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Germany moving centre-stage

Since the reunification of Germany, the economic tsunami in 2008 and the more recent sovereign-debt crises in many of the Eurozone countries, Germany's strategy is key to the future of Europe and possibly the world beyond.
 

Ed preface
The following report from Statfor has been highlighted to assist in the process of quickly identifying the most important points.
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The State of the World: Germany's Strategy

by George Friedman
The idea of Germany having an independent national strategy runs counter to everything that Germany has wanted to be since World War II and everything the world has wanted from Germany. In a way, the entire structure of modern Europe was created to take advantage of Germany's economic dynamism while avoiding the threat of German domination. In writing about German strategy, I am raising the possibility that the basic structure of Western Europe since World War II and of Europe as a whole since 1991 is coming to a close.
If so, then the question is whether historical patterns of German strategy will emerge or something new is coming. It is, of course, always possible that the old post-war model can be preserved. Whichever it is, the future of German strategy is certainly the most important question in Europe and quite possibly in the world.
Origins of Germany's Strategy
Before 1871, when Germany was fragmented into a large number of small states, it did not pose a challenge to Europe. Rather, it served as a buffer between France on one side and Russia and Austria on the other. Napoleon and his campaign to dominate Europe first changed the status of Germany, both overcoming the barrier and provoking the rise of Prussia, a powerful German entity. Prussia became instrumental in creating a united Germany in 1871, and with that, the geopolitics of Europe changed.
What had been a morass of states became not only a unified country but also the most economically dynamic country in Europe -- and the one with the most substantial ground forces. Germany was also inherently insecure. Lacking any real strategic depth, Germany could not survive a simultaneous attack by France and Russia. Therefore, Germany's core strategy was to prevent the emergence of an alliance between France and Russia. However, in the event that there was no alliance between France and Russia, Germany was always tempted to solve the problem in a more controlled and secure way, by defeating France and ending the threat of an alliance. This is the strategy Germany has chosen for most of its existence.
The dynamism of Germany did not create the effect that Germany wanted. Rather than split France and Russia, the threat of a united Germany drew them together. It was clear to France and Russia that without an alliance, Germany would pick them off individually. In many ways, France and Russia benefited from an economically dynamic Germany. It not only stimulated their own economies but also provided an alternative to British goods and capital. Nevertheless, the economic benefits of relations with Germany did not eliminate the fear of Germany. The idea that economics rule the decisions of nations is insufficient for explaining their behavior.
Germany was confronted with a strategic problem. By the early 20th century the Triple Entente, signed in 1907, had allied Russia, France and the United Kingdom. If they attacked simultaneously at a time of their choosing, these countries could destroy Germany. Therefore, Germany's only defense was to launch a war at a time of its choosing, defeat one of these countries and deal with the others at its leisure. During both World War I and World War II, Germany first struck at France and then turned to deal with Russia while keeping the United Kingdom at bay. In both wars, the strategy failed. In World War I, Germany failed to defeat France and found itself in an extended war on two fronts. In World War II, it defeated France but failed to defeat Russia, allowing time for an Anglo-American counterattack in the west.
Binding Germany to Europe
Germany was divided after World War II. Whatever the first inclinations of the victors, it became clear that a rearmed West Germany was essential if the Soviet Union was going to be contained. If Germany was to be rearmed, its economy had to be encouraged to grow, and what followed was the German economic miracle. Germany again became the most dynamic part of Europe.
The issue was to prevent Germany from returning to the pursuit of an autonomous national strategy, both because it could not resist the Soviet forces to the east by itself and, more important, because the West could not tolerate the re-emergence of divisive and dangerous power politics in Europe. The key was binding Germany to the rest of Europe militarily and economically. Put another way, the key was to make certain that German and French interests coincided, since tension between France and Germany had been one of the triggers of prior wars since 1871. Obviously, this also included other Western European countries, but it was Germany's relationship with France that was most important.
Militarily, German and French interests were tied together under the NATO alliance even after France withdrew from the NATO Military Committee under Charles de Gaulle. Economically, Germany was bound with Europe through the emergence of more sophisticated multilateral economic organizations that ultimately evolved into the European Union.
After World War II, West Germany's strategy was threefold. First, it had to defend itself against the Soviet Union in concert with an alliance that would effectively command its military through NATO. This would limit German sovereignty but eliminate the perception of Germany as a threat. Second, it would align its economy with that of the rest of Europe, pursuing prosperity without undermining the prosperity of other countries. Third, it would exercise internal political sovereignty, reclaiming its rights as a nation without posing a geopolitical threat to Western Europe. After the fall of the Soviet Union, this was extended to include Eastern European states.
The strategy worked well. There was no war with the Soviets. There was no fundamental conflict in Western Europe and certainly none that was military in nature. The European economy in general, and the German economy in particular, surged once East Germany had been reintegrated with West Germany. With reintegration, German internal sovereignty was insured. Most important, France remained linked to Germany via the European Union and NATO. Russia, or what was left after the collapse of the Soviet Union, was relatively secure so long as Germany remained part of European structures. The historical strategic problem Germany had faced appeared solved.
Europe's Economic Crisis
The situation became more complex after 2008. Germany's formal relationship with NATO remained intact, but without the common threat of the Soviet Union, the alliance was fracturing over the divergent national interests of its members. The European Union had become Germany's focus, and the bloc had come under intense pressure that made the prior alignment of all European countries more dubious. Germany needed the European Union. It needed it for the reasons that have existed since World War II: as a foundation of its relationship with France and as a means to ensure that national interest would not generate the kinds of conflicts that had existed in the past.
It needed the European Union for another reason as well. Germany is the second-largest exporter in the world. It exports to many countries, but Europe is a critical customer. The free-trade zone that was the foundation of the European Union was also one of the foundations of the German economy. Protectionism in general, but certainly protectionism in Europe, threatened Germany, whose industrial plant substantially outstripped its domestic consumption. The pricing of the euro aided German exports, and regulations in Brussels gave Germany other advantages. The European Union, as it existed between 1991 and 2008, was critical to Germany.
However, the European Union no longer functions as it once did. The economic dynamics of Europe have placed many countries at a substantial disadvantage, and the economic crisis of 2008 triggered a sovereign debt crisis and banking crisis in Europe.
There were two possible solutions in the broadest sense. One was that the countries in crisis impose austerity in order to find the resources to solve their problem. The other was that the prosperous part of Europe underwrites the debts, sparing these countries the burden of austerity. The solution that has been chosen is obviously a combination of the two, but the precise makeup of that combination was and remains a complex matter for negotiation.
Germany needs the European Union to survive for both political and economic reasons. The problem is that it is not clear that a stable economic solution can emerge that will be supported by the political systems in Europe.
Germany is prepared to bail out other European countries if they impose austerity and then take steps to make sure that the austerity is actually implemented to the degree necessary and that the crisis is not repeated. From Germany's point of view, the roots of the crisis lie in the fiscal policies of the troubled countries. Therefore, the German price for underwriting part of the debt is that European bureaucrats, heavily oriented toward German policies, be effectively put in charge of the finances of countries receiving aid against default.
This would mean that these countries would not control either taxes or budgets through their political system. It would be an assault on democracy and national sovereignty. Obviously, there has been a great deal of opposition from potential recipients of aid, but it is also opposed by some countries that see it as something that would vastly increase the power of Germany. If you accept the German view, which is that the debt crisis was the result of reckless spending, then Germany's proposal is reasonable. If you accept the view of southern Europe, which is that the crisis was the result of the European Union's design, then what Germany is proposing is the imposition of German power via economics.
It is difficult to imagine a vast surrender of sovereignty to a German-dominated EU bureaucracy, whatever the economic cost. It is also difficult to imagine Germany underwriting the debt without some controls beyond promises; even if the European Union is vitally important to the Germans, German public opinion will not permit it. Finally, it is difficult to see how, in the long term, the Europeans can reconcile their differences on this issue. The issue must come to a head, if not in this financial crisis then in the next -- and there is always a next crisis.
An Alternative Strategy
In the meantime, the basic framework of Europe has changed since 1991. Russia remains a shadow of the Soviet Union, but it has become a major exporter of natural gas. Germany depends on that natural gas even as it searches for alternatives. Russia is badly in need of technology, which Germany has in abundance. Germany does not want to invite in any more immigrants out of fear of instability. However, with a declining population, Germany must do something.
Russia also has a declining population, but even so, it has a surplus of workers, both unemployed and underemployed. If the workers cannot be brought to the factories, the factories can be brought to the workers. In short, there is substantial synergy between the Russian and German economies. Add to this that the Germans feel under heavy pressure from the United States to engage in actions the Germans want to be left out of, while the Russians see the Americans as a threat to their interests, and there are politico-military interests that Germany and Russia have in common.
NATO is badly frayed. The European Union is under tremendous pressure and national interests are now dominating European interests. Germany's ability to use the European Union for economic ends has not dissipated but can no longer be relied on over the long term. Therefore, it follows that Germany must be considering an alternative strategy. Its relationship with Russia is such a strategy.
Germany is not an aggressive power. The foundation of its current strategy is its relationship with France in the context of the European Union. The current French government under President Nicolas Sarkozy is certainly committed to this relationship, but the French political system, like those of other European countries, is under intense pressure. The coming elections in France are uncertain, and the ones after that are even less predictable. The willingness of France to engage with Germany, which has a massive trade imbalance with France, is an unknown.
However, Germany's strategic interest is not necessarily a relationship with France but a relationship with either France or Russia to avoid being surrounded by hostile powers. For Germany, a relationship with Russia does as well as one with France. An ideal situation for Germany would be a Franco-German-Russian entente. Such an alliance has been tried in the past, but its weakness is that it would provide too much security to Germany, allowing it to be more assertive. Normally, France and Russia have opposed Germany, but in this case, it is certainly possible to have a continuation of the Franco-German alliance or a Russo-French alliance. Indeed, a three-way alliance might be possible as well.
Germany's current strategy is to preserve the European Union and its relationship with France while drawing Russia closer into Europe. The difficulty of this strategy is that Germany's trade policies are difficult for other European countries to manage, including France. If Germany faces an impossible situation with the European Union, the second strategic option would be a three-way alliance, with a modified European Union or perhaps outside of the EU structure. If France decides it has other interests, such as its idea of a Mediterranean Union, then a German-Russian relationship becomes a real possibility.
A German-Russian relationship would have the potential to tilt the balance of power in the world. The United States is currently the dominant power, but the combination of German technology and Russian resources -- an idea dreamt of by many in the past -- would become a challenge on a global basis. Of course, there are bad memories on both sides, and trust in the deepest sense would be hard to come by. But although alliances rely on trust, it does not necessarily have to be deep-seated trust.
Germany's strategy, therefore, is still locked in the EU paradigm. However, if the EU paradigm becomes unsupportable, then other strategies will have to be found. The Russo-German relationship already exists and is deepening. Germany thinks of it in the context of the European Union, but if the European Union weakens, Russia becomes Germany's natural alternative.
 

Footnotes: For full report see Stratfor web site
See also article: 'Germany calls for 'invasion' of Greece' (Author: Stratfor)

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The Kirk in General Assembly during May 2011 confirmed its most public and corporate act of apostasy since its formation in 1560. The result is turmoil and utter confusion. (Author: Christians Together)

To discipline or not: that is the question
St. Andrew's Presbytery of the Church of Scotland, and the Kirk itself has been put into a difficult position following the actions of a lesbian minister in Fife: it is potentially a no-win situation. (Author: Christians Together)

What in the World is happening for Heaven's sake?
David Masson looks across the world stage and offers a view of what may be lying behind the upheavals around the planet in recent days. (Author: David Masson)

Re-Examining the Arab Spring
6 months after the Tunisian uprising STRATFOR's George Friedman gives an overview and analysis of the impact and dynamic on and within the region. (Author: Stratfor)

Hope amongst 'spirits of judgement and fire
As the word of God tells us there is nothing new under the sun. The prophet Isaiah could stand in Parliament Square and preach the same message as he did two and a half millennia ago. (Author: Christians Together)

A 'Very Urgent Call'
The Manchester-based Maranatha Community has issued a call to prayer, with the view that "the current riots across the land hold up a mirror to the moral and spiritual sickness of our nation". (Author: Maranatha Community)

John Stott called home
The Revd Dr John Stott, one of the most influential evangelical leaders of the twentieth century, passed away on Wednesday afternoon at the age of 90. (Author: Christian Institute)

A letter from Afghanistan
Believers in Afghanistan are facing increasing persecution and the following letter comes to Christians Together from a Christian leader in the country. (Author: Christian leader in Afghanistan)

Still singing off different 'hymn' sheets
Since the extraordinary Plenary Assembly of last year the divisions within the Free Church of Scotland on acceptable forms of worship continue to manifest. (Author: Christians Together)

Insecurity and Unity
Current upheavals in the world of organised religion are producing some visible responses in terms of new alliances. (Author: Christians Together)

Support group hosts 'Opening Doors Evening
Reality Adventure Works team in the Highlands is inviting all who are interested in the work of supporting young people to an 'Opening Doors Evening' in their new offices. (Author: Christians Together)

Geert Wilders cleared of 'hate speech' charges
Geert Wilders the Dutch politician who speaks out against the influence of Islam on Dutch public life has been cleared for charges against him relating to incitement and hate speech. (Author: Geert Wilders/Christians Together)

The Church of Scotland 'trajectory' rejects God
Following the Church of Scotland's vote in the May 2011 General Assembly there has not been much tangible sign of any reaction. But a meeting on a wet day in Glasgow last week broke the corporate silence. (Author: Christians Together)

BBC 'Suicide' programme one-sided
The BBC is facing a storm of controversy after it aired Sir Terry Pratchett’s “very unbalanced” documentary on assisted suicide last night. (Author: The Editor)

The 'earthquake' of the Arab Spring: now Syria
With the immediate future for Syria hanging in the balance as 'a corrupt and brutal dictatorship which is now creaking under the weight of popular discontent.' Victor Mordecai gives a view on the implications for the region. (Author: Victor Mordecai)

Church of Scotland: leaders meeting planned
Since the shock decision to allow practising homosexuals to serve as ministers in the Church of Scotland, ministers and elders are planning to meet this week to consider what action to take. (Author: Christians Together)

DISSENT in the Kirk
Following the Church of Scotland General Assembly at the end of May and the decision to allow homosexual ministers to operate within the church, many are now expressing serious dissent regarding these actions. (Author: Christians Together)

Multitudes, multitudes in the Valley of Decision
Following the decision by the Church of Scotland in its General Assembly of 2011 to allow actively-homosexual clergy in its churches, it is 'make your mind up' time for all within the national church. (Author: Christians Together)

Splits in the foundations
The current problems besetting the Free Church of Scotland are symptomatic of fundamental issues which are wreaking havoc across the presbyterian world and the denominations beyond. (Author: Christians Together)

Going for Free?
With the national Kirk in turmoil over gay clergy, some ministers might make it jump for it. And the invitation might be to bring their hymn books too. (Author: Watchman)

Kirk minister ponders leaving on gay clergy issue
Following the vote and decision at the 2011 General Assembly of the Church of Scotland a West-Highland minister is now considering life beyond the national church. (Author: Christians Together)

Forthcoming General Assemblies
Three 'Church of Scotland' denominations are scheduled for the last week in May. Each is facing serious issues within its ranks. (Author: Christians Together)

Visegrad: A New European Military Force
With the rapidly-changing political and military scene a 4-nation alliance is establishing a new military group independent of NATO. (Author: Stratfor)

Muslims come to Christ as others seek violence
Rick Ridings who leads the Succat Hallel intercessory and praise ministry in Jerusalem brings news and insights into what God is doing in the Middle East. Through the turmoil in that region Muslims are coming to the Lord. (Author: Rick Riddings)

Muslim Brotherhood: a force for good?
With the present upheavals in North Africa and the Middle East many are wondering what will fill the vacuum as we see many of the 'strong men' being deposed by the uprisings of the 'Arab Spring'. (Author: Philip Wren)

The Royal Wedding; a special day indeed
Whatever the present and future significance of the Royal Wedding it will always be remembered as a special day for our family. (Author: The Editor)

David Wilkerson dies in car accident
David Wilkerson the Internationally-known author of the Cross and the Switchblade and the founder of Times Square Church NY, has died in a car accident. (Author: Christianity Today/Christias Together)

Persecution forcing Christians out of Egypt
Christians in the Middle East: further sectarian protests in Egypt and fears of mass emigration by Coptic Christians from the country. (Author: Just Journalism)

Van driver instructed to remove cross
A Christian is under investigation and faces possible disciplinary action because of his display of a small palm cross in the company van he drives. (Author: Christian Concern)

Facebook lines itself up with Biblical prophecies
In a world which is being increasingly driven and shaped by social networking and internet-based multi-media an international campaign has been launched on Facebook which falls into line with the prophesied purposes of God. (Author: Christians Together)

Orkney Bible translator killed in bus bomb attack
In a renewed surge of terrorism in Israel an Orkney woman serving with Wycliffe Bible Translators was killed in a terrorist bomb attack in Jerusalem. (Author: Christians Together)

Church wins court case over banned ad.
A Judge has ruled in favour of a Belfast church and against a decision by the Advertising Standards Authority to ban an advertisement by Sandown Free Presbyterian Church in its stand against homosexuality. (Author: Christians Together)

Israeli family slaughtered by terrorist.
A Palestinian terrorist broke into a home of young Jewish family living in the Samarian community of Itamar and brutally murdered the five members of the family as they slept. (Author: Ryan Jones)

Preservation of Historic Scottish Presbyterianism
A prominent notice was carried in newspapers during the second week of March 2011 relating to a disagreement on 'worship' within the Free Church of Scotland. (Author: Former Free Church Moderators)

Kirk minister takes issue with Prime Minister
Rev. Louis Kinsey, a Church of Scotland minister in Aberdeen, has put down a challenge to David Cameron over the Prime Minister's public comments relating to Christians fostering children. (Author: Louis Kinsey / Christians Together)

Pakistani Christians protesting recent killing
Thousands of Pakistani Christians on took part in protest rallies across Pakistan expressing anger over the brutal assassination of the Federal Minister for Minority Affairs, Shahbaz Bhatti, in Islamabad. (Author: Christians Together)

God has no place in British law say judges
Despite the UK's long history of religious observance and the traditions of the churches, there is no place in British law for Christian beliefs two High Court judges have said. (Author: Christians Together)

Afganistani Christian facing death freed.
An Afghan Red Cross worker who was jailed for nine months for converting to Christianity has been released after an intense campaign by international diplomatic missions and Christian activists, an official. (Author: Christians Together)

Christchurch earthquakes: a sombre story
Behind the most recent earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand is a sombre story of an event which didn't happen. (Author: Andrew Strom / Christians Together)

Shimon Peres: Google, Facebook and Antichrist
According to current reports Israel’s President Shimon Peres sees Google and Facebook as the means to accomplish what the Bible tells us will be the role of the Antichrist in bringing a solution to the turmoil in the Middle East. (Author: Christians Together)

Libya: another domino falls?
The unrest (revolution) which is shaking North Africa and beyond is claiming another victim. Stratfor the intelligence agency gives its take on a situation in the Middle East which is changing by the hour. (Author: Stratfor Global Intelligence)

Civil Partnerships, Marriages and churches
A joint statement has been issued by five evangelical organisations on the subject of homosexual marriage and the registration of civil partnerships in churches. (Author: Christians Together)

Irish Evangelical Alliance backs gay 'marriage'
EA Ireland’s General Director stated: “The Government is seeking to legislate for greater justice and fairness for co-habiting couples, both same-sex and opposite-sex couples. As Christians we should support that stance.” (Author: Christians Together)

Lord Mackay speaks out on Civil Partnerships
Lord Mackay of Clashfern who served under both Margaret Thatcher and John Major has stated that Christians should not be forced to act against their beliefs by equality laws. (Author: Christians Together)

Gay partnerships to be classed as marriages
A new law is being introduced which will class gay and lesbian partnerships as marriages with further reforms planned which will destroy the traditional view of marriage. (Author: Christians Together)

They're building a new caliphate says Israeli PM
In an important address to a policy conference of European leaders the Israeli Prime Minister warned of several serious threats to world peace and Western civilization. (Author: Christians Together)

Egypt rejects Muslim Brotherhood
An authentic testimony received from a protestor at Tahrirs Square in Cairo Egypt suggests that the internional media are portraying a distorted account of the 'anti-government' revolution. (Author: Direct from Egypt)

A Letter from Egypt
In the midst of the social and political turmoil in Egypt God has His people. This is a report from a Christian pastor speaking in the midst of a dangerous and volatile situation. (Author: Egyptian Pastor)

YWCA abandons its Christian name
In a controversial move, the YWCA in England and Wales has adopted a new name which has dropped all reference to the organisation's Christian origins. (Author: Christians Together)

Women victims in Israel targets of terror attack
Arab terrorists attacked and killed a visiting American Christian woman and badly wounded her UK-born Messianic Jewish friend south of Jerusalem on Saturday. (Author: Christians Together)

BBC to screen prime-time screening of Nativity story
A new adaptation of the Nativity Story occupies a peak-viewing slot on BBC1 this month. Producer Tony Jordan said: ""The challenge for me was to retell a story that has been told countless times before." (Author: Christians Together)

Case about 'orientation discrimination' postponed
A judge has postponed his ruling over a case relating to Christian guesthouse operators Peter and Hazelmary Bull who refused accommodation to a homosexual couple. (Author: Christians Together)

Deface the Bible but don't touch the Koran
Arrest and no action. Two similar stories illustrate remarkably different reactions from the authorities over the desecration of holy books. (Author: Christians Together)

Free Church to allow hymns and instruments
Following a special Plenary assembly the Free Church of Scotland is to allow for the singing of hymns and the use of musical instruments in its congregations. (Author: Free Church Statement)

Lennox takes on Hawking: again!
In his tireless rebuttals of the 'scientific' view that our world was created by some random process, John Lennox argues that you can't explain the universe without God. (Author: Professor John Lennox)

The BBC's obsession with sexuality
If there was ever any doubt that the term ‘diversity’ relates to ‘sexuality’ the BBC has confirmed the link in a new survey; but only at the end. (Author: Christians Together)

God at work in Pakistan amongst the dangers
Two Pakistani pastors who are working in their country to spread the Gospel amongst Muslims have sent a prayer/news update to Christians Together outlining points for praise and for prayer. (Author: B and A (pastors in Pakistan))

UK denies entry to persecuted Christian speaker
After months of effort and planning by Release International to host a series of meetings across the UK about the persecution of Christians, the speaker has been denied an entry visa. (Author: Christians Together)

Chilean miner tells Luis Palau of God at work
Jose Henriquez joined Luis Palau on stage in Chile last month to reveal that fully two-thirds, of the Chilean miners turned to Christ whilst waiting to be rescued. (Author: Christians Together)

Al-Queda launches holy war  against Christians
"All Christian centres, organizations and institutions, leaders and followers, are legitimate targets for the mujahedeen (holy warriors) wherever they can reach them." Statement by al-Qaeda group (Author: Christians Together)

A Middle East exodus of Biblical proportions
Christians are fleeing from the persecution in the Middle East with reports of violence, bloodshed and murder. (Author: NewAmerican)

Bible Society launches new Gaelic Gospel
At the National Mod in Thurso the Scottish Bible Society launched a fresh translation of John's Gospel as the first in a (Author: Christians Together)

Miracle rescue of trapped Chilean Miners
Stories from above and below ground reveal God powerfully at work during the 'miracle' rescue of the Chilean miners. Prayer were said and the Gospel was preached. (Author: Christians Together)

Tesco slow in 'Halal' refund
Tesco store reluctant to refund Irish shopper after she unknowingly purchased of Halal meat from her Belfast store. (Author: Christian Institute)

Christians called to be 'not ashamed' of Christ
A major 'Not Ashamed' campaign has just been launched inviting Christians to 'Stand Up for Jesus in Public Life'. The initiative has support from national leaders. (Author: CCFON/Christians Together)

Northern Christian Police Association news
The Northern Constabulary branch of the Christian Police Association has 're-ignited' and now extends an invitation to join with the branch's monthly prayer breakfast in the Inverness CYC/YMCA. (Author: Northern Constabulary CPA)

Roma gypsies: Germany yesterday, France today
France's expulsion of Roma Gypsies has been likened by a top EU official to that which took place under Nazi Germany during the Second World War. (Author: Christians Together)

Papal visit 460 years after the Reformation
The Pope makes a first and historic visit to the UK since the 16th century Reformation. He has been received in Scotland by the Queen who is head of the Church of England (Author: Christians Together)

Koran burning threat offensive and dangerous
Dr. Patrick Sookhdeo of the Barnabus Fund has stated that the proposal by an American pastor to burn copies of the Qu'ran is an "unnecessary, offensive and dangerous gesture”. (Author: Barnabus Fund / Christians Together)

Don't mention God: no do!
A Christian worker who was sacked under a charge of 'gross misconduct' for mentioning God has had his appeal rejected by an employment tribunal. (Author: Christian Legal Centre)

Pakistani Christians being raped and killed
A Pakistani believer and site member of Christians Together and reports of much trouble in his country. Please pray for him and other believers there. (Author: Khuram/Christian Solidarity Worldwide)

Prospect of a Gay Bishop: a Scottish response
With the controversies in both the Anglican Communion and the Church of Scotland, one Kirk member has written to another. (Author: One Kirk friend to another)

Afghan Christians urgent need of prayer
The Afghan Christian Community has just written an open letter to the body of Christ worldwide outlining the great persecution they are facing in their own land. (Author: Afghan Christian Community)

'Strathpeffer' Convention move to Inverness
The decision to move the 'Strathpeffer' Convention to Inverness has caused some eyebrows to be raised. The organisers respond to some of the questions being asked. (Author: Christians Together)

Initial report following team visit to Congo
On return from an eventful and rewarding missionary trip to the DR Congo, team leader Jim Rettie supplies an initial report. (Author: Jim Rettie)

Soldiers and their families; the cost of separation
Watching the daily news footage of the conflicts in Iran and Afghanistan it is easy to forget the price that soldiers and their families pay in terms of the worry and loss that separation brings. (Author: Christians Together)

News update of Inverness team in Congo
In spite of an alarmist headline and sensationalised report about being 'ambushed' the team are safe and well and continuing with their planned programme. (Author: Christians Together)

Congolese Macedonian call; a Highland response
As a result of a 'random' e-mail, a team from the Highlands is set to depart on a ministry trip to the Congo and to believers there amongst Pygmy tribes. (Author: Christians Together)

The Reformation: they think it's all over; it is now
The Reformation has been cancelled. A Stornoway-born and recent Church of Scotland Moderator Rev. Sheilagh Kesting has proclaimed a ‘first’ in a post-Reformation pact with the Roman Catholic Church. (Author: Christians Together)

Franklin Graham disinvited from Pentagon Prayer
An invitation to Franklin Graham to speak at the Pentagoon on the National Day of Prayer has been withdrawn following objections from a 'watchdog' group. (Author: Stars and Stripes / Christians Together)

Anti-semitism on the rise in France
The following account has come from a reliable source and lists a series of recent anti-semitic incidents in France which illustrates a continuing increase in anti-Jewish prejudice in that country. (Author: Anon)

Judges biased against Christians say churchmen
In an unprecedented move, senior Church figures are forcing a showdown over concerns that most senior judges are prejudiced against Christianity. (Author: Christian Concern for our Nation)

American evangelist jailed in Glasgow
Street preacher Shawn Holes, an American Baptist, was apprehended, jailed and fined in the course of preaching the Gospel in Glasgow (Author: Christians Together)

Haiti: three days of prayer and fasting
One month after the quake, a nation that was dedicated to Satan has been called by the Haitian president to three days of fasting and prayer to God. (Author: Jerry Miel)

Islamic scholar issues fatwa against terrorism
Pakistani-born Sufi scholar Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri has issued a fatwa denouncing terrorism and describing those involved as 'unbelievers'. (Author: Christians Together)

Amazing move of the Spirit in Algeria
Despite anti-conversion laws, Muslims are turning to Christ in an amazing move of the Spirit in Algeria. A pastor reports packed churches and 800% growth. (Author: Operation Mobilisation)

Young people coming to faith in Finland
An amazing move of the Holy Spirit is bringing many young people to faith in Christ. They then go out into their street and communities to reach out to others. (Author: Dr. Mike Story)

Healing ministry: seasonal update report
Jim Rettie gives a seasonal update report on the work of the Fellowship of Christian Healing (Highland) over the past year. (Author: Jim Rettie)

Case against Christian couple thrown out
Whilst the charges against the Christian owners of a guest house has been thrown out, the case raises serious questions about how the case ever went as far as it did. (Author: Christians Together)

Free Church pulls out of talks with Kirk
As a symptom of the confusion and division within and beyond the Church of Scotland, the Free Church has pulled out of dialogue with the Kirk. (Author: Christians Together)

Paul Moore; whistleblower for God?
Paul Moore was sacked by HBOS for criticising the company's risky lending. His wife assured him of 'God's plan' and he subsequently blew the whistle on the company's dealings. (Author: Christians Together)

Islam4uk march in support of Shari'ah Law
Islam4uk have organised marches and events in various locations around the UK for Saturday, 31 October 2009. In London stops are to be made a Westminster, Downing Street and Trafalgar Square (Author: )

South African Anglicans join in 'Confessing'
South African Anglicans have affirmed their fidelity to biblical orthodoxy by following the example of churches in Scotland, England and North America. (Author: Christians Together)

Christian minister sacked from radio station
A Pakistani-born Christian minister who was sacked by a radio station has won the right to take his case to the European courts. (Author: Christians Together)

Minister calls Kirk's Assembly to account
A senior Church of Scotland minister has circulated a searing analysis of the Kirk's handling of the sexuality issue at the May 2009 General Assembly. (Author: Christians Together)

Megrahi's release: what do you think?
An opportunity to say what you feel and think. Others from elsewhere in Scotland and from around the world will surely be interested. (Author: Christians Together)

Highland pastor's wife on the mend
Highland pastor's wife (Rev. Dr.) Sheila McLaughlan is making a recovery in a German clinic having suffered a stroke when attending a pastors' conference. (Author: Christians Together)

Increasing persecution of Pakistani Christians
A Pakistani believer who is a member of the Christians Together web site has written to outline the increasing persecution of Christians in his country and to ask for prayer for protection. (Author: Christians Together)

The Kirk in Crisis: nailing colours to the door
A current move by Church of Scotland congregations from across Scotland sets down a very significant marker in terms of a public response to the highly-controversial decisions made by the recent General Assembly. (Author: Christians Together)

The Kirk is imploding
The first appointment of an openly-gay minister reveals the extent of the Church of Scotland's sorry departure from biblical orthodoxy. (Author: Christians Together)

A bridge across an old divide?
In the wake of the Church of Scotland's failure to pronounce on gay ordination, there are signicant signs of Kirk leaders breaking ranks and entering talks with other denominations. (Author: Christians Together)

No bush has a life guarantee
An historical presence in the soil offers no guarantee for the future. Unhealthy and and unproductive bushes could find that their days are numbered. (Author: Christians Together)

Logos Hope visit to Edinburgh
Having called at Edinburgh and Belfast, the first-ever UK visit of OM’s new Logos Hope ship is at the halfway stage. (Author: Christians Together)

Gay adoption critics branded as homophobes
In a new publication giving information on gay adoption the state-funded British Association for Adoption and Fostering has branded critics of gay adoption as 'retarded homophobes'. (Author: Christians Together)

Muslim to head BBC religious broadcasting
The BBC has appointed Aaqil Ahmed as its first Muslim head of religious programming, following the agnostic Alan Bookbinder who was appointed in 2001 (Author: CCFON/Christians Together)

Credit crunch and search for ‘meaning of life’
New research out this week has revealed that three in four adults are rethinking their core values and big issues like ‘the meaning of life’. (Author: Christian Today)

Mr. Phelps you are not welcome in Scotland
A 'keep out' message to Mr. Phelps (Author: )

Fresh bid to reunite the Kirk and the Free Church
The media are often theatre; and the above headline from one Scottish daily is suggestive of either high drama or outrageous farce. (Author: Christians Together)

Beauty contestant gives 'wrong' answer
Miss California ruined her chances of becoming Miss USA by giving the 'wrong' answer to a gay competition judge who asked her opinion on gay marriage. (Author: Christians Together)

Dobson to set record straight
Dr. James Dobson has gone on air in the USA to counter a false impression given by a British newspaper and other media outlets that he has lost and given up the 'culture war'. (Author: Christians Together)

Bishop defender of the faith resigns
In the light of increasing attacks on the Christian faith in the UK, the resignation of Dr. Michael Nazir-Ali is viewed as a loss to the Christian community in the UK. (Author: Christians Together)

How to respond to Jehovah's Witnesses
It is not always easy to frame a proper response when someone comes knocking unexpectedly on the door; and it's useful to have some quick pointers. (Author: Christians Together)

Churches say Government is gambling with lives
A number of major denominations and Christian organisations have lauched a web-site to counter Government policy which they say promotes gambling addiction. (Author: Christians Together)

Scotland deports Christian workers
Reports this week cover stories of Christian workers being intercepted by immigration officials and deported back to the USA. (Author: Christians Together)

Christian Workers having to Pack their Bags
New immigration legislation is shutting doors to Christian workers from North America who wish to work in Scotland. And some who are here in the Highlands are having to leave. (Author: Christians Together)

Controversial priest declines promotion
A Roman Catholic priest who believes that Hurricane Katrina was a judgement of God has declined promotion in the face of controversy. (Author: Christians Together)

Indian Christians reaching out to Jade Goody
An Indian evangelical newspaper has asked its readership to pray for terminally-ill reality TV personality Jade Goody. Others have also been sending in their messages of support and prayer. (Author: Christians Together)

Mum faces dismissal for asking for prayer
The Archbishop of York has publicly expressed his support for a school receptionist facing dismissal because she asked her friends to pray for a situation regarding her daughter. (Author: Christians Together)

Dutch MP determined to come to Britain
A Dutch politician and party leader has been told by the British Government that he can't enter the country as he represents a "threat to social cohesion". (Author: Christians Together)

Can a Theological College Be Born in a Day?
A brief overview of the conception, founding and development of the Highland Theological College from its beginnings in Elgin through to the present. (Author: Hector Morrison)

Public trust in media sinks to a new low
Less than a third of the British public trusts the media, a new international survey reveals. And recent events have further damaged their reputation. (Author: Christian Institute)

Army chaplain fears 'God' will offend atheists
A senior army chaplain has removed a Christian Creed from Army services at Sandhurst in case it will offend minority faiths and others who do not believe in God. (Author: The Mail/Christians Together)

Grandparents forced to hand children to gay couple
Edinburgh City Council have forced a couple who wanted to look after their two young grandchildren to hand them over to a gay couple for adoption. (Author: The Scotsman/The Daily Mail/CT)

Scots schools to teach gay rights...
Scottish Government telling schools to promote ‘gay rights’ has prompted concern that parents will be denied a say in what their children learn. (Author: Christian Institute)

Scottish missionary imprisoned in The Gambia
International Christian Concern have submitted an appeal regarding the Scottish Christian missionary and his wife sentenced to a year of hard labour in The Gambia. (Author: Christians Together)

A gay minister for Queen's Cross Church
A Brechin minister who is in a 'live-in' relationship with another man has been chosen by Queens Cross Church of Scotland in Aberdeen: according to one influential minister, the matter could split the national Kirk. (Author: Christians Together)

Pope more concerned with Truth than popularity
Pope Gregory's affirmation of heterosexual marriage has created a backlash from 'Christian', homosexual and 'save the planet' groups. (Author: Christians Together)

Indian church leader speaks on Mumbai attacks
Gospel for Asia President K.P. Yohannan expresses his grief over the Mumbai attacks but cautions about jumping to early conclusions regarding the identity of the attackers. (Author: Gospel for Asia)

Bible Illuminated - of God or the Devil?
Of God or the devil; the Bible Illustrated published by a Swedish businessman is highly provocative and leaves little scope for ambivalent views. (Author: Christians Together)

Violence against Christians in Asia
Extremists in India are now offering money for those prepared to kill Christians. "We may have lost everything, but nothing will turn us from Jesus." (Author: WorldNetDaily / Release International)

Recital of controversial poems in Welsh Assembly
The LibDem's culture spokesman has invited a militant atheist to read his controversial anti-Christian poems in the Welsh Assembly building in December. (Author: Christians Together)

Parent jailed over issue with school
A Christian father has been jailed for taking issue with the school teaching his 5-year-old about the equivalence between heterosexual and same-sex marriage (Author: Christians Together)

Auntie Beeb in crisis
The furore surrounding the BBC is perhaps God's way of exposing the catastrophic moral degradation and the collapse of standards at all levels in our once-respected institutions. (Author: Watchman)

India must protect its Christians
Scores of Christians have been murdered. Their homes, churches, presbyteries, convents and charitable institutions have been destroyed writes Bishop Nazir-Ali (Author: Bishop Michael Nazir Ali)

Christian counsellor fired by Relate
Gary McFarlane, a Christian counsellor , has been dismissed from his position at Relate after raising concerns about advising same sex couples. (Author: Christian Legal Centre)

Christian worker murdered in Afghanistan
Taliban leader states that aid worker was killed "because she was working for an organisation which was preaching Christianity in Afghanistan". (Author: Christians Together)

Christian vicar says she was conned
Joanna Jepson says she was conned by TV producers into taking part in a programme which portrays Christians as being obsessed with the issue of sexuality. (Author: The Telegraph)

RC Church produces Bible with Hindu texts
A new Indian version of the Bible recently published by the Catholic Church includes verses from the Bhagavad Gita and references to the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi. (Author: Christians Together)

Crisis in Pakistan
Should an al Qaeda-type Radical gain control of Pakistan and its nuclear weapons, we could be facing an apocalyptic moment. (Author: Joel Rosenberg)

News (08/08/08) from the Christian Institute
Some news this week (08/08/08) including a survey which shows that Scots are 'ashamed' of the Scottish drinking culture. (Author: Christian Institute)

Hybrids, Abortion, Saviour Siblings, Fathers
Watch four short but powerful presentations on Animal/Human Hybrids, Abortion, Saviour Siblings and the role of the Father in IVF (Author: Christian Concern for our Nation)


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