“Is It Really Human Beings Doing This?” Muslim Persecution of Christians, January 2019

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Massacres in and Attacks on Churches

Philippines: On Sunday, January 27, Islamic militants bombed a Catholic cathedral during Mass.  At least 20 people were killed and 111 wounded.  Two explosives were detonated about a minute apart in or near the Cathedral of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Jolo around 8:45 a.m.  According to one report, “The initial explosion scattered the wooden pews inside the main hall and blasted window glass panels, and the second bomb hurled human remains and debris across a town square fronting the cathedral.”  Photos on social media showed human bodies and remains strewn on the street just outside the cathedral.  The officiating priest, Fr. Ricky Bacolcol, “was still in shock and could not speak about what happened,” to quote a colleague.  After the first bomb detonated, army troops and police posted outside the cathedral rushed in, at which point the second bomb went off.  Fifteen of the slain were civilians, five military men; 90 of the wounded were civilians.  Located in a Muslim-majority area, the cathedral was heavily guarded as it had been hit before: grenades were hurled at it twice in 2010, both times damaging the building; and in 1997, Bishop Benjamin de Jesus was gunned down just outside the cathedral.  The Islamic State claimed this most recent attack, adding that the massacre was carried out by “two knights of martyrdom” against a “crusader temple.”

Egypt: An Islamic terror plot to bomb a packed Christian church on the evening of January 6,  when Coptic Orthodox Christians celebrate Christmas, was foiled by police.  According to one report,

[F]our explosive devices were planted around the Church of the Virgin Mary and St Mercurius in … Nasr City.  Three were removed safely but the fourth, concealed in a bag, exploded when police bomb disposal technicians attempted to deactivate it. Police Major Mostafa Ebeid was killed in the blast, which wounded two other officers and a bystander. The explosion was the latest in a series of incidents apparently targeting Egypt’s Coptic Christian population, occurring the day before Orthodox Christmas eve….

Separately, between late December and early January, authorities forcefully shut down four more churches in Egypt after angry Muslim mobs rioted in protest of their existence.  In one instance, on Friday, January 11, over one thousand Muslims surrounded and demanded the instant closure of St. George Church in Minya. Not only did authorities comply but they evicted the two priests who were holed up inside the church and hauled them off in a vehicle used for garbage, prompting “an elated response from a jubilating, gloating mob,” which included triumphant cries of “Allahu Akbar”(Allah is greater; a brief video of the mob can be seen here.)  Police “ behaved with the priests as they would with killers,” one human rights lawyer said.  “What happened frightened us,” added another clergyman. “I am a priest and it is possible for the police to cuff me if the extremist neighboring Muslims protest or gathered in front of my church. Things are getting worse, but let us pray to make God keep us in peace.”  The local Coptic Christian bishopric said in a statement,

This is not the first time a place used for worship by Copts in Minya is closed. The common factor among all closures, however, is that they were done to appease fundamentalists and extremists to the detriment of the Copts. It appears to indicate that extremists now hold the upper hand, and appeasing them is the easy way out of problems….  This comes in the wake of declarations by the Grand Imam of al-Azhar, Sheikh Ahmad al-Tayyeb in favour of churches, also positive talk and actions by President Abdel-Fattah a-Sisi that every Egyptian has the right to practise his or her religion of choice, and to Pope Tawadros’s efforts on that front.

A January 15 report discussing this attack computes that, “In total, Egyptian authorities have closed four churches within the last four and a half weeks. No formal procedures against the attackers of these churches have begun.”

Cameroon: Muslim militants invaded and ransacked two Christian villages in the middle of the night of January 24.   They destroyed 190 homes, plundered and desecrated four churches, set a Christian hospital on fire, and killed livestock.  “Is it really human beings who are doing this?” a local eyewitness was later quoted as saying.   According to the report,

The attack on Gochi and Toufou [the Christian villages] is the fourth by militants in two weeks. In the previous attacks three people were killed and churches and homes were damaged or destroyed….  Christian villages in the far north of Cameroon are subject to attacks by Boko Haram Islamist militias [as] they attempt to establish an Islamic caliphate from north-eastern Nigeria all the way to northern Cameroon, which is where most Cameroonian Muslims live in what is a predominantly Christian country.

Nigeria:  Militant Muslims have destroyed a total of 1,125 churches belonging to one Christian denomination alone, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria, which is primarily based in the Muslim majority northeast of the nation, a January 23 report found. The President of the denomination, Rev. Joel Billi continues making appeals for the local Muslim majority government to expedite the rebuilding of these places of worship: “Why are we flagrantly neglected as if we deserve to be punished? If not for the inadequacy of our security forces and political undertone, Boko Haram would not have overrun us. So, why do we pay for the sin that was not committed by us?”

Ghana:  Irate and machete wielding Muslim youth vandalized a church after its pastor predicted that the Chief Imam Sheikh Osman Nuhu Sharunutu would die this year. Afterwards they made a video giving the pastor an ultimatum to withdraw his prophecy or else: “We’re warning you,” said the group leader. “You have only 24 hours to capture yourself in a video to apologise to all Muslims. Don’t bring your fake prophecies on the Muslims or our Chief Imam. If you don’t apologise, we’ll drink your blood.”

Indonesia: A Muslim mob stormed a house church meeting on Sunday, January 13, in the North Sumatran capital of Medan.   Video footage shows a loud and angry throng led by men wearing Muslim skullcaps and women in hijabs surrounding a pastor’s residence, which had allegedly been converted into a place of worship for use by the Bethel Indonesia Church congregation.  The mob shouted at and shoved Christians in attendance before forcing the service to a close.  “We didn’t do things that were prohibited,” wrote one church member on Instagram. “We only wanted to pray, but why was our church attacked this morning? Where is justice in this country? Where is our religious tolerance? God is with us.”  Due to this and similar incidents, Christians are increasingly  “feel[ing] intimidated to worship in their own country,” the report notes, before adding that:

members of the congregation claim that they have obtained some permits for the building to function as a house of worship but are still missing some documents, which they say have been difficult to obtain from government officials, especially during the recent holiday period.  In September, authorities in the East Sumatran city of Jambi sealed three churches, which had been used as places of worship for over a decade, because they lacked official permits. An administrator at one of the churches said they were given no warning prior to the closure and that he suspected the churches were shut due to pressure from certain groups who threatened to protest if they remained open. Officials from one of the churches said their attempts to obtain the proper permits had proven difficult as government officials [in the Muslim majority nation] always denied them.

Algeria: After authorities shut down their church, a 300-strong Christian congregation began to meet and worship in a tent—only to be forced out of and ordered to dismantle it as well on January 28.  The tent was erected on the grounds of Azaghar Church, allowing the congregation to continue worshipping following the forced closure of their church on spurious “health and safety” reasons.  According to one report,

The church … lost the use of its building in October 2018, despite the congregation responding to requests to install fire exits and fire extinguishers.  While conversion from Islam is not a criminal offence in Algeria, those who witness to Muslims potentially face a five-year jail sentence.  The officially recognised church had been open for five years and is a powerful ministry to local Muslims. ….  A number of churches have been shut down since the start of 2018, either for alleged breaches of health and safety, or because authorities claim they are not properly registered.

Violence against Christians and Conversion Pressure

Uganda:  Muslims beat and hospitalized a Christian woman for praying to Christ in her home.  “Today we have come to warn you that you should avoid noisy prayers and the use of Issa [Jesus] in your prayers,” one of the four assailants informed Deborah Gimbo’s after bursting into her home.  They added that a local cleric had said that “people who pray in Jesus’ name should be fought and pressured until they accept only worship of Allah, or else be killed.”  “I cannot stop praying,” she responded, “and more so, Issa [Jesus] is my Lord and Savior, and I will continue praying in His name….  Immediately two of the intruders left the house, and in no time entered the room again with sticks and started beating me. I was hit on my face, and blood started flowing down my face as I started shouting for help.”  Neighbors came to her rescue; she was hospitalized for two days.

Iran:  During their final appeal hearing held on January 15,  two Christians “were asked by presiding judges Hassan Babaee and Ahmad Zargar to renounce their faith, but refused to do so,” says one report.  Earlier, on September 22, 2018, the two, Saheb Fadaie and Fatemeh Bakhteri, were sentenced to prison on the charge of “spreading propaganda against the regime,” and “promoting Zionist Christianity.”  The January 15 verdict also “claimed that discussions of Christian doctrine held in house churches were considered attacks on Islam.”  A human rights activist familiar with the case elaborated:

The conviction of Mr Fadaie and Ms Bakhteri for asserting Christian doctrine is not only a grave violation of their right to espouse a religious belief of their choosing, but also criminalises the Christian faith, which the Iranian constitution purports to recognise…. We call for the verdict against Mr Fadaie and Ms Bakhteri to be overturned, and urge the Iranian authorities to ensure due process in cases involving religious minorities. We also continue to urge the Iranian government to cease all forms of harassment and intimidation of peaceable religious communities, and to release all those detained in connection with their religion or belief.

Somalia: “It’s very dangerous for anyone to identify you as a Christian in this country,” an underground pastor going by the pseudonym of John explained in a January 7 report concerning the dangers of being outed as a Christian in the Islamic Horn of Africa. “You will, in fact, be counting your days on Earth.  So we are always silent as long as we meet and share the word of God in private.”  The report elaborates:

Hundreds of Christians in Somalia, typically foreigners from nearby countries who work across the East African nation, fear [that] Muslim extremists — both jihadists in al-Shabab, a group linked to al-Qaida, and rogue elements among their otherwise peaceful neighbors — would kill them if they knew they held Christian services.  Around 99.8 percent of Somalis are Muslim….  In recent years, the situation for Christians in the Horn of Africa has worsened, as illustrated by killings shared on social media. In the region under the control of al-Shabab, the militants hunt for Christians.

Attacks on Muslim Converts to Christianity

Kenya: “Muslim policemen on Saturday (Jan. 19) beat and arrested a Christian man on the outskirts of Nairobi, in retaliation for refusing to recant Christianity,” states one report. “Accompanied by two Muslims of Somali descent who had attacked him previously, the policemen arrived at the home where Hassan (surname withheld for security reasons) lives with his widowed mother, and the officers along with the two others punched, kicked, trampled and struck him with blunt objects…”  According to his mother:

The police arrived and carried Hassan away with blood flowing from his body. My son’s leg is bruised, he has serious chest and back pain, he is unable to walk and some of his teeth were removed.  My family is in danger, where are we going to hide ourselves? I cannot go back to Islam. I am better dying with my family than going back to Islam….I have suffered several persecutions from the Muslims for converting to Christianity….  My stomach is ailing from the attack I suffered few years ago. I cannot stand in an upright position. I and my family have chosen the cause of Christ. No turning back.

Sudan/Egypt:  A January 31 report recounted the persecution experienced by a former Muslim woman turned Christian. Ebtehaj Alsanosi, 42, “had fled to Egypt in 2005 after being jailed five times for her faith in Sudan.”  She eventually married another convert who had also fled Sudan and birthed a daughter.  Her persecutors eventually tracked her down, kidnapping her on the way to market in Egypt:

They called her name, grabbed her, covered her nose and mouth, twisted her hands and sprayed some chemical on her that left her unconscious…They took her to the windowless room in an unknown house where they poured water on her, pulled her hair and tied her hands and legs to a chair, all the while shouting her name. Covering her eyes, they reminded her of her Islamic upbringing in Sudan, and how after her school years she moved with her family to Saudi Arabia. Her Sudanese father, they reminded her, is a sheikh (Islamic teacher) in Saudi Arabia.

“You are disgrace to your Muslim family, you brought shame to the family,” they yelled at her as they beat her. “You are ‘kafira’ [infidel].”  They ordered her to return to her Sudanese family in Saudi Arabia, otherwise, she, her husband, and daughter aged 11 would all be slaughtered.  “I will not go back to Islam—I hate Islam,” she shot back, prompting them to beat her even harder.  One of her abductors then brought “a copy of the Koran and began reciting verses that call for the killing of those who leave Islam”—even as they all shouted “Allahu Akbar”  in between recitals.  “The extremists then untied her, forced her to lie on the floor and ripped her clothes. In spite of her pleas to stop, they raped her in turns.” One of the men said, “This is lesson number one.”  They continued abusing and beating her, asking after each torture session if she was ready to renounce Christ and resubmit to Muhammad, only for her to refuse.  She was eventually struck unconscious, and when she came to, was lying in the middle of a busy street.

A separate January 21 report revealed the sufferings of a Muslim man who also fled from Sudan to Egypt after converting to Christianity.  Osman “left Khartoum in April 2014 after police from Sudan’s Criminal Investigation Department accused him of apostasy, punishable by death in Sudan.”  At one point, “National police arrested him from the streets of Khartoum, covered his eyes with a cloth and took him into secret detention, where they tortured him for three weeks…  He was suspended from the ceiling while agents poured cold water on him, leaving his left hand permanently damaged…”  “[T]hey told me they were going to kill me if I do not return back to Islam,” he explained.  “I fled Sudan for my life after I learned that my life was in danger.”  Before long, however, unknown persons in Cairo began sending him death threats via phone texts.  Most recently, his apartment was raided and his passport stolen, prompting him to go into hiding.   “My life is in great danger as Egypt is becoming an insecure place for me,” Osman was last reported as saying.

Uganda: The story of a mother and daughter who were driven out of their home by their Muslim husband/father after they converted to Christianity appeared in a January 7 report.  According to Adijah, the mother:

All the years that I was a Muslim, I found nothing wrong with it. But last year, when I was listening to a radio program about Jesus, I started thinking about Christianity and why there was so much enmity between Muslims and Christians. I did not know [it then, but it] started my journey to Christianity.  My husband learned that I had accepted Christ when he found a Bible in the house. I pleaded with him to allow me to try out my new faith and see how far I would go, but he was reluctant. Within days, he became hostile towards me and Nuriah [the daughter] who had also started reading the Bible. I was given a one-week ultimatum to decide if I wanted to become a non-Muslim and follow the lost religion of Christianity.

Knowledge of her apostasy from Islam eventually spread throughout the region and extended family and others urged her husband to drive her out: “You are an infidel,” he eventually burst out.  “I do not want to see you here. Pick your clothes and leave with Nuriah because she has also started reading the Bible and singing Christian hymns. See the shame and destruction you have brought to us. Nuriah used to be a good Muslim, but now she hides and goes with you to church.”

The following day before we left [continues Adijah], he had uprooted all the cassava crops I had planted. Shouting at the top of his voice, he threatened to take back everything that he had put under my name so that I will not inherit any property from him. He said these were the dire consequences of forsaking Allah and his prophet and following after other gods.

According to his daughter, Nuriah, “I am ready to become a Christian, but my father might look for me and beat me. I still love my father but he doesn’t want us to worship the way we want. He should not force us into Islam. One of our relatives has informed us that my father is looking for ways to kill us.”  He has since remarried. “I hear that he has looked for a Muslim lady and they are staying together in the same house we used to live,” said his ex-wife. “We live in fear because we don’t know what he is planning to do to us.”   The destitute mother and daughter have experienced much  poverty and turmoil since, and were last reported as taking refuge with a Christian family in another part of the nation.

Separately in Uganda, a former Muslim turned Christian lives in fear for his life after local Muslims razed the church he led to the ground and threatened him with death for apostatizing and causing other Muslims to apostatize from Islam.    “A gang of radical Muslims entered the church compound,” Simon Mustafa Waseke, who became Christian in 2017, recalled, “and pulled down the church building while shouting ‘Allah Akbar [Allah is greater], away with this church and Pastor Mustafa Waseke. No more prayers in this place, or else you will all lose your lives,’ and in no time the church was on its ground.”  A clandestine Christian in touch with the Muslim community informed him that they are plotting his murder:  “Even if am given police protection, I am not sure of the security of my members of the church, who are now very fearful.  I am at a crossroads of not knowing what to do. My church members are scattered like sheep without a shepherd. Soon their faith in Christ will diminish, and they will possibly return to Islam…. The Muslims are now out to kill me and my family—we are having sleepless nights.  How long are we going to hide ourselves from our enemies of Christianity? Please pray for us.”

Pro-Muslim and Anti-Christian Bias in the West

United Kingdom: A Christian man who had been residing in the UK for 15 years was in early January deported back to Pakistan, even though he had been persecuted there.  Asher Samson, 41, “first arrived in the UK in 2004 to carry out his theology training in order to become a pastor, but later applied for asylum after receiving threats from Islamic extremists during visits home,” notes a report. His former pastor, Rev Lorraine Shorton from Hall Green United Community Church, described his current situation:  “I’ve received some messages from him. He’s very scared, he’s fearful for his life….  He’s in hiding in Pakistan and his family are terribly worried for him….  At the moment he has no funds to live on—he can’t work …. [T]he UK is sending people back to these countries where their lives are in danger. Pakistan is number five on the World Watch List for extremism against Christians and it’s just disgraceful really that we’re sending people potentially to their death…. Pray that the government will see sense.”

Another separate report from January 20 asserts that, when it comes to offering asylum, the UK “appears to discriminate in favour of Muslims” instead of Christian minorities from Muslim nations. Statistics confirm this allegation:  “out of 4,850 Syrian refugees accepted for resettlement by the Home Office in 2017, only eleven were Christian, representing just 0.2% of all Syrian refugees accepted by the UK.”

New Zealand:  Of those foreign nationals offered asylum between October 31, 2017 and October 31, 2018, seven were from Iraq, 105 from Afghanistan, and 277 from Syria—yet all were Muslims a report found: “Figures for previous years … are equally bleak. In 2016, only six Christians were among the 377 Syrians granted sanctuary, and in the five weeks up to 10 February 2017 no Christians were among the 45 Syrians, all Muslims, who were allowed to settle. Christians made up 10% of the population of Syria before the war.”  Responding to this disparity, a government spokesman said refugees were considered for resettlement on the basis of “their protection needs and not religious affiliation.”  However, considering that the Islamic State regularly targets people based on their “religious affiliation” suggests that Christians, Yazidis, and other minorities have many more “protection needs” than Muslims.

Raymond Ibrahim, author of the new book, Sword and Scimitar, Fourteen Centuries of War between Islam and the West, is a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Gatestone Institute and a Judith Rosen Friedman Fellow at the Middle East Forum.

About this Series

The persecution of Christians in the Islamic world has become endemic.  Accordingly, “Muslim Persecution of Christians” was developed to collate some—by no means all—of the instances of persecution that surface each month. It serves two purposes:

1)          To document that which the mainstream media does not: the habitual, if not chronic, persecution of Christians.

2)          To show that such persecution is not “random,” but systematic and interrelated—that it is rooted in a worldview inspired by Islamic Sharia.

Accordingly, whatever the anecdote of persecution, it typically fits under a specific theme, including hatred for churches and other Christian symbols; apostasy, blasphemy, and proselytism laws that criminalize and sometimes punish with death those who “offend” Islam; sexual abuse of Christian women; forced conversions to Islam;  theft and plunder in lieu of jizya (financial tribute expected from non-Muslims); overall expectations for Christians to behave like cowed dhimmis, or third-class, “tolerated” citizens; and simple violence and murder. Sometimes it is a combination thereof.

Because these accounts of persecution span different ethnicities, languages, and locales—from Morocco in the West, to Indonesia in the East—it should be clear that one thing alone binds them: Islam—whether the strict application of Islamic Sharia law, or the supremacist culture born of it. (Click to Source)

 
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Locusts May Arrive in Israel in Time to be Served for Passover Seder

A plague of locusts that has been creeping across the Middle East is set to hit Israel just in time for the Passover holiday, commemorating the original pre-Exodus plague in Egypt.

The locusts began swarming on the Red Sea coast of Eritrea and Sudan in December. A desert variety of the insect is always present in these areas but the population remains limited unless certain conditions are present. Overcrowding changes both their behavior and physiology. They develop bright colors and form huge swarms in which they fly long distances to new pastures. Locusts are not harmful to humans but swarms of locusts can be miles long and contain a billion individuals.

“Swarms are often tens of square kilometers in size,” the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) charged with monitoring locust outbreaks explained. The FAO warned that a swarm of just one square kilometer eats the same amount of food in one day as 35,000 people. “A swarm the size of Bamako (Mali) or Niamey (Niger) can consume what half the population of either country would eat in a single day.”

The FAO reported that in the past two weeks, there has been an escalation in second-generation hatching and hopper band formation along both sides of the Red Sea. One swarm arrived in Iran at the end of January. Ground and air crews are already hard at work in Egypt and Saudi Arabia trying to control the infestation.

The swarms also can travel 93 miles a day making efforts to control an outbreak even more difficult. Officials warned that further rains in the region could lead to an even larger outbreak.

A similar infestation that took place exactly six years ago in southern Israel was successfully controlled. In 1915, a locust swarm in then-Palestine led to regional famine.

Though most insects are not kosher and unfit for Jewish consumption, there are four varieties of the insects that are listed as kosher. Some might even consider it fitting to dine on locusts during the Passover Seder ceremony.

Of these, you may eat the following: locusts of every variety; all varieties of bald locust; crickets of every variety; and all varieties of grasshopper. Leviticus 11:22

The concept is highly appealing since they do not require ritual slaughtering and according to some opinions may even be consumed live. The flesh of locusts is parve and can be served with either dairy or meat.

Rabbi Natan Slifkin, director of the Biblical Museum of Natural History, holds an annual banquet featuring, among other unusual delicacies, locusts dipped in chocolate and caramel. (Click to Source)

Source: Breaking Israel News

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Why the Russia-Turkey-Iran Alliance Could Be More Disturbing Than You Think

Laura Lacey Johnson | Contributor to ChristianHeadlines.com | Thursday, April 5, 2018

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At a time when Russia faces widespread diplomatic fallout from the poisoned spy scandal and Turkey frustrates Western allies amid human rights concerns, these two rival nations are teaming up with Iran, a country that may soon restart its nuclear weapons program.

On Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan put aside previous tensions and attended a ground-breaking ceremony for a Russian-made nuclear power plant under construction on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast.

On Wednesday, the two met with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to discuss Syria’s future at a summit in the Turkish capital of Ankara.  According to reports, Russia, Turkey, and Iran are working together to create “de-escalation zones” to end the seven-year civil war in Syria.

While this news is significant to the international community, it may also be important from a Biblical perspective.

Why?

Some scholars say the alliance of Russia, Turkey, and Iran sounds strikingly similar to a coalition foretold by the Old Testament prophet Ezekiel.

The background

The prophet Ezekiel ministered to the Jews who were exiled from the Promised Land after Babylon invaded Judah. Toward the latter part of his book, Ezekiel predicts future events that many modern Bible scholars say have not come to pass yet.

Relevant to our conversation today is a prediction in Ezekiel 38-39 about a war in which a coalition of nations “devise an evil plan” against Israel (see Ezekiel 38:10).

What happens?

God defeats the enemies of Israel.  In fact, God’s word says the defeat will be so extensive that it will take seven months for the people of Israel to find and bury the remains of their enemies (Ezekiel 39:12).

According to commentator Chuck Swindoll, God will accomplish two sovereign purposes:

  • Israel will be secure and unafraid in its land.
  • God will display His holiness among the nations.

God says in Ezekiel 38:23:“In this way, I will show my greatness and holiness, and I will make myself known to all the nations of the world. Then they will know that I am the Lord.”

Who is involved?

The Ezekiel 38-39 prophecy contains some obscure names as villains: Gog from the land of Magog, Persia, Ethiopia, Libya, Gomer, and Beth-togarmah.

If you’re like me, you want to know who these people or nations are. Therefore, let me recommend this article by author Joel C. Rosenberg as well as the research of author Mark Hitchcock in his book, “101 Answers to the Most Asked Questions About the End Times.”

According to Hitchcock and Rosenberg, here are the modern identities of the ancient people and cities referenced in Ezekiel 38-39:

Ancient Name: Modern Name:
Gog Russian leader
Magog Russia
Persia Iran
Ethiopia Sudan
Libya Libya and Algeria
Gomer and Beth-togarmah Turkey

 

Look back at the bolded names on the list.  Russia, Iran, and Turkey are now collaborating. Meanwhile, Libya and Algeria are already closely aligned with Russia and hostile to Israel, and Sudan is a radical Islamic Sunni state allied with Iran and Russia that is anti-Israel.

While there is no immediate or specific threat to Israel, the alliance of these nations is noteworthy.

Conclusion:

Is the alliance of Russia, Turkey, and Iran a precursor to the events prophesied in Ezekiel 38-39? Time will reveal the answer.

Meantime, what we do know is that God gives us prophecy to help us understand He has a sovereign plan for the future – a perspective that helps build our confidence in Him today. (Click to Source)

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Ezekiel 38 & 39: The Magog Invasion

More than 2,600 years ago, the prophet Ezekiel predicted that in the latter days (before the second coming) a large nation to the north of Israel, along with a number of allies, would invade Israel. This important prophecy is found in Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39.

 “Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him, And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal….. And thou shalt come up against my people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days, and I will bring thee against my land, that the heathen may know me, when I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes.” (Ezekiel 38:2-6, 16)


The leader of the invasion is identified as “Gog from the land of Magog” (Ezek. 38:2). The land of Magog was located near the Black and Caspian Seas north of the Caucasus Mountains, in the southern part of 20th-century Russia. The leader is also identified as being located in “ the north parts ” (Ezek. 38:15; 39:2). The Hebrew word translated “parts” means “extreme or uttermost parts.” Russia is the nation situated in the extreme or uttermost parts directly north of Israel. Any map would show that Russia is north of Israel. It is clear that Russia will be the leading nation of the invasion. So who are the other nations that will align themselves with Russia? The nations are identified in Ezekiel 38:5–6; “Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet: Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee.” The names they bore are from Ezekiel’s time, but the four countries (with their modern-day names) that will align themselves with Russia to invade Israel are:

  • Persia – Iran
  • Ethiopia – Sudan
  • Libya
  • Gomer – Turkey (may be modern-day Turkey)
It isn’t too surprising to find that all of them are Islamic nations! Today, we see those very nations coming together.
Not long ago, there was very little connection between Iran and Russia. Economic and military cooperation between Iran and Russia had never taken place. But around 1989, this started to change. Today, Iran and Russia are strong allies. The Russian-Iranian alliance is propping up the regime of Syrian dictator Assad. There are now 2,000 Iranian and Iranian-backed fighters in Syria. This is backed by Russian air power. Such an alliance has never existed, yet it was predicted in Scripture 3,000 years ago. 
 

Interestingly, the invasion mentioned in Ezekiel involves nations that are at least one country away from Israel’s borders, yet they attack with ground forces from Israel’s north. You’d expect that the attack would have to come from Syria, but Syria is not listed as one of the attackers. We can see why Syria is likely not listed because Syria is powerless, and controlled by Russia and Iran, who are calling all shots today. (See: Iran Is Taking Over Syria. Can Anyone Stop It?)

Syria is being used by Iran and Russia, just as we’d expect if Syria isn’t involved in the attack, and current events are confirming this! Recent news shows that Iran is setting up shop in Syria, and has been laying the groundwork for a highway from Tehran to the Mediterranean Sea—in essence building a caliphate with clearly stated plans to destroy Israel! Within the past year alone, airstrikes by Israel against weapons convoys (gifts from Iran to Hezbollah), and an Iranian built missile factory near Syria. Hidden chemical weapons are very likely being stored in and around Syria. ISIS has been contained and the Syrian Civil War brought to a low simmer, Russian and Iranian attention seems to be turning southward toward the mountains of Israel. (See: Wake-Up Call: The Russia-Iran Axis Is an Existential Threat to Israel’s Security.)

Figuring out what would be the exact cause in dragging Russia into the middle-east had been difficult up until now. Today there are many possible ways this could happen. For example, in order to maintain their grip, Russia would instantly be pulled into major conflict if Israel preemptively striked or retaliated against Iran’s growing presence in Syria. It’s probable that the next war will be the cause (Ezek.38:4) that draws Russia, Iran and their allies directly into this regional conflict.

It may even be Russia’s need to control the area which could lead to greediness towards Israel’s recent massive oil and gas discoveries. (See: Huge oil discovery on Golan Heights (Globes, the Israeli financial newspaper) or Major Shale Find Could Guarantee Israel’s Oil Supply For Years (NASDAQ)) These and several other forms could serve as the factor that drags Russia into leading the attack.

As for the timing of the Ezekiel 38-39 war, it does seem to happen during the peaceful years Israel will have during the first part of the tribulation (see Ezekiel 38:11). But there are various opinions out there so I wouldn’t be dogmatic about it happening after the rapture. With Russia aligning with Iran it certainly is an exciting time to be a Christian!

When you stop and think about the impossibility of all these current events taking shape exactly as foretold in Scripture, you realize how close we may be to the rapture. All predicted in Scripture 3,000 years ago, what more Christian evidence do you need to know God exists? (Click to Source)

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References:

“Oh You Cross-Worshippers, We’ll Kill You All”

Muslim Persecution of Christians, August 2017

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Sweden recently decided to deport Aideen Strandsson, a female Iranian convert to Christianity. When Strandsson pleaded that in Iran she could face the death penalty as an apostate, Swedish officials told her, “it’s not our problem if you decided to become a Christian, and it’s your problem.” (Image source: Facebook/Aideen Strandsson)

  • A popular Arabic-language newspaper attacked Morocco’s Christian activists for their faith and ended with the message: the “Koran requires the killing of apostates.” — Morocco.
  • Muhammad and the imam tracked down the boy and attacked him again. When a passerby saw the violence and contacted police, “instead of protecting the teenager from his attackers, [police] arrested and booked him into prison on blasphemy charges.” Hours later, the imam and “a mob of more than 300 Muslim fundamentalists surrounded the prison, and called for a public lynching of Stephen.” — Pakistan.
  • Sweden decided to deport a female Iranian convert to Christianity. When the convert, Aideen Strandsson, pleaded that in Iran she could face the death penalty as an apostate, Swedish officials told her, “it’s not our problem if you decided to become a Christian, and it’s your problem.” Meanwhile, Sweden continues accepting Muslim refugees.
  • In the name of “fighting terrorism,” Bangladesh made changes to a law that forced approximately 200 Christian organizations to shut down.

    A document drafted by members of the global Christian community convening at the 3rd International Christian Forum, held in Moscow, detailed how over the past ten years the Middle East’s Christian population has shrunk by 80% and warned that unless current trends are reversed, Christianity “will vanish” from its ancient homelands in a few years’ time. Around the year 2000, there were 1.5 million Christians in Iraq; today there are only 100,000 — roughly a 93% percent drop, the document notes. In Syria, the largest cities “have lost almost all of their Christian population.”

    Other experts offered similarly dismal statistics. The Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Hamilton, Massachusetts, had predicted that by 2025, the percentage of Christians in the Middle East — which in 1910 was 13.6% — could go down to around 3%.

    Christians seeking to return to areas in Iraq and Syria liberated from the Islamic State (ISIS) continue to face discrimination from local Muslim and Kurdish communities. Andrew White, also known as the “vicar of Baghdad,” had said that, “the time has come where it is over, no Christians will be left. Some say Christians should stay to maintain the historical presence, but it has become very difficult. The future for the community is very limited.”

    Others, such as Former Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.), are more optimistic: “Now is the time. We have an administration that’s open to doing something,” he said, indicating the US Trump administration.

    Meanwhile, ISIS continued to harbor high hopes. In a video released by the terrorist organization in August, an extremist tore up a photo of Pope Francis and Pope Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI, while saying, “Remember this, you kuffar[infidels] — we will be in Rome, we will be in Rome, inshallah [Allah willing].” The narrator of the video also vowed that, “After all their efforts, it would be the religion of the cross that would be broken. The crusaders’ enmity toward the Muslims only served to embolden a generation of youth.” When asked about this, the pope’s top aide said, “Pope Francis hasn’t changed a thing in his agenda, nor is he going to. Furthermore, he’ll continue to foment dialogue, creating bridges, defending peace. With Muslims and Christians.”

    August’s roundup of Muslim persecution of Christians around the world includes, but is not limited to, the following:

    Muslim Slaughter of Christians

    Kenya: Islamic terrorists hacked four Christian men to death for refusing to renounce Christ and embrace Islam. On Friday, August 28, jihadis from the Somali-based group, Al Shabaab, rounded up three men (two in their forties, the other 17) and held them at one of the Christians’ homes. They ordered them to recite the shahada — that “There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his messenger” — and thereby renounce the Trinity and become Muslim. When the men refused, the Muslims hacked them to pieces with machetes. They then went and slaughtered the mentally handicapped older brother of one of the slain. According to the “severely traumatized” wife of one of the men, “Al-Shabaab knew these men as Christians, and Joseph [her slain husband] as a church elder.”

    Nigeria: Gunmen massacred as many as 50 Christian worshippers inside ‎St. Philip’s Catholic Church in Amambra State during a Sunday morning service. Initial reports claimed that “the gunmen were hunting for a drug baron, traced him to his house but were told he had gone to church.” When they found he was not in the church, “out of anger, probably, they rained bullets on worshippers in the church.” However, not only does the attack closely follow the pattern of other jihadi terror attacks on churches in Nigeria, but at least one group, Act for Biafra, a Biafran independence organization, issued a statement referring to the attack as a “jihadist slaughter” of Christian churchgoers.

    Separately, during an attack on a Christian community in a Muslim majority region that enforces Sharia (Islamic law), Muslim terrorists slaughtered a Christian father and his son, and abducted three women and a baby. Aside from habitual attacks on Christians “in northern Nigeria, [which is Muslim majority] Christians who have already been displaced by Boko Haram extremists are being forced out of their refugee camps and denied access to vital aid,” according to human rights activists.

    Pakistan: Javid Masih, a Christian man who sold himself into slavery to a Muslim family for two years to buy his family a home, was regularly abused, kept from going to church, and finally murdered in August. When the two-year contract was nearly up and Javid told one of the family that he looked forward to getting married, he was told, “There is no way you will ever be free from us and leave this place.” When his term was up and he asked for his freedom, he was severely chided by the family’s sons: “You filthy Chura [“worthless thing”], how dare you ask for your freedom. Your life is ours. You will clean our excrement every day of your life from now on or you and your family will die.” Afterwards, “he was grabbed by the brothers, tied up, beaten and spat upon for a whole day. He had never told his family about this because he was both embarrassed and fearful of the repercussions on his family if they got involved. Other employees were made to see the brutal torture of Javed to instill a sense of fear amongst them.” He continued as a slave but his productivity dropped, and the Muslim family decided to do away with him. They poisoned him and then dumped him in front of his family’s home. When his widowed mother begged them to drive him to a hospital, they spat on her. He died; the police reported the death a “suicide.” Wilson Chowdhry, Chairman of the British Pakistani Christian Association, said:

    “Despite anti-slavery laws in Pakistan bonded labour proliferates and is destroying the lives of many Christians. The Bonded Labour (Abolition) Act 1992 is not worth the paper it is written on and the Government’s clear apathy to enforce the law illustrates the low value placed on Christians and other minorities… There is a very small suicide rate in Pakistan of around 300 victims over two years—Pakistanis are hardy. It is inconceivable that Javed committed suicide when he expressed no such desire to anyone he knew and remained stoic for two years despite the pain inflicted on him.”

    Another Christian man, a prisoner who was offered but rejected Islam, was found dead “under mysterious circumstances in police custody,” according to a report. Indaryas Ghulam, 38, was among 42 Christians arrested for the lynching of two Muslims associated with a 2015 church attack that killed nearly 20 Christians and wounded 70. Indaryas had denied involvement in the lynching and was one of the prisoners promised “release in exchange of reneging Christ.”

    “He could have saved his life, but decided to bear witness to his faith onto death…. The prison administration attributed his death to poor health; he had tuberculosis. But his wife Shabana and daughter Shumir, who saw the body, said that he had burns and cuts everywhere, clear signs of torture and of the brutality to which he had been subjected. What is more, they add that although he was severely ill, he never received adequate medical care behind the bars.”

    Muslim Attacks on Christian Freedom

    Iran: Approximately five hundred Muslim converts to Christianity have faced persecution in Iran, and fled to Turkey in search of asylum, notes an August report. One young convert who said he could not be who he wanted to be if he remained Muslim, added that he is now feeling “comfortable” as a Christian. Another said:

    “I changed my religion because I did not see anything in Islam. Whatever I saw was wrong. It is a fact that the government of Iran is an Islamic one, yet our youth are getting executed. In Iraq the same…. There is ISIS and [they] are killing people in the name of Islam, and there are vulnerable people who are being beheaded there. They have fled to Turkey, and we came to Turkey. That is why I did not see any good from Islam.”

    Open Doors USA, which monitors Christian persecution around the world, confirms that “Converts to Christianity from Islam make up the largest group of Christians and experience the most persecution.”

    Morocco: An August report reveals that earlier in 2017, a popular Arabic language newspaper attacked Morocco’s Christian activists for their faith and, considering that virtually all Christians in Morocco are converts from Islam, ended with the message: the “Koran requires the killing of apostates.” “Morocco is home to several thousand Christians who live across the nation, many of whom are new converts and forced to worship in secret churches,” the report adds. “Christians are regularly harassed by authorities, and societal pressure to renounce their faith is commonplace throughout the country.”

    Pakistan: Another Christian minor was beaten and charged with “blaspheming” against Islam. After a Muslim man, Muhammed Nawaz, accused Asif Stephen, 16, of stealing at a local bazaar, he beat the boy, then told the local imam, who, according to the report, “has a history of preaching hatred towards minority Christians,” that the youth had also burned a Koran. Muhammad and the imam tracked down the boy and attacked him again. When a passerby saw the violence and contacted police, “instead of protecting the teenager from his attackers, [police] arrested and booked him into prison on blasphemy charges.” Hours later, the imam and “a mob of more than 300 Muslim fundamentalists surrounded the prison and called for a public lynching of Stephen.”

    “As the mob overwhelmed local police, Stephen was removed from his cell and handed over to the mob, who consequently beat him until reinforcement officers stepped in to calm the situation. Police then moved Stephen to a higher security district jail where he plead guilty to blasphemy in what his family believed was a coerced confession.”

    Uganda: On August 7, Sophia Nakisaala, 35, a Muslim woman, embraced Christianity after her daughter was healed by a street preacher:

    “My child got healed instantly from high fever, which had caused several convulsions. The evangelist shared with me about Issa [Jesus], whom he said to be the healer and Savior. I then decided to accept Him as my Lord and Savior and then returned back home.”

    When she returned home and began telling Muhammad Lubaale, her husband, what had happened, “He got angry and slapped me. I kept quiet and did not respond to his interrogation about my new faith in Jesus.” Three days later, word of his daughter’s healing and confirmation that his wife had indeed embraced Christ reached Muhammad. “My husband arrived home on Aug. 10 and started beating me and injuring me with bruises on my head and right hand, using a stick,” Sophia explained. “Neighbors came to my rescue and housed me that very night.” The following morning, while her husband was away, she gathered her four children—aged 3, 5, 8 and 11—and went to an area pastor, who helped her find refuge.

    Sweden: The Western nation most renowned for taking in — and suffering from — Muslim migrants, Sweden, decided to deport a female Iranian convert to Christianity. When the convert, Aideen Strandsson, pleaded that she could face the death penalty as an apostate, Swedish officials told her, “it’s not our problem if you decided to become a Christian, and it’s your problem.” Meanwhile, Sweden, which is reputed as “the world’s humanitarian conscience and a safe haven for refugees,” continues accepting Muslim refugees, some of whom have helped make it known as the “rape capital of Europe.”

    Muslim Attacks on Christian Churches

    Egypt: Authorities closed down the 1,300-member Virgin Mary and St. Paula Church in the Minya governorate. The closure came in response to local Muslim opposition groups who protested the existence of the church, which had served Christians from three separate villages. The Coptic Bishop of Minya, Anba Makarios, issued a public statement chiding officials for siding with the aggressors against the victims:

    “The security apparatus has prevented Copts from practicing their rites in Kedwan, Minya, claiming that it was because of objections of some opposing factions in the village, and that it was necessary to be considerate of their feelings. However, this means that there is no consideration for the feelings of the Copts and those who do not ask for anything but to pray, as if the decision belonged to the opposing factions and not to a great state such as Egypt, which should have authority and law.”

    The Virgin Mary and St. Paula Church in Kedwan is just one of at least 15 Christian churches that have been closed in Minya province alone. “We have more than 15 places [of worship] closed on the order of the security apparatus, despite the existence of formal requests that are imprisoned in [desk] drawers,” Makarios added in his statement. “Also, there are 70 villages, farmsteads and hamlets without places for prayers.”

    Separately in August, security officials prevented Christians from meeting and worshiping in a private home in the village of Forn, in Minya. They said the home lacked a permit for worship. In a letter entitled, “We were prevented from prayer like criminals,” frustrated Christians wrote to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi:

    “We were surprised to find police forces surrounding and entering the village to prevent the Egyptian Copts from prayer and were prevented from going out of our homes. We were attacked with inappropriate words … As if we are criminals or outlaws and wanted for justice, accused of performing religious rituals. And is performing religious rituals a crime?”

    Iraq: Christians returning to the Nineveh Plain continued to encounter the remains of the Islamic State’s handiwork, including graffiti all around and inside their desecrated churches, such as “There is no place for the Cross in Islamic lands” and “The Cross is under our foot.” The following German writing was found in one church:

    “Oh you Cross worshippers, we’ll kill you all. Germany is an Islamic land. You are weak and don’t belong here…. Oh you Cross worshippers, you have no place in Islamic lands. Either you leave or we’ll kill you.”

    “They’d [ISIS] used the statutes of Jesus and Mary for target practice,” said one man of another church. “The altar was also destroyed. Daesh [ISIS] knew that the West would be reluctant to bomb a church, so [it] stored food and ammunition here.” Much of the graffiti has since been removed and altars are being restored. “To see our Christian symbols again is almost as important as food for us,” commented one Christian man.

    Somaliland: After agreeing to the reopening of a Catholic Church, which had been closed for nearly 30 years, the government of the Muslim nation reversed its decision. Spokesmen cited public anger, fomented by Islamic religious leaders who claimed the church reopening was part of the government’s conspiratorial plan to Christianize Somaliland. Explaining their decision during a press conference, Religious Affairs Minister, Sheikh Khalil Abdullahi Ahmed, said, “The Government of the Republic of Somaliland has decided to respect the wishes of its people and religious leaders and keep the church closed, as it has been for the past 30 years.” The Catholic church was one of many churches built 70 years ago when Somaliland was a British Protectorate.

    Sudan: The day after the Khartoum Parliament rejected the Ministry of Education’s call for Church Schools to operate on Sundays and follow only the Muslim week—a decision “viewed by Christians in Sudan and around the world as another means of harassment and discrimination against the minority group” — on August 2, the Sudanese government demolished yet another church in Omdurman, just west of Khartoum, from their list of 27 churches to be demolished.

    Muslim Contempt for and Abuse of Christians

    Iraq: More reports indicating that Christian suffering is hardly limited to ISISappeared in August. According to one, Chaldean Archbishop Habib Jajou said “that the remaining Christian families in Iraq fear that a new ISIS could come to power. He accused Baghdad of failing to foster religious tolerance amid the years of sectarian war and said a lot of people have been brainwashed by the terror group.” He also pointed out that the education ministry should begin to acknowledge Iraq’s Christian heritage and roots instead of falsely claiming that it was always Islamic and that Christians are essentially foreigners and agents of the West.

    Pakistan: The Islamic nation’s senate unanimously approved a bill requiring the compulsory teaching of the Koran to all primary and secondary school students, including non-Muslim ones. In part, the bill is meant to help the state discharge article 31(2) of the Pakistani constitution, which states that the “State shall endeavour to make the teachings of the Holy Qur’an and Islamiyat [all things Islamic] compulsory.” However, according to Nasir Saeed, the director of a Christian human rights organization, the bill “will have a negative impact on the non-Muslim students… It will promote bigotry and hatred against non-Muslims in Pakistani society, something which is already on the rise.”

    Bangladesh: In the name of “fighting terrorism,” the Muslim nation made changes to a law that forced approximately 200 Christian organizations to shut down. The Foreign Donations Regulation Bill, which is meant to be a check on terrorist cells receiving funds outside of Bangladesh, has especially created economic problems for Christian NGOs “geared specifically for the Christian community” explained one missionary. Because a majority of Christian organizations in overwhelmingly Muslim Bangladesh are economically supported from outside sources, 200 were no longer able to secure external funding and to close permanently.

    Sudan: The Islamist government arrested seven church leaders for refusing to comply with a court order to turn over leadership of their congregation to a government appointment committee in an effort to dissolve the church. They were interrogated for several hours and then released on bail. “Police said that in arresting them they were implementing orders from the Ministry of Guidance and Religious Endowments to impose its committee as new SCOC leadership, presumably to sell off the church property in Sudan’s bid to rid the country of Christianity,” notes the report, adding that “the arrests were seen as part of a recent upsurge in harassment of Christians.”

    Separately, in order to help a wealthy Muslim businessman take over church property, police evicted two more pastors and their families from their homes and onto the streets. The pastors “were terrorized when police pounded on the doors shouting threats,” “They came and knocked on the door strongly, they said, ‘Should you not open, we will have to break it by force to get in,” Pastor Nalu, 47-year-old father of a one-year-old boy, said. “The situation is very difficult, and we are living on the street.”

    Nigeria: Fulani terrorists, some allied with the Islamic terrorist group, Boko Haram, have been known to invade Christian farms and settlements and slaughter Christians. In August, when few such attacks were recorded, and (mostly Muslim) politicians portrayed the problem as settled, a Christian leader explained that, when not directly slaughtering Christians, Muslim Fulani herdsmen resort to “economic terrorism”: “As we gleefully wallow in the false sense of peace on the Plateau,” he said, “know it today that a deliberate economic terrorism and land-grabbing strategy is being launched on Christians of Riyom and Barkin Ladi on a daily basis with the sole aim of making them poor, weak and destitute in their own land.”

    About this Series

    While not all, or even most, Muslims are involved, persecution of Christians by Muslims is growing. The report posits that such Muslim persecution is not random but rather systematic, and takes place irrespective of language, ethnicity, or location. (Click to Source)

Drumbeats Of Ezekiel 38 – Israel Bombs Iranian Base In Syria

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Israel’s air force has bombed a military target thought to be an Iranian military base outside Damascus, Syria December 2. The hit was reported by Arab media outlets. An arms depot was destroyed in the strike, according to the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Iran is a staunch ally of embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and provided him with military and financial assistance during the long Syrian civil war.
Arabic media reported the target was an Iranian military base 9 miles south of Damascus and just 30 miles from the Israeli border that was revealed by the BBC three weeks ago. It is the first time reports have emerged of Iran establishing a permanent base in Syria.

 

“At half past midnight [2230 GMT Friday], the Israeli enemy fired several surface-to-surface missiles at a military position in Damascus province,” Syria’s state SANA news agency reported, according to The Times of Israel.
An account on the Telegram messaging app linked to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps reported that 12 Iranians were killed in the strike, according to Lebanon’s Al-Mustaqbal TV and the Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya network.
Israel repeatedly warned it will not allow Iran to develop a military presence in Syria. Iranian leaders have long threatened to “wipe Israel off the map.” In June 2017, demonstrators set up a countdown clock to Israel’s destruction in the center of the capital Tehran.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a stern warning in a video announcement on November 30, before the strike.
“Let me reiterate Israel’s policy: We will not allow a regime hell-bent on the annihilation of the Jewish state to acquire nuclear weapons,” Netanyahu said. “We will not allow that regime to entrench itself militarily in Syria, as it seeks to do, for the express purpose of eradicating our state.”
Netanyahu is said to have conveyed a warning to Assad via a third party just days ago that Syria will be targeted if it allows Iran to develop a permanent military presence in Syria.
With all the events taking place in Syria right now, many people are asking, “What does the Bible have to say about Syria and the end times?
Chapter 17 in the Book of Isaiah paints a sobering picture. In it, the city of Damascus is a pile of rubble. The Bible says it will disappear from the face of the earth and become a heap of ruins (Isaiah 17:1).
At the same time, large parts of northern Israel will also lie in ruin (Isaiah 17:3). Now, before you say this prophecy was fulfilled during Old Testament times, keep this in mind… This passage says Damascus will cease to be a city (Isaiah 17:1).

 

It will be utterly and completely destroyed. Yet, Damascus is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities on record. Its history goes back more than 5,000 years. At 2,600 years old, the Book of Isaiah itself is new compared to Damascus! This prophecy is yet to be fulfilled.
Current events in Syria are also setting the stage for the Gog of Magog War. More than 2,600 years ago, the prophet Ezekiel warned of a future time when a vast coalition of nations will attack Israel.
Ezekiel identifies these nations as “Magog, Rosh, Meschech, Tubal, Persia, Cush, Put, Gomer, and Beth-togarmah” (Ezekiel 38:1-6). These nations have since come to be known as the Gog of Magog alliance.
Now, with the exception of Persia and Cush, I realize most people have never heard of these nations.
But keep in mind Ezekiel used the names of these nations as they were known in his day. Each one is a clearly identifiable nation today. So who are these nations in our day and time?
Below is a list. The Old Testament name is listed first, followed by its modern day equivalent:
Rosh = Russia
Magog = Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Afghanistan
Persia = Iran
Cush = Sudan
Put = Libya
Meshech, Tubal, Gomer, and Beth-togarmah = Turkey
Collectively, these nations have never attacked Israel. In fact, in the history of the world, such an alliance of nations has never existed.
But today we see it coming together right in front of us. Since 1989, Russia and Iran have gradually strengthened their diplomatic, military, and economic ties.

 

Yet, in the first 2,600 years after Ezekiel recorded his prophecies, the nations of Russia and Persia (Iran) had never been part of any alliance of any sort. Never. Cooperation between Russia and Iran, especially military cooperation, didn’t take place.
This led many people to claim Ezekiel’s prophecy was symbolic. Why? Because the idea of the Gog of Magog war seemed absurd. After all, at the dawn of the 20th Century, Russia was an orthodox Christian nation and Israel didn’t exist!
But those who believed in a literal interpretation of the Bible knew otherwise.  They knew all prophecy would come to pass. Because bible prophecy doesn’t come from mere humans. It’s God’s Word (2 Peter 1:19-21).
In the years since, the stage has been set for the literal fulfillment of Ezekiel 38-39. A 1917 communist revolution transformed Russia from a Christian nation to an atheist nation.
In 1948, Israel once again became a nation. And earlier this year, Russia and Iran issued a joint statement vowing to respond with force to any aggressor.
And Turkey? For decades, people have wondered how Turkey could be a part of this alliance. After all, Turkey is a member of NATO.
And in late 2015, Turkey shot down a Russian jet when it strayed into Turkish airspace. Russia and Turkey seem to be at odds.
So how could Turkey be a part of this alliance? At first glance, it seems unlikely. But in the summer of 2016, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan jailed thousands of political opponents. And now has Turkey voted to eliminate its parliamentary form of government and give expanded powers to Erdogan.
Ultimately, this could be what pushes Turkey into the Russian sphere of influence. Erdogan is an anti-Western, pro-Islamist leader, and he’s worked hard to strengthen Turkey’s ties with Russia.
In light of these developments, we can see the Gog of Magog alliance coming together for the first time in history.
For the first time since Israel re-emerged on the world scene in May 1948, the main players of the Ezekiel 38-39 alliance are all working together. Even more important, they all have military personnel on Israel’s northern border. The stage is set for the fulfillment of Ezekiel 38-39. (Click to Source)