growing repository of guided missiles; a world-class brigade of ruthless cyber geeks; even submarines; and soon, very soon, nuclear warheads.

From the north and the south of the world’s most despicable usurper, if not so much to its east and to its west, Soleimani was slowly squeezing the Zionist entity, needling its psyche (and military focus) by jihadists within its pretentious boundaries, waiting for the perfect moment – when it was distracted – to strike at its heart from the north with a massive arsenal of at least 100,000 rockets. When the time came, rockets without sophisticated technology would draw the defensive shield of the Zionists’ interceptors. That shield would stop a lot of them, but not all. Not all.

Then, at just the right time, hi-tech guided missiles would be launched, programmed to hit key military sites and, best of all, high-density population centers. Maybe, just maybe, inshallah, one of those missiles would carry a nuclear warhead. As Zionists died in a mushroom cloud of agony, all hell would break out throughout the region, even the world. It would be a tragic upheaval but a necessary evil because then, as prophesied, the long awaited savior of the world would emerge from centuries of withdrawal. The Imam Mahdi would return, establishing a worldwide caliphate of perfect peace; Islamic peace, of course.

On the evening of the second day of what the West calls its New Year, Soleimani was fresh from meeting in Beirut, Lebanon, with one of his nation’s most important vassals, Hassan Nasrallah, the uncontested head of the pretentious “party of Allah,” Hezbollah. In that encounter, duly photographed, Soleimani had accepted, once again, the “General Secretary’s” obsequious hospitality. It was likely gratifying to the Islamic Republic’s major general of Tehran’s notably redundant Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, the IRGC.

The flight from Damascus was only one hour and five minutes, but it had been delayed. The Middle East Eye reports that his flight landed at 12:32 a.m. Baghdad time. Anticipating a comfortable weekend inside Baghdad’s Green Zone, Soleimani was met by the head of the Iraqi paramilitary force, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, said to be “a longstanding ally and a close friend.”

Just over an hour later, less than two hours into the third day of January, Soleimani, Muhandis and their entourage left Baghdad International Airport in two vehicles, a Hyundai Starex minivan and a Toyota Avalon four-door sedan. As they reached the airport’s outer access road, both vehicles were almost evaporated by missiles fired by an American Reaper drone, a large remote controlled aircraft regarded by the US military as a “hunter killer.” Death was instantaneous for all inside both cars. Remains were so badly shredded, Soleimani’s death was confirmed by a still intact hand bearing his still intact silver ring embedded with a large oval carnelian stone.

To Western eyes, events in Iran in the aftermath of Soleimani’s execution tend to look like a low-budget circus with all its performances gone bad.

“Let’s put all of this together,” opines YouTube commentator David Wood. “On January 3, Major-General Soleimani was killed in a drone strike. On January 7, 56 Iranians were killed and more than 200 more were injured in a stampede at Soleimani’s funeral. On January 8, Iranian leaders responded to the killing of Soleimani with a missile attack on two Iraqi bases where US soldiers were housed, but… no one was killed. Also on January 8, the Iranian military shot down a Ukranian passenger plane as it took off from Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport, killing 176 people. On January 11, after three days of denying it had shot down the plane … Iran admitted it had shot down the passenger plane.

“So, in response to the US government killing one man, Iranians killed, by a stampede and surface-to-air missile attack, 138 Iranians and 94 others – none of them Americans. I don’t know about you, but I’m beginning to think that Iranians might not be the best at war. [Mimicking Iranian leaders,] ‘Ah! They

[the US]

killed a general. Let’s start trampling each other to death in the streets and shooting down random planes.’

“I’m making fun of them,” says Wood, “because if the Iranian establishment is this incompetent, there’s hope for the protesters who want to overthrow the establishment. The days of the ayatollahs may be numbered.”

Iranian leaders as toothless buffoons is a gratifying narrative, but it is also wrong. If anything, the Islamic Republic is more dangerous than ever. As evidenced by Soleimani’s accomplishments in building a regional network of proxy terrorists, by the nation’s weapons-grade nuclear fuel technology, by hi-tech guided missile systems and a world-class cyber warfare unit, Iran retains all of these things, losing none of them with Soleimani’s death.

Wounded by Soleimani’s execution and US President Donald Trump’s economic sanctions, the threat Iran poses to the Middle East and the world is not lessened, it is magnified. Indeed, notes Israeli journalist and geopolitical analyst Jonathan Spyer, it “can be expected to do all in their power to preserve the regime by all possible means.”

Iran Is Waiting For Imam Mahdi, The Islamic Antichrist

Why? Three main reasons: the Mahdi and necessary upheaval; the Mahdi and Iran as the facilitator for his reappearance; the Mahdi and Tehran’s visceral hatred of Israel. On the day Soleimani was killed, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, tweeted, “We congratulate Imam Mahdi

[aj]

and Soleimani’s pure soul and condole the Iranian nation on this great martyrdom.”

Who is Imam Mahdi and why was Khamenei congratulating him on the day of Soleimani’s death?

In short, he is Islam’s messiah, the 12th of 12 Imams who are successors to Mohammed. Said to have been born in 879 CE, the Imam Mahdi is believed by Shi’a Muslims to still be alive, but hidden from mankind in “occultation” until a time of such upheaval on the earth that only his reappearance will rescue mankind and, in fact, usher in an age of global peace; Islamic peace, that is; a kind of peace in which all mankind is living in submission to the Allah of the Koran.

Crazy to Western ears, this messianic creed is the raison d’être for the Islamic Republic of Iran according to its founders and leaders. It is also the basis of Tehran’s foreign and military policies; and it is impossible to overemphasize the Iran regime’s visceral commitment to it. The Imam Mahdi is invoked in every public gathering, both civil and military; he is the singular inspiration for every policy, every tactic, every mission; indeed, he is nothing less than the regime’s reason for its existence and, as such, its singular and unwavering motivation for the future.
This reality does not bode well for those who see recent stumbles as indicative of an imminent fall of the mullahs in Tehran.

Khamenei’s official website is full of teachings about Imam Mahdi, including one that states the Supreme Leader’s conviction that his reappearance is very near. “Reappearance of Imam Mahdi [aj] is near, because minds are ready,” Khamenei writes. The “aj” in parenthesis is shorthand for, “May Allah hasten his appearance.”

“The mind of humankind is ready to understand, to learn, and to know, undoubtedly, that a lofty human will come to save them from the burden of oppression and tyranny,” Khamenei explains. “The Iranian nation, enjoys a great privilege today: the atmosphere of the country is an atmosphere of Imam Mahdi

[aj]

,” he continues, adding that “many of our great scholars have personally met with this beloved Imam of hearts of the admirers during his occultation; many have made a pledge to him in person; many have heard from him some heartwarming words; many have been caressed by him and many others have received his kindness, care, and love.”

How is this unwrapped in terms of Iran’s foreign and military policies today?

Global upheaval is a prerequisite for the Mahdi’s reappearance. This means that inasmuch as Iran stirs up a global hornet’s nest, it advances the Mahdi’s return, a return that is imminent. The regime’s primary agenda is to strategically provoke the world to chaos; this is how it wins. Chaos brings the Mahdi who brings global peace. Call it “The Mahdi Doctrine.”

The Iranian regime believes it has created an “atmosphere” that embodies the spirit of the Mahdi. Its religious, military and civil leaders have had personal encounters with him. In essence, then, today’s Iran is the womb from which the Mahdi will be reborn. Accordingly, the regime will go to any lengths to preserve itself. Accordingly, we should expect internal rebellion to be ruthlessly squashed. Protesters, especially organizers, will disappear. All external and internal opposition to the regime will be demonized.

Israel must be destroyed. Tehran’s unrelenting objective is resurrection of the ancient Persian empire in the form of an Islamic caliphate. The primary impediment to that objective is Israel, the “Zionist Entity,” the very embodiment of evil in the world today. Notably, Khamenei’s Twitter feed is full of vitriol about Israel.

“The Zionist regime is the epitome of evil,” he tweeted on Valentine’s Day in 2016. It is a “racist, usurping, lying, vicious, apartheid regime,” he added on February 5, 2019.
What then must be done? “Once people in the West realize their problems stem from Zionist domination over governments, great social movements will give birth to a new world,” he explained on 2 March 2015. Accordingly, the “barbaric, wolflike and infanticidal regime of Israel which spares no crime but to be annihilated.”

Translation: When the world finishes the job that Hitler started, the Mahdi will come, bringing heaven on earth; Islamic heaven, that is. Wounded by economic sanctions, embarrassed by internal protesters, Iran is more dangerous today than ever.

Why did Khamenei congratulate Imam Mahdi on the day of Soleimani’s death? Because the real Prince of Persia is undeterred. He is still coming, and Iran will do anything to pave his way.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10374

Roman Catholic Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò Says That Pope Francis Is Fulfilling The Revelation Prophecy Of The Coming Synagogue Of Satan

In his first testimony, Archbishop Viganò also stated that he informed Cardinal Sandri, along with Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, about Theodore McCarrick’s decades-long abuse of priests and seminarians. Sandri was one of several high-ranking prelates who “knew in every detail the situation regarding Cardinal McCarrick,” he testified. Archbishop Viganò concludes: “ The faithful have a right to know these sordid intrigues of a corrupt court. In the Heart of the Church we seem to glimpse the approaching shadow of Satan’s synagogue (Rev 2:9).”

by Geoffrey Grider January 31, 2020

SYNAGOGUE OF SATAN: In a new testimony touching upon the election of the next Pope, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò has alleged that the cardinal whom Pope Francis recently approved to preside over the next papal conclave was involved in covering up the misdeeds of infamous Legionary of Christ founder, Marciel Maciel.

I was a Roman Catholic for the first 29 years of my life, until the day I got saved and became a born again Christian, and I have spent the past tens years in this ministry of Now The End Begins to warn people about the lies and evil foundations of the counterfeit Christian Church. So it makes me happy when high-ranking and currently serving members of the Roman Catholic Church says things like what you will see in this article today that backs me up.

“And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive; I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.” Revelation 2:8,9 (KJB)

Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, who has been warning people about Pope Francis for years now, makes a startling charge that the pope is a deceiver, a liar, and actively engaged in multiple cover-ups on a variety of levels. Vigano goes so far as to say that Pope Francis is turning the Roman Catholic Church into the synagogue of Satan, and guess what? He’s right. We have previously told you how Vigano exposed the ‘Gay Mafia‘ in the Roman Catholic Church, as well as the ‘homosexual network‘ that exists there and that Pope Francis works to keep hidden.

“When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.” Matthew 24:15-18 (KJB)

Regular readers of NTEB are acutely aware that Pope Francis spent all of 2019 forming an alliance with Islam, signing a covenant with them, and began to put the framework in place for the coming One World Religion of Chrislam. The Bible tells us, in Revelation, that the One World Religion will have the Roman Catholic Church as it’s base, and that Antichrist will rule the world from there. In the middle of the time of Jacob’s trouble, Antichrist will move to take over Jerusalem and indeed sit on the throne of the rebuilt Jewish Temple. This triggers the Matthew 24 warning for the Jews to flee to Selah Petra, where God Himself will sustain them supernaturally for three and one half years.

“For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” Revelation 18:3,4 (KJB)

Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, we congratulate you on your keen sense of perception and discernment in noting that Pope Francis is in the process of creating the synagogue of Satan, and since you found your way into the book of Revelation, something you rarely see any Catholic do, let me offer you another verse from Revelation that will help you as well. In Revelation 17 and 18, the Bible is describing to us the Roman Catholic Church and the Vatican superstructure. And in Revelation 18, quoted above, God gives a warning to all Catholics to flee from the Roman harlot while there is still time. So let me invite you in joining me as an ex-Catholic, and to walk in new life with Jesus Christ by becoming born again. The Roman Catholic Church is indeed the synagogue of Satan, and will become the synagogue of Satan in the time of Jacob’s trouble. Leave while you can.

Viganò Says Pope Francis Creating Synagogue Of Satan

FROM LIFE SITE NEWS: In a statement released on January 31 and titled “The faithful have the right to know”, Archbishop  Carlo Maria Viganò asserts that Pope Francis’s confirmation of Cardinal Leonardo Sandri as Vice-Dean of the College of Cardinals is a “masterpiece of deception.”

On Saturday, January 25, the Holy See announced that Pope Francis had confirmed the election of Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, 86, and Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, 76, as Dean and Vice-Dean of the College of Cardinals respectively. The announcement came one month after Cardinal Angelo Sodano, 92, resigned as Dean of the Sacred College.

Francis’s approval of these elections “has gone almost unnoticed and yet conceals a devious strategy,” Archbishop Viganò writes.

The former apostolic nuncio to the United States contends that the confirmation of Cardinal Re as Dean of the Sacred College is “a cover for that other more effective appointment — of Cardinal Sandri — which has been prepared ad hoc to pilot the next conclave secundum Franciscum, that is, according to an updated and augmented edition of the St. Gallen Mafia.”

Role Of The Dean And Vice-Dean 

The Dean of the College of Cardinals presides over the Sacred College. When a Pope dies (or in the case of Benedict XVI has resigned), the Dean is tasked with communicating to all the cardinals that the pontiff has passed and summoning them to Rome for a papal conclave.

The word “conclave” refers to the time in which the cardinals are locked inside the Sistine Chapel to elect a new Pope. Only those cardinals who are under the age of 80 are eligible to enter the conclave and vote. The Dean of the College presides over the conclave and also oversees what are called the pre-conclave “congregations,” at which cardinals discuss the logistics and planning for the conclave, and importantly, meet their brother cardinals and get to know their positions. All of the cardinals, even those who cannot vote in the actual election for reasons of age, are eligible to participate in the congregations. Such was the case with former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick in 2013.

The Vice-Dean’s role is to act as a substitute when the Dean cannot exercise his office. At 86 years of age, Cardinal Re, as newly elected Dean, is not eligible to enter into or preside at the next conclave and will therefore cede this role to 76-year-old Cardinal Sandri.

Cardinal Re will still oversee the congregations, but Cardinal Sandri, as Vice-Dean of the College of Cardinals, will exercise the most important role — to preside over the election of the next Pope. This is not a novelty. In 2013, after the resignation of Benedict XVI, for reasons of age, Cardinal Angelo Sodano ceded this role to then-Vice-Dean, Cardinal Re, who presided over the election of Pope Francis.

A Web Of Coverup?

In his new statement, Archbishop Viganò recalls his first testimony in August 2018, in order to reiterate that “the person chiefly responsible for covering up the misdeeds committed by Maciel was then-Secretary of State Cardinal Angelo Sodano.”

“Unfortunately for him, Sandri also allowed himself to be involved by Sodano in this operation to cover up Maciel’s horrible misdeeds,” he adds.

Drawing on his first-hand experience as a member of the diplomatic corps and high-level official in the Vatican Secretariat of State, Archbishop Viganò testifies that through a series of “shady maneuvers,” Cardinal Sandri was transferred to Mexico, to replace Archbishop Justo Mullor, who “was removed from the Apostolic Nunciature in Mexico because he opposed the directives coming from the Secretariat of State to cover up the very serious accusations against Marcial Maciel.”

Archbishop Viganò writes: 

“To replace Archbishop Mullor in Mexico City, it was necessary to appoint a person of unfailing loyalty to Sodano. Sandri had already given proof of this as Assessor for the section of General Affairs in the Secretariat of State. Serving at the time as Nuncio in Venezuela for just a little over two years, he was transferred to Mexico.”

This new testimony echoes his first, in which he wrote:

“It is known that Sodano tried to cover up the Father Maciel scandal to the end. He even removed the Nuncio in Mexico City, Justo Mullor, who refused to be an accomplice in his scheme to cover Maciel, and in his place appointed Sandri, then-Nuncio to Venezuela, who was willing to collaborate in the cover-up.”

In his first testimony, Archbishop Viganò also stated that he informed Cardinal Sandri, along with Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, about Theodore McCarrick’s decades-long abuse of priests and seminarians. Sandri was one of several high-ranking prelates who “knew in every detail the situation regarding Cardinal McCarrick,” he testified.

Cardinal Sandri’s links to the Legionaries of Christ and allegations that he kept quiet about Maciel’s misdeeds have been reported widely in both the Italian and English-speaking media, recently and in past years.

Archbishop Viganò notes his “long-standing friendship” with Cardinal Sandri that dates back 50 years to their shared time in the Pontifical Ecclesiastic Academy (a training academy for Vatican diplomats) and the Secretariat of State. He also affirms that his new testimony is inspired “solely” by the bond of that friendship and is offered “for the good of his soul, for the love of the Truth who is Christ Himself, and for the Church, His Bride, whom we served together.”

The former US nuncio also testifies that Pope Francis, having asked him about Sandri, knew about his character and the Mexico transfer, and “promoted

[him]

to Cardinal-Priest in May 2018 and a month later to Cardinal-Bishop, so that he might confirm him as Vice-Dean of the College of Cardinals, a candidate prepared by Francis to preside at the next Conclave.”

Archbishop Viganò concludes: “The faithful have a right to know these sordid intrigues of a corrupt court. In the Heart of the Church we seem to glimpse the approaching shadow of Satan’s synagogue (Rev 2:9).”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10371

Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Qatar, UAE welcome Trump peace plan

“The Kingdom reiterates its support for all efforts aimed at reaching a just and comprehensive resolution to the Palestinian cause,” said the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

By OMRI NAHMIAS  

JANUARY 29, 2020 11:55

WASHINGTON – Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Qatar, and the UAE on Tuesday issued statements welcoming the Trump administration’s peace plan.

“The Kingdom reiterates its support for all efforts aimed at reaching a just and comprehensive resolution to the Palestinian cause,” said the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“The kingdom appreciates the efforts of President Trump’s administration to develop a comprehensive peace plan between the Palestinian and the Israeli sides, and encourages the start of direct peace negotiations between the Palestinian and Israeli sides, under the auspices of the United States,” the statement reads. It also called to resolve any disagreements with aspects of the plan through negotiations, “to move forward the peace process to reach an agreement that achieves legitimate rights of the Palestinian people.”

Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammad Bin Salman told Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas that “our position towards the Palestinian issue has not changed, all the Arabs and we are with you. The establishment of a just and comprehensive peace must be worked for. Peace is a strategic choice, which will bring a permanent solution that will fulfill the rights of the Palestinian people,” according to Channel 13.

The Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a similar statement, calling the sides to consider the plan to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“The Arab Republic of Egypt appreciates the continuous efforts exerted by the US administration to achieve a comprehensive and just settlement of the Palestinian issue, thereby contributing to the stability and security of the Middle East, ending the Palestinian-Israeli conflict,” the ministry said Tuesday.

“Egypt recognizes the importance of considering the US administration’s initiative from the perspective of the importance of achieving the resolution of the Palestinian issue, thus restoring to the Palestinian people their full legitimate rights through the establishment of a sovereign independent state in the Palestinian occupied territories in accordance with international legitimacy and resolutions,” the statement reads.

It went on to call the two sides “to undertake a careful and thorough consideration of the US vision to achieve peace and open channels of dialogue, under US auspices; for the resumption of negotiations to present their respective views on reaching an agreement that satisfies the aspirations of both peoples, to achieve a comprehensive and just peace and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state.”


THE QATARI News Agency released a statement, saying that “the State welcomes all efforts aiming towards a longstanding and just peace in the occupied Palestinian territories.”

“It also appreciates the endeavors of President Trump and the current US administration to find solutions for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. All solutions should be consistent with international law and the relevant UN resolutions,” the statement continues.

Qatar also called on the sides to hold direct negotiations. However, unlike Saudi Arabia and Egypt, the Qatari statement also calls for a Palestinian state “within the 1967 borders, including East Jerusalem,” as well as the right of return.

Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates, Yousef Al Otaiba, said that his country appreciates continued US efforts to reach a Palestine-Israel peace agreement. “This plan is a serious initiative that addresses many issues raised over the years,” he wrote.

“The plan announced today offers an important starting point for a return to negotiations within a US-led international framework,” he added. Otaiba was among the three Arab ambassadors who attended the ceremony at the White House earlier on Tuesday. Ambassadors of Oman and Bahrain attended the event as well, signaling warming ties with Israel and support for the administration’s vision.

Jordan and Turkey, on the other hand, were critical of the plan. Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said in a statement following the announcement of the US peace vision that an “independent Palestinian state on June 4, 1967, lines with East Jerusalem as its capital – living in peace side by side with Israel on the basis of the two-state solution that fulfills the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, in accordance with international law – is the only path to a comprehensive and lasting peace.”

Safadi warned against “the dangerous consequences of unilateral Israeli measures, such as the annexation of Palestinian lands; the building and expansion of illegal Israeli settlements on Palestinian occupied lands; and encroachments on the Holy Sites in Jerusalem, that aim at imposing new realities on the ground.” He stressed that Jordan condemns such measures, “as a violation of international law and provocative actions that will push the area toward more conflict and tension.”

Turkey’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a statement saying that, “the so-called US peace plan is stillborn. This is an annexation plan aiming to destroy the two-state solution and seize the Palestinian territories. The people and the land of Palestine cannot be bought off.”
 

“Jerusalem is our redline,” the statement reads. “We will not allow any step seeking to legitimize Israel’s occupation and atrocities. We will always stand by the brotherly Palestinian people and will continue to work for an independent Palestine on Palestinian land.
 

“We will not support any plan that does not have the support of Palestine,” the ministry added. “There will not be any peace in the Middle East without ending Israel’s occupation policies.”

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