USA

September 11, 2001. That was twenty years ago. I used to read international news in the Stockholm City library’s newspaper room. There were , among other things, articles about some Christian missionaries in Afghanistan who had been arrested by the Talibans on suspicion of violating Sharia laws on proselytism. This was in August 2001.

And I was distracted by the terrorist attack on September 11, when I tried to follow up on that matter ! It almost fell into oblivion.

Now, however, I found those old articles. They were published by the New York Times, among others (at the time, the newspaper was called the “International Herald Tribune”).

There were at least two missionary organizations whose staff had been arrested. One of them was the Germany-based “Shelter Now“, and as some of its captured employees feared during the interrogations, their words spread around the world, as they carefully sought to avoid identifying some of the Afghans who had been the subject of their outreach activities. . On August 26, 2001, the New York Times published their “Confession”: “We gave two copies of a book about Jesus to a family. We have not given anything else, no other books or any material to anyone else. We sang alone one song about God, not about Jesus. They did not sing with us. We drank green tea ”.

The paper continued: “This may not exactly sound like the centerpiece of some grand collusion, but today a Taliban spokesman, Abdul Hal Mutmain, said that the first phase of the investigation was complete, and that the tentacles of a far-reaching Christian plot had been found to clutch not just Kabul, the capital, but other cities as well. The inquiry will now extend elsewhere“. So it had stirred up international attention, especially from the United States, Germany and Australia, that had individual citizens in Afghanistan who were involved in “Shelter Now”.

George Taubman, Margrit Stebnar, Kati Jelinek and Silke Duerrkopf from Germany, Diana Thomas and Peter Bunch from Australia and Dyane Curry and Heather Mercer from the United States spent nearly four months in detention in Afghanistan before being rescued. The Guardian wrote about the matter on November 16 of the same year, recalliing the evacuees’ words: “They also told of their dramatic night rescue, when women in the group set fire to their body-masking burqas so American Special Forces pilots could find them. .. they were airlifted to safety by the US helicopters …

And I also found that in 2002, a book was published in which this their story is developed, a book written by the two American women in the group.

So I got it, and read it. “Prisoners of Hope” thus tells about difficult questions that need to be answered before going to a country like Afghanistan to spread the message of Jesus Christ, and about even more difficult questions asked by the Taliban interrogators.

The stay in three different prisons is described in realistic detail, and individual Afghan life stories are highlighted with great empathy. The sparse contacts with relatives means that information about events in the outside world, even about the terrorist attack on 11/9, comes only in small portions. And the appalling realization that the great United States has gone to war against the Taliban in Afghanistan comes in a very awkward position for these captured Christian missionaries from the West.

And the message about “praying for Afghanistan” feels more urgent than ever.

The Hill about the situation today

Donald Trump’s presidency is in its final, chaotic spiral. But even with the end so near, each hour seems to carry a new threat to America’s fragile democracy.” – according to  CNN

If American democracy is fragile, what about elsewhere? Some Russian opposition figures I have heard commenting on the events of recent days, and especially on December 6, are impressed by the flexibility of American democracy after all, and the authority of the American courts, even during an election process.

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Alexei Venediktov spoke with Mikhail Khodorkovsky, and the latter said:

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..imagine what it would be like in Russia if the president of the country said: ‘They have stolen the election, give me your support!’ In Russia, in principle, there is no such institution as a judicial system with authority in an electoral process: the authorities themselves have liquidated a whole set of institutions that would support such a legal system in such situations. Trump is an ideological fan of Putin …. He has tried to follow the same way, no matter what he says, but the American democratic system has not allowed him to do so for four and a half years. “

Venediktov, however, finds Trump’s suspension from Twitter “embarrassing”, it’s one of the milder terms he uses.

Sshouldn’t we pray for the situation around Donald Trump ? What is going on ? Is he about to sell himself out entirely to the devil !?

The german web-publication FAZ – among many other newsmedia around the world that are constantly howling about Trump – gives a report from the actual Trump campaign: : “Seine künstliche Bräune verdeckte jede etwaige Erschöpfung nach der Coronavirus-Infektion und die zumeist maskenlosen, dicht gedrängten Fans boten die optische Illusion einer überstandenen Krise.”

In english: “His artificial tan hid any exhaustion after the coronavirus infection and the mostly maskless, tightly packed fans offered the optical illusion of surviving a crisis.”

Isn’t this the moment when you need to be cautious ?

According to the Book of Revelation chapter 13, vers 3, there will come a moment in the end times, when “.. one of his heads as it were wounded to death ; and his deadly wound was healed: ” and then follows:

” and all the world wondered after the beast.”

Do you see it ?

US – and Trump’s – drone attack on Iranian security chief Qasem Soleimani the other day could provide a contemporary illustration of Daniel’s vision about the ram and the goat in Daniel’s eighth chapter:

 “Then I lifted up mine eyes, and saw, and, behold, there stood before the river a ram which had two horns: and the two horns were high; but one was higher than the other, and the higher came up last.

 I saw the ram pushing westward, and northward, and southward; so that no beasts might stand before him, neither was there any that could deliver out of his hand; but he did according to his will, and became great.

 And as I was considering, behold, an he goat came from the west on the face of the whole earth, and touched not the ground: and the goat had a notable horn between his eyes.

And he came to the ram that had two horns, which I had seen standing before the river, and ran unto him in the fury of his power.

And I saw him come close unto the ram, and he was moved with choler against him, and smote the ram, and brake his two horns: and there was no power in the ram to stand before him, but he cast him down to the ground, and stamped upon him: and there was none that could deliver the ram out of his hand.”    – Book of Daniel 8:3 -7

The interpretation of the vision that Daniel received is, that the goat is Greece, and the ram is Media and Persia, or Iran. The goat comes from the west, “without touching the ground”. This seems to be more true about Donald Trump than about Alexander the Great.
But it also says that “ there was no power in the ram to stand ” before the goat.

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…   the last questions that were asked by an AP journalist, during the press-conference after the summit the 16th of July, 2018 with the US president, Donald Trump, and the RF president, Vladimir Putin, in Helsinki .

Words that are now discussed in wide circles .. did you catch it ? Social media and tweets contains a lot of caricatures. Are caricatures needed ?

 


  • (english, swedish and russian subtitles added – did I catch it ? )