Pope Francis Unites All Religions Over Sustainable Development

Pope Francis promotes “the sacredness of our earth” to woo other religions into uniting with the Catholic church in order to fulfill his dream of a united global religion. ⁃ TN Editor

In 2015 Pope Francis addressed the UN General Assembly in New York shortly before member states unanimously adopted Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals.

Fast forward to 2019 and the Pope was in the Vatican on Friday where he greeted participants taking part in a two day international conference entitled, “Religions and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Listening to the cry of the earth and of the poor”.

Listening to all voices

Pope Francis got straight to the point by telling those gathered that, “when we speak of sustainability, we cannot overlook how important it is to include and to listen to all voices, especially those usually excluded from this type of discussion, such as the voices of the poor, migrants, indigenous people and the young.”

The 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals, the Pope said, “were a great step forward for global dialogue, marking a vitally “new and universal solidarity”. But he noted, “for too long, the conventional idea of development has been almost entirely limited to economic growth.”

The Pontiff emphasized that, “this has led the modern economic system down a dangerous path where progress is assessed only in terms of material growth, on account of which we are almost obliged to irrationally exploit the environment and our fellow human beings.”

Economic and political objectives, Pope Francis stressed, “must be sustained by ethical objectives, which presuppose a change of attitude: what the Bible would call a change of heart. Already Saint John Paul II spoke about the need to “encourage and support an ‘ecological conversion’”, he said.

The Pope underlined that what was needed was a commitment to “promoting and implementing the development goals that are supported by our deepest religious and ethical values.” He also expressed the hope that concrete solutions and responses would emerge from the conference.

Religious Dimension

Noting the importance of the religious dimension to this gathering, Pope Francis said that “those of us who are religious need to open up the treasures of our best traditions in order to engage in a true and respectful dialogue on how to build the future of our planet.”

The Pontiff also underlined, that “if we want to provide a solid foundation for the work of the 2030 Agenda, “we must reject the temptation to look for a merely technocratic response to the challenges, and be prepared to address the root causes and the long-term consequences.”

Indigenous Peoples

During his address, the Pope made particular mention of Indigenous Peoples saying that, “in a strongly secularized world, such peoples remind us all of the sacredness of our earth. Their voice and their concerns, he added, should be at the centre of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and at the heart of the search for new paths for a sustainable future. I will also be discussing this with my brother bishops at the Synod for the Pan-Amazon Region, at the end of October this year.”

Injustice that brings tears to our world is not invincible

Concluding his address and quoting his encyclical Laudato Si, he told those present that, “three and a half years since the adoption of the sustainable development goals, we must be even more acutely aware of the importance of accelerating and adapting our actions in responding adequately to both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.”

He added, “the challenges are complex and have multiple causes; the response, therefore, must necessarily be complex and well-structured, respectful of the diverse cultural riches of peoples.”

Expressing his understanding for the task that can at times seem all too difficult, the Pope offered words of encouragement. “Human beings, while capable of the worst, are also capable of rising above themselves, choosing again what is good, and making a new start”.

“I encourage you to continue the fight for that change which present circumstances demand, because the injustice that brings tears to our world and to its poor is not invincible.”

The Conference is being jointly organized by the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development and the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue and runs until March 9th.

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Mindar

AI ‘Deity’ To Preach Buddhism In Japanese Temple

Robots have many uses in Japan, from ‘comforting the sick and aged, and disposing of hazardous nuclear waste’ to preaching Buddhism in the pulpit. Technocrat inventors think this is a wonderful advancement for humanity. Really? ⁃ TN Editor

A Japanese robot has been created to preach the teachings of Buddha in colloquial language at the Kodaiji Temple in the ancient city of Kyoto.

As Mindar gave its speech on the Heart Sutra and humanity, English and Chinese subtitles were projected on the wall as music played in the background.

The chief steward of the temple in Kyoto’s Higashiyama Ward Tensho Goto during a news conference said: “If an image of Buddha speaks, teachings of Buddhism will probably be easier to understand,”

He added: “We want many people to come to see the robot to think about the essence of Buddhism.”

Another official connected to the temple explained how the robot would “help people who usually have little connection with Buddhism to take an interest” in the religion.”

Mindar, which is about 195 centimeters tall and weighs 60 kilograms, was constructed by Tokyo-based A-Lab Co.

It is primarily made of aluminum, with silicone used for its face and hands.

The robot will be revealed to the public between March 8 and May 6.

Japanese researchers have been developing robots to revolutionise labour within Japan.

Uses for the burgeoning technology including teaching children, comforting the sick and aged, and disposing of hazardous nuclear waste.

Read full story here…




One World Religion

One World Religion: Pope Francis Signs Historic Covenant With Islam

Pope Francis and Islam are both steeped in Sustainable Development, aka Technocracy. The Pope’s chosen papal name honored St. Francis, who was the Islamic unifier during his lifetime. The merger solidifies the movement toward a one-world religion. ⁃ TN Editor

One World Religion

A historic interfaith covenant was signed in the Middle East on Monday, and the mainstream media in the United States has been almost entirely silent about it. Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb is considered to be the most important imam in Sunni Islam, and he arrived at the signing ceremony in Abu Dhabi with Pope Francis “hand-in-hand in a symbol of interfaith brotherhood”. But this wasn’t just a ceremony for Catholics and Muslims. According to a British news source, the signing of this covenant was done “in front of a global audience of religious leaders from Christianity, Islam, Judaism and other faiths”…

The pope and the grand imam of al-Azhar have signed a historic declaration of fraternity, calling for peace between nations, religions and races, in front of a global audience of religious leaders from Christianity, Islam, Judaism and other faiths.

Pope Francis, the leader of the world’s Catholics, and Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb, the head of Sunni Islam’s most prestigious seat of learning, arrived at the ceremony in Abu Dhabi hand-in-hand in a symbol of interfaith brotherhood.

In other words, there was a concerted effort to make sure that all of the religions of the world were represented at this gathering.

According to the official Vatican website, a tremendous amount of preparation went in to the drafting of this document, and it encourages believers from all religions “to shake hands, embrace one another, kiss one another, and even pray” with one another…

The document, signed by Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of al-Azhar, Ahmed el-Tayeb, was prepared “with much reflection and prayer”, the Pope said. The one great danger at this moment, he continued, is “destruction, war, hatred between us.” “If we believers are not able to shake hands, embrace one another, kiss one another, and even pray, our faith will be defeated”, he said. The Pope explained that the document “is born of faith in God who is the Father of all and the Father of peace; it condemns all destruction, all terrorism, from the first terrorism in history, that of Cain.”

There is a lot of language about peace in this document, but it goes way beyond just advocating for peace.

Over and over again, the word “God” is used to simultaneously identify Allah and the God of Christianity. Here is just one example…

We, who believe in God and in the final meeting with Him and His judgment, on the basis of our religious and moral responsibility, and through this Document, call upon ourselves, upon the leaders of the world as well as the architects of international policy and world economy, to work strenuously to spread the culture of tolerance and of living together in peace; to intervene at the earliest opportunity to stop the shedding of innocent blood and bring an end to wars, conflicts, environmental decay and the moral and cultural decline that the world is presently experiencing.

On top of that, the document also boldly declares that “the diversity of religions” that we see in the world was “willed by God”…

Freedom is a right of every person: each individual enjoys the freedom of belief, thought, expression and action. The pluralism and the diversity of religions, colour, sex, race and language are willed by God in His wisdom, through which He created human beings. This divine wisdom is the source from which the right to freedom of belief and the freedom to be different derives. Therefore, the fact that people are forced to adhere to a certain religion or culture must be rejected, as too the imposition of a cultural way of life that others do not accept;

In essence, this is saying that it is the will of God that there are hundreds of different religions in the world and that they are all acceptable in His sight.

We know that the elite want a one world religion, but to see the most important clerics from both Catholicism and Islam make such a dramatic public push for it is absolutely stunning.

You can find the full text of the covenant that they signed on the official Vatican website. I have also reproduced the entire document below…

—–

INTRODUCTION

Faith leads a believer to see in the other a brother or sister to be supported and loved. Through faith in God, who has created the universe, creatures and all human beings (equal on account of his mercy), believers are called to express this human fraternity by safeguarding creation and the entire universe and supporting all persons, especially the poorest and those most in need.

This transcendental value served as the starting point for several meetings characterized by a friendly and fraternal atmosphere where we shared the joys, sorrows and problems of our contemporary world. We did this by considering scientific and technical progress, therapeutic achievements, the digital era, the mass media and communications. We reflected also on the level of poverty, conflict and suffering of so many brothers and sisters in different parts of the world as a consequence of the arms race, social injustice, corruption, inequality, moral decline, terrorism, discrimination, extremism and many other causes.

From our fraternal and open discussions, and from the meeting that expressed profound hope in a bright future for all human beings, the idea of this Document on Human Fraternity was conceived. It is a text that has been given honest and serious thought so as to be a joint declaration of good and heartfelt aspirations. It is a document that invites all persons who have faith in God and faith in human fraternity to unite and work together so that it may serve as a guide for future generations to advance a culture of mutual respect in the awareness of the great divine grace that makes all human beings brothers and sisters.

DOCUMENT

In the name of God who has created all human beings equal in rights, duties and dignity, and who has called them to live together as brothers and sisters, to fill the earth and make known the values of goodness, love and peace;

In the name of innocent human life that God has forbidden to kill, affirming that whoever kills a person is like one who kills the whole of humanity, and that whoever saves a person is like one who saves the whole of humanity;

In the name of the poor, the destitute, the marginalized and those most in need whom God has commanded us to help as a duty required of all persons, especially the wealthy and of means;

In the name of orphans, widows, refugees and those exiled from their homes and their countries; in the name of all victims of wars, persecution and injustice; in the name of the weak, those who live in fear, prisoners of war and those tortured in any part of the world, without distinction;

In the name of peoples who have lost their security, peace, and the possibility of living together, becoming victims of destruction, calamity and war;

In the name of human fraternity that embraces all human beings, unites them and renders them equal;

In the name of this fraternity torn apart by policies of extremism and division, by systems of unrestrained profit or by hateful ideological tendencies that manipulate the actions and the future of men and women;

In the name of freedom, that God has given to all human beings creating them free and distinguishing them by this gift;

In the name of justice and mercy, the foundations of prosperity and the cornerstone of faith;

In the name of all persons of good will present in every part of the world;

In the name of God and of everything stated thus far; Al-Azhar al-Sharif and the Muslims of the East and West, together with the Catholic Church and the Catholics of the East and West, declare the adoption of a culture of dialogue as the path; mutual cooperation as the code of conduct; reciprocal understanding as the method and standard.

O

We, who believe in God and in the final meeting with Him and His judgment, on the basis of our religious and moral responsibility, and through this Document, call upon ourselves, upon the leaders of the world as well as the architects of international policy and world economy, to work strenuously to spread the culture of tolerance and of living together in peace; to intervene at the earliest opportunity to stop the shedding of innocent blood and bring an end to wars, conflicts, environmental decay and the moral and cultural decline that the world is presently experiencing.

We call upon intellectuals, philosophers, religious figures, artists, media professionals and men and women of culture in every part of the world, to rediscover the values of peace, justice, goodness, beauty, human fraternity and coexistence in order to confirm the importance of these values as anchors of salvation for all, and to promote them everywhere.

This Declaration, setting out from a profound consideration of our contemporary reality, valuing its successes and in solidarity with its suffering, disasters and calamities, believes firmly that among the most important causes of the crises of the modern world are a desensitized human conscience, a distancing from religious values and a prevailing individualism accompanied by materialistic philosophies that deify the human person and introduce worldly and material values in place of supreme and transcendental principles.

While recognizing the positive steps taken by our modern civilization in the fields of science, technology, medicine, industry and welfare, especially in developed countries, we wish to emphasize that, associated with such historic advancements, great and valued as they are, there exists both a moral deterioration that influences international action and a weakening of spiritual values and responsibility.

All this contributes to a general feeling of frustration, isolation and desperation leading many to fall either into a vortex of atheistic, agnostic or religious extremism, or into blind and fanatic extremism, which ultimately encourage forms of dependency and individual or collective self-destruction.

History shows that religious extremism, national extremism and also intolerance have produced in the world, be it in the East or West, what might be referred to as signs of a “third world war being fought piecemeal”. In several parts of the world and in many tragic circumstances these signs have begun to be painfully apparent, as in those situations where the precise number of victims, widows and orphans is unknown.

We see, in addition, other regions preparing to become theatres of new conflicts, with outbreaks of tension and a build-up of arms and ammunition, and all this in a global context overshadowed by uncertainty, disillusionment, fear of the future, and controlled by narrow-minded economic interests.

We likewise affirm that major political crises, situations of injustice and lack of equitable distribution of natural resources – which only a rich minority benefit from, to the detriment of the majority of the peoples of the earth – have generated, and continue to generate, vast numbers of poor, infirm and deceased persons.

This leads to catastrophic crises that various countries have fallen victim to despite their natural resources and the resourcefulness of young people which characterize these nations. In the face of such crises that result in the deaths of millions of children – wasted away from poverty and hunger – there is an unacceptable silence on the international level.

It is clear in this context how the family as the fundamental nucleus of society and humanity is essential in bringing children into the world, raising them, educating them, and providing them with solid moral formation and domestic security. To attack the institution of the family, to regard it with contempt or to doubt its important role, is one of the most threatening evils of our era.

We affirm also the importance of awakening religious awareness and the need to revive this awareness in the hearts of new generations through sound education and an adherence to moral values and upright religious teachings. In this way we can confront tendencies that are individualistic, selfish, conflicting, and also address radicalism and blind extremism in all its forms and expressions.

The first and most important aim of religions is to believe in God, to honour Him and to invite all men and women to believe that this universe depends on a God who governs it. He is the Creator who has formed us with His divine wisdom and has granted us the gift of life to protect it. It is a gift that no one has the right to take away, threaten or manipulate to suit oneself.

Indeed, everyone must safeguard this gift of life from its beginning up to its natural end. We therefore condemn all those practices that are a threat to life such as genocide, acts of terrorism, forced displacement, human trafficking, abortion and euthanasia. We likewise condemn the policies that promote these practices.

Moreover, we resolutely declare that religions must never incite war, hateful attitudes, hostility and extremism, nor must they incite violence or the shedding of blood. These tragic realities are the consequence of a deviation from religious teachings. They result from a political manipulation of religions and from interpretations made by religious groups who, in the course of history, have taken advantage of the power of religious sentiment in the hearts of men and women in order to make them act in a way that has nothing to do with the truth of religion.

This is done for the purpose of achieving objectives that are political, economic, worldly and short-sighted. We thus call upon all concerned to stop using religions to incite hatred, violence, extremism and blind fanaticism, and to refrain from using the name of God to justify acts of murder, exile, terrorism and oppression.

We ask this on the basis of our common belief in God who did not create men and women to be killed or to fight one another, nor to be tortured or humiliated in their lives and circumstances. God, the Almighty, has no need to be defended by anyone and does not want His name to be used to terrorize people.

This Document, in accordance with previous International Documents that have emphasized the importance of the role of religions in the construction of world peace, upholds the following:

– The firm conviction that authentic teachings of religions invite us to remain rooted in the values of peace; to defend the values of mutual understanding, human fraternity and harmonious coexistence; to re-establish wisdom, justice and love; and to reawaken religious awareness among young people so that future generations may be protected from the realm of materialistic thinking and from dangerous policies of unbridled greed and indifference that are based on the law of force and not on the force of law;

– Freedom is a right of every person: each individual enjoys the freedom of belief, thought, expression and action. The pluralism and the diversity of religions, colour, sex, race and language are willed by God in His wisdom, through which He created human beings.

This divine wisdom is the source from which the right to freedom of belief and the freedom to be different derives. Therefore, the fact that people are forced to adhere to a certain religion or culture must be rejected, as too the imposition of a cultural way of life that others do not accept;

– Justice based on mercy is the path to follow in order to achieve a dignified life to which every human being has a right;

– Dialogue, understanding and the widespread promotion of a culture of tolerance, acceptance of others and of living together peacefully would contribute significantly to reducing many economic, social, political and environmental problems that weigh so heavily on a large part of humanity;

– Dialogue among believers means coming together in the vast space of spiritual, human and shared social values and, from here, transmitting the highest moral virtues that religions aim for. It also means avoiding unproductive discussions;

– The protection of places of worship – synagogues, churches and mosques – is a duty guaranteed by religions, human values, laws and international agreements. Every attempt to attack places of worship or threaten them by violent assaults, bombings or destruction, is a deviation from the teachings of religions as well as a clear violation of international law;

– Terrorism is deplorable and threatens the security of people, be they in the East or the West, the North or the South, and disseminates panic, terror and pessimism, but this is not due to religion, even when terrorists instrumentalize it. It is due, rather, to an accumulation of incorrect interpretations of religious texts and to policies linked to hunger, poverty, injustice, oppression and pride.

This is why it is so necessary to stop supporting terrorist movements fuelled by financing, the provision of weapons and strategy, and by attempts to justify these movements even using the media. All these must be regarded as international crimes that threaten security and world peace. Such terrorism must be condemned in all its forms and expressions;

– The concept of citizenship is based on the equality of rights and duties, under which all enjoy justice. It is therefore crucial to establish in our societies the concept of full citizenship and reject the discriminatory use of the term minoritieswhich engenders feelings of isolation and inferiority. Its misuse paves the way for hostility and discord; it undoes any successes and takes away the religious and civil rights of some citizens who are thus discriminated against;

– Good relations between East and West are indisputably necessary for both. They must not be neglected, so that each can be enriched by the other’s culture through fruitful exchange and dialogue. The West can discover in the East remedies for those spiritual and religious maladies that are caused by a prevailing materialism. And the East can find in the West many elements that can help free it from weakness, division, conflict and scientific, technical and cultural decline.

It is important to pay attention to religious, cultural and historical differences that are a vital component in shaping the character, culture and civilization of the East. It is likewise important to reinforce the bond of fundamental human rights in order to help ensure a dignified life for all the men and women of East and West, avoiding the politics of double standards;

– It is an essential requirement to recognize the right of women to education and employment, and to recognize their freedom to exercise their own political rights. Moreover, efforts must be made to free women from historical and social conditioning that runs contrary to the principles of their faith and dignity.

It is also necessary to protect women from sexual exploitation and from being treated as merchandise or objects of pleasure or financial gain. Accordingly, an end must be brought to all those inhuman and vulgar practices that denigrate the dignity of women. Efforts must be made to modify those laws that prevent women from fully enjoying their rights;

– The protection of the fundamental rights of children to grow up in a family environment, to receive nutrition, education and support, are duties of the family and society. Such duties must be guaranteed and protected so that they are not overlooked or denied to any child in any part of the world.

All those practices that violate the dignity and rights of children must be denounced. It is equally important to be vigilant against the dangers that they are exposed to, particularly in the digital world, and to consider as a crime the trafficking of their innocence and all violations of their youth;

– The protection of the rights of the elderly, the weak, the disabled, and the oppressed is a religious and social obligation that must be guaranteed and defended through strict legislation and the implementation of the relevant international agreements.

To this end, by mutual cooperation, the Catholic Church and Al-Azhar announce and pledge to convey this Document to authorities, influential leaders, persons of religion all over the world, appropriate regional and international organizations, organizations within civil society, religious institutions and leading thinkers.

They further pledge to make known the principles contained in this Declaration at all regional and international levels, while requesting that these principles be translated into policies, decisions, legislative texts, courses of study and materials to be circulated.

Al-Azhar and the Catholic Church ask that this Document become the object of research and reflection in all schools, universities and institutes of formation, thus helping to educate new generations to bring goodness and peace to others, and to be defenders everywhere of the rights of the oppressed and of the least of our brothers and sisters.

In conclusion, our aspiration is that:

this Declaration may constitute an invitation to reconciliation and fraternity among all believers, indeed among believers and non-believers, and among all people of good will;

this Declaration may be an appeal to every upright conscience that rejects deplorable violence and blind extremism; an appeal to those who cherish the values of tolerance and fraternity that are promoted and encouraged by religions;

this Declaration may be a witness to the greatness of faith in God that unites divided hearts and elevates the human soul;

this Declaration may be a sign of the closeness between East and West, between North and South, and between all who believe that God has created us to understand one another, cooperate with one another and live as brothers and sisters who love one another.

This is what we hope and seek to achieve with the aim of finding a universal peace that all can enjoy in this life.

Abu Dhabi, 4 february 2019

His Holiness
Pope Francis The Grand Imam of Al-Azhar
Ahmad Al-Tayyeb

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Chinese Authorities ‘Routinely Target Churches, Destroy Crosses, Burn Bibles And Arrest Pastors’

Technocracy and Christianity are polar opposites. Technocracy insists on conformity to scientific dictates while Christians follow Romans 12:2, to “be not conformed to this world: but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” As the severity of persecution increases in China, house churches are springing up everywhere, further aggravating Technocrats. ⁃ TN Editor

It was 40 years ago this week that China opened its doors to the world and launched a series of ambitious reforms that would create one of the world’s largest economic engines.

“China is now the world’s second largest economy, the biggest manufacturer, top trader of goods, and the second largest consumer of goods and recipient of foreign investment,” Chinese President Xi Jinping said during a speech in Beijing celebrating the 40th anniversary of the landmark reforms.

“December 18, 1978, was an important day to be remembered in the history of the Chinese nation,” Xi added, saying that it marked the “start of a great journey of reform, opening-up and socialist modernization.”

But unlike Deng Xiaoping, who helped launch the country’s reforms 40 years ago and wanted to reduce the power and influence of the Communist Party over civil society, China’s current leader believes in the absolute power of the Party and wants his government to exert control over every aspect of Chinese life.

Since coming to power in 2012, Xi has severely cracked down on human rights, religious freedom and freedom of expression. Christians are experiencing some of the worst persecution in decades.

“Under President Xi, the government has further tightened control over Christianity in its broad efforts to “Sinicize” religion or “adopt Chinese characteristics,” Human Rights Watch said in a statement. “In other words, to ensure that religious groups support the government and the Communist Party.”

Christians are not alone. Muslims, Buddhists and other faith groups are also coming under intense scrutiny.

“The Chinese government has also ratcheted up restrictions over Buddhism in Tibetan areas and imposed unprecedented control over religious practices in the predominantly Muslim region of Xinjiang,” Human Rights Watch added.

The recent arrest of a prominent church pastor underscores the level of persecution against Christians.

On December 9, authorities in the city of Chengdu, in China’s southwestern Sichuan province, arrested pastor Wang Yi, along with his wife and 100 members of Early Rain Covenant Church.

Authorities shut down the church and charged pastor Wang with “inciting subversion of state power.”

Ian Johnson, who has written extensively on Christianity in China and knows pastor Wang personally, said, “One can only hope and pray that he will come out of jail or that the sentence will be light, but given the current climate I’m not so sure.”

Johnson, writing for the New York Times, said the charge against Mr. Wang and his wife, Jiang Rong, “was far more severe than what other leaders face” and that the term “subversion of state power” is “a catchall charge often used against dissidents and political activists who speak out against the government.”

Wang and his wife could face up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

This past Sunday morning, members of Early Rain Covenant Church were blocked from entering their worship building. With their leaders detained and facing jail, churchgoers decided to pray and worship outside.

Early Rain, like scores of other congregations, is outside government control as part of China’s burgeoning so-called underground or house church movement.

Appearing on CBN News‘ WorldBeat, Todd Nettleton of Voice of the Martyrs, says this movement has touched every corner of China.

“And that’s the exciting thing, all across China, there are house churches, there are what they call ‘family churches’ and the reason the Communist government is so worried is because there are far more Christians in China than there are members of the Communist Party,” Nettleton told CBN News.

In recent months, Beijing has waged a brutal and widespread crackdown to stop the growth of these unregistered churches.

“This crackdown I think is a direct response to the fear of the Communist Party leaders who see the church growing way faster than the party is,” Nettleton said.

Fenggang Wang, a leading expert on religion in China, says what started several years ago as a small government campaign against unregistered churches has turned into all-out war.

“The campaign was first experimented in Zhejiang province from 2014 to 2016,” Wang told CBN News. “Now, it has become a nationwide campaign.”

Now authorities routinely target houses of worship, destroy crosses, burn Biblesand arrest pastors.

Mr. Fengang, who once predicted that China could become the world’s largest Christian nation, says the government, headed by Xi Jinping, views Christianity as a threat to the party’s long-term political aspirations.

“Christians are the remaining NGO’s (non-governmental organization) in the shrinking civil society in China,” Wang warned. “Under Xi Jinping and the Chinese Communist Party, they are really trying to establish a totalitarian rule of Chinese society and the Christians are standing in the way of totalitarianism, so that’s why they’ve become a target.”

Pictures shared on Early Rain’s Facebook page claim to show that police physically abused some of those arrested after they were taken into custody.

Foreseeing his possible arrest, pastor Wang wrote a letter titled “My Declaration of Faithful Disobedience” with instructions that it should be published if he went missing for more than 48 hours.

In it, Wang vowed to use non-violent methods to stand against Chinese laws he believed were against the Bible and God.

“My saviour Christ also requires me to joyfully bear all costs for disobeying wicked laws,” Wang wrote. “I am filled with anger and disgust at the persecution of the church by this Communist regime, at the wickedness of their depriving people of the freedoms of religion and of conscience,” he added.

Wang is boldly pushing back against the government’s harsh treatment of Christians.

“As a pastor of a Christian church, I must denounce this wickedness openly and severely,” Wang wrote. “The calling that I have received requires me to use non-violent methods to disobey those human laws that disobey the Bible and God.”

“Separate me from my wife and children, ruin my reputation, destroy my life and my family – the authorities are capable of doing all of these things,” Wang warned. “However, no one in this world can force me to renounce my faith; no one can make me change my life, and no one can raise me from the dead.”

Read Pastor Wang Yi’s full letter here.

Wang is no stranger to authorities. He was once one of China most prominent civil rights lawyers and intellectuals. In 2005, he had an encounter with Jesus Christ and decided to convert to Christianity.

In his book, The Souls of China, author Ian Johnson features pastor Wang prominently.

“He was also one of the most gifted and intelligent pastors I had ever come across,” Johnson wrote on his website. “Maybe because of his background as a human rights lawyer, or just because he was filled with the Holy Spirit, Wang Yi gave riveting sermons about a huge variety of topics, from problems in society to Biblical history. I felt I learned more from him than probably from any other pastor.”

Wang gave up his law career to pursue his calling as a pastor and started Early Rain Covenant Church in China’s Sichuan province.

His sermons, many of them widely circulated on social media, soon made him a rising star and an important player in the Christian revival that was sweeping China.

All that has come to a screeching halt with his arrest and the closure of the church.

“Wang Yi had long predicted his arrest,” Johnson wrote upon hearing the news of Wang’s detention. “But, it still came as a shock, making clear the government’s intention to rein in independent churches.”

Still, members of his congregation vow to keep meeting, despite the risk of arrest.

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Censorship is Rising And Free Speech Is Diminishing Throughout The World

Forcing compliance requires muzzling your speech, whether its shadow-banning, censorship, label lynching or faux hate-speech. The only practitioners of censorship are autocrats and in most cases, Technocrats. This dangerous trend is producing many martyrs who pay with their very life. ⁃ TN Editor

The European Court of Human Rights ruled that criticism of Muhammad constitutes incitement to hatred — meaning that in Europe, criticizing Muhammad is no longer protected free speech.

What the court has actually done, however, is rule out the possibility of any debate in which a range of various experts and members of the public could take part. Now, it seems, the only views that will be respected in the public forum are those of devout Muslims.

Underage marriages are considered by some countries child abuse or statutory rape, but are acceptable under shari’a law; they also take place in Muslim communities in Western countries such as the UK. This alone is a major reason why platforms must be found to debate the issue instead of sweeping it, as something offensive, under the carpet. Ignoring it is offensive.

Moreover, as some Muslims are often offended by even small matters regarding their faith, such as a toy teddy bear named Mohammad or a prisoner on death row declared innocent — so that mobs take to the streets to condemn, or even kill, those individuals — what now will not be censored in the West?

There are, of course, social settings where it pays to watch your words. Saying you fancy the looks of a mafioso’s new girlfriend could well prove fatal. Spending time with a bunch of Hamas terrorists while expressing your love for Israel might not lead to your premature demise. In London today, young men who make remarks or play music to other youths on the street can wind up stabbed to death. A recent comment on The Independent website claims, “In this country [the UK], some views, regardless of how valid and logical, can result in anything from public rebuke to loss of a job to violence.”

For the most part, we learn how to avoid words or actions that may offend someone or some group, especially if it is known to be prone to violence. Yet these misfortunes are rare and we live our lives on the assumption that in democratic countries, we can speak freely within the norms of civil society. We recognize that in many countries, racist, homophobic, antisemitic, or “Islamophobic” hate speech can be reported to the police and lead to the arrest and eventual trial of the speaker. The United States’ First Amendment to its Constitution protects its citizens from prosecution for free speech, except where there is a credible threat of “Imminent lawless action.”

If angry exchanges take place, they are just a consequence of living in countries where free speech and unfettered opinion are cherished. We have seen what happens in countries where there is no free speech –as the Soviet Union or present day Pakistan (herehere and here); it often is not pretty and in much of the West is regarded as well worth the trade-off.

Particular sensitivities surround religious ideas, and histories. Nowhere is this more apparent today than in the instance of Islam, where anything untoward, especially statements that even a few people may consider blasphemous — such as young schoolchildren naming a toy teddy bear Mohammad, a common enough name in the Sudan — might be treated as criminal offences. In the West, within secular democratic states, most churches mercifully appear no longer interested in controlling matters such as blasphemy. When I lived in the Irish Republic in the 1960s and early 1970s, the Catholic Church held a tight grip on society. Books were banned, including by James Joyce, D.H. Lawrence and all of Sigmund Freud. Films and plays were also banned or censored. The intolerant ban on Catholicsstudying at Trinity College Dublin perpetuated injustice. Since the 1960s, however, we now have same-sex marriage, women’s right to abortion, and an openly gay Taoiseach (Prime Minister). This year, on October 6, a majority of the Irish voted in a referendum to abolish the blasphemy law that had been in its constitution since 1937. The country has liberalized remarkably.

Ironically, while Ireland’s 2010 blasphemy law was still technically on the books (although never actually implemented ), the 57-state Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) – consisting of 56 mostly Muslim states plus “Palestine” — cited it in 2009 during an attempt to impose an international blasphemy law on the UN. Also in 2009, the government had passed a new Irish Defamation Act that contained a full definition of the blasphemy law (the one abolished this year). This vote took place during a committee meeting for the 13th session of the UN Human Rights Council. The proposal, made on behalf of the OIC by Pakistan, used the Irish definition:

38.1 States parties shall prohibit by law the uttering of matters that are grossly abusive or insulting in relation to matters held sacred by any religion thereby causing outrage among a substantial number of the adherents to that religion.

We do not know if the principal motivation for the OIC came less from a concern about religions that Muslims might consider entirely false, abrogated and inferior, such as Judaism or Christianity, or more from a concern that no one should be allowed to criticize Islam.

In any event, Ireland finally woke up to the injustice of its blasphemy law, and the damage it was doing to its growing reputation as a country purporting to observe human rights.

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Technocracy In China Completely Intolerant Of Christian Churches

Scientism believes that truth is only discovered through scientific inquiry, not by faith or religious books. Thus, there is zero tolerance for practicing Christianity and Christians are branded as being anti-government. ⁃ TN Editor

About 100 worshipers at an unofficial church in southwestern China were snatched from their homes or from the streets in coordinated raids which began on Sunday evening.




Tech Elites Recreate Burning Man Inside Their Living Rooms

The annual Burning Man festival in Black Rock, Nevada is Big Tech’s pinnacle of paganism, eastern mysticism and social engineering. The original title of this article indicates their desire to continue the Burning Man experience throughout the year. ⁃ TN Editor

To Chad Mureta, a Silicon Valley app guru, the intimate salons of Jess Magic, a New Age troubadour, are “like drugs, without taking anything.”

To Sanjiv Sidhu, a so-called software savant whose fortune was once estimated at over $6 billion, Magic’s invitation-only salons are the perfect escape from a business culture where one-upmanship is “crowding out our need to connect.”

To Jason Silva, the tech futurist and TV personality, her gatherings are a safe space for entrepreneurs who “sacrifice friendships, relationships and time,” only to “realize that it’s lonely at the top.”

Tech elites who are looking for more than extra zeros in their bank statements are finding it in an unlikely place: so-called songversations, emotion-heavy gatherings that combine philosophical rap sessions with improvised music, run by a ukulele-strumming songstress who describes herself as a “heartist.”

Branded as “Soul Salons,” they import the cosmic-explorer sensibility of Burning Man’s dusty playa into the cozy living rooms of prominent entrepreneurs, where they sing freestyle on topics as diverse as environmental degradation and heartbreak. Think of it as a free-jazz equivalent of an Esalen retreat.

The tech A-list is a curious place to land for Magic, 37, who speaks in the soothing tones of a massage therapist and divides her time between Cardiff, California, and Bali, Indonesia. Until a few years ago, Magic ran a nonprofit for survivors of sexual trauma.

Despite her wood-nymph aura, or maybe because of it, Magic has found herself in some button-down circles. In 2016, she performed at the Women Economic Forum in New Delhi and at a star-studded birthday party of her friend Ken Howery, a founder of PayPal, on Necker Island.

“I don’t know if you’d call this a breakthrough,” she said, “but I got Peter Thiel to sing along and Elon Musk to smile.”

Magic, who seems to approach every topic with a sense of giddy wonder, as if she just fell in love five minutes ago, believes that her appeal is rooted in the spiritual hollowness so many business elites feel, despite their wealth.

“The finance and tech scene is still riding the waves of hypermasculine values,” she said. “Coffee to get through the day, alcohol to wind down, then sleeping pills at night to turn off the mind from all that they have going on.”

“People forget that they are human beings rather than human doings,” she added.

Enter the Soul Salon, which Magic calls “a play date for your inner child” and performs as a “gift,” she said (although guests are invited to “contribute in accordance with the value they feel they received”).

The salons usually start with a theme — say, the emptiness of consumer culture. As key phrases arise, Magic will begin strumming and humming, weaving those lines of dialogue into a lilting melody. The effect is vaguely akin to Joni Mitchell performing freestyle rap at Davos.

As the extemporaneous song grows, others join in with musings of their own, call-and-response style. Not every captain of industry can carry a tune, of course, but that’s not the point. As Magic likes to say, “We don’t sing to be good, we sing to be free.”

Andrew Hewitt, creator of GameChangers 500, which ranks the world’s top “for-benefit” businesses, said he has “witnessed some of the headiest Silicon Valley titans be deeply touched through these experiences.”

“For people who live most of the time in their head,” Hewitt said, “this feels like magic.”

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Pope Francis’ Bait And Switch: Traditional Theology For Global Warming

Millions of Catholics are perplexed and disillusioned by Pope Francis’ rejection of traditional church theology in favor of the radical environmentalism of global warming and the U.N.’s Sustainable Development. Also, his dedication to Communist theology is clearly seen by the symbol worn around his neck: Jesus crucified upon the hammer and sickle of the former USSR.  ⁃ TN Editor

A most disturbing image (Figure 1) appeared in 2015 when former Argentinian citizen Jorge Mario Bergoglio visited an old friend, in his new job as Pope Francis. The friend was Bolivian Marxist President Evo Morales. He gave him a ‘communist crucifix,’ that depicted Jesus crucified on a hammer and sickle. The only plausible reason he would give such a bizarre gift is that he recognized a ‘fellow traveler.’

Figure 1

The Pope later tried to claim it was “protest art” but only after the backlash. Notice he also has a chain around his neck with the insignia on it. Morales made sure he could not simply hand off the symbol to an aide. When you examine the Pope’s involvement with the global warming issue you understand why the charge that he is a Marxist has credibility. The situation was not missed by cartoonists, the most astute observers of society (Figure 2). The problem is the proposed solution to anthropogenic global warming (AGW) is a reduced and globally controlled population, which are the antithesis of the Catholic credo of go forth and multiply.

“Is the Pope Catholic?” was a reliable truism until Pope Francis was elected. Now, many believe it is not true because of his actions. First, let me make clear that there is a difference between Christianity and the Catholic Church and it is essential to understand the difference to understand what is happening. The problem is common to all things in society because everything from a book, to a business, to a country, to a religion, starts with an idea. If the idea is to gain traction, it always needs an organized structure to spread and maintain it. Invariably, the structure becomes more important than the idea and both begin to fail. It is occurring in the US as people realize they have drifted too far from the original idea set out in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. The structure, government, has become bigger than the idea.

The Catholic church is a structure that many people believe was necessary to disseminate and control the faith. It gradually became more important than Christianity, until Martin Luther called for a reformation, a return to Christianity in 1517.  It drifts again today, as the Pope’s actions underscore.

Figure 2

I became aware of the problems the church’s position created for Catholics when I received a call from a religious group about global warming was from the editor of the Scottish Catholic parishioner’s magazine. She explained that parishioners were upset because the Bishop directed all priests to give sermons about global warming. The woman described the parishioners view as biblical, and cited

“Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”

Pope Francis began advocating the global warming (AGW) agenda of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), with the help of the Obama White House. It is hard to believe he didn’t know their ultimate objective was to reduce and control population, which contradicts Catholic doctrine. The irony is that as a Jesuit, the ideological church police, he should know, but apparently, his personal and political and economic perspective trumps it. He also doesn’t appear to know that population control comes naturally with industrial and economic development. He was aware that his connection to the Jesuits was a handicap. He is the first Jesuit in history to become Pope. Despite that, he took the name of Francis to align himself with the most socialist of saints, Francis of Assisi. He was one of the wealthiest people of his time and with a grand gesture gave everything away and wandered around in a brown robe with bare feet administering to animals and the poor. The ideal image for Jorge Mario Bergoglio, but not for a Jesuit Pope.

Coercion of the Pope to the global warming message began during the Obama era when John Kerry visited the Vatican, reportedly to discuss Middle East issues. Most Americans think Kerry is an Irish Catholic. In fact, the Kerry family came from a small town that is now part of the Czech Republic. The New York Times reported that before emigrating to America, the Kerry’s changed their name from Kohn and converted from Judaism to Catholicism.

The Obama administration cemented the connection and involvement of the Pope by sending the top bureaucrat of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Gina McCarthy, to the Vatican. McCarthy said the purpose was to confirm for the Vatican how aligned President Barack Obama and Francis were on climate change. That is that global warming isn’t just an environmental issue, but a public health threat, and an economic opportunity.

These are sentiments expressed by socialist throughout the history of the AGW deception. Senator Timothy Wirth who put the scam on the world stage by holding a Senate hearing in 1988 at which James Hansen (NASA GISS) said, with no evidence, that he was 99% certain humans were causing global warming. Wirth said, in “Science Under Siege” by Michael Fumento that,

“We’ve got to ride the global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing, in terms of economic policy and environmental policy.”

 The last comment parallels the political objective identified by Canadian Environment Minister Christine Stewart, who said,

“No matter if the science of global warming is all phony… climate change provides the greatest opportunity to bring about justice and equality in the world.”

This is precisely what the Pope brought from the slums and poverty of Argentina and wants to believe. Apparently, the Pope, like all socialist ideologues, believes the end justifies the means.  The problem is the AGW agenda is designed to get rid of most of the people on the planet. This was cynically set out in the banner headline that said, “Save the planet, kill yourself.”

Figure 3

The claim that human-caused global warming was destroying the planet came from the Club of Rome (COR) who took the Malthusian idea that world population would outgrow food resources and expanded it to all resources. Their 1972 book Limits to Growth, anticipated the method used for IPCC Reports. It used simple linear trends for population and resources to project global exhaustion and catastrophe. They used computer models to create the illusion of scientific accuracy. Just like the IPCC, all their predictions.

The argument was twofold. Pressure on resources was occurring by natural rates of population increase, and developed nations were using the resources at an accelerated rate. The goal was also twofold. Reduce population overall and reduce industrialization that caused the increased demand on resources.

The Pope either did not think through his commitment to the IPCC claims as expounded by the Obama White House or chose to ignore them. Likely, the persuasion was easy because so many of the false claims fit his socialist ideology. He tried to walk back his commitment by jokingly suggesting he was not promoting population control. He said,

“Some think, excuse me if I use the word, that in order to be good Catholics, we have to be like rabbits…but no,”

The comment drew a sharp response from conservative Catholics who said it promoted birth control. In a trip to the Philippines, he said

“it gives consolation and hope to see so many numerous families who receive children as a real gift of God. They know that every child is a benediction.”

He called “simplistic” the belief that large families were the cause of poverty, blaming it instead on an unjust economic system.

We can all say that the principal cause of poverty is an economic system that has removed the person from the center, and put the god of money there instead.”

And there it is, an anti-capitalist agenda hiding under the guise of caring about the poor.

What is the Pope’s economic policy? The answer is the economic redistribution of wealth by the government or socialism. Now the quote parallels what Pope Francis is identifying in his Encyclical “Laudato Si. Global warming is a front for a broader, anti-capitalist, anti-development, total population control, agenda. The Encyclical is a diktat from the Pope, a person who is claimed as infallible by the Church. What is not widely known are the people the Pope used to help him draft it.

Hans Schellnhuber was Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) at the time he became an advisor to the Vatican. As a member of the IPCC, he accepted their claim that it was an increasingly over-populated world. However, as a Pantheist, he believed the problem was more extreme than even they claimed. One dictionary defines Pantheism as

“the doctrine that God is the transcendent reality of which the material universe and human beings are only manifestations: it involves a denial of God’s personality and expresses a tendency to identify God and nature.” 

Ironically, this is a form of atheism that would create another religion similar to Animism, the worship of nature. This parallels the concept of Gaia, another pseudo-religious exploitation of environmentalism. Schellnhuber believes global warming will solve overpopulation. In Copenhagen in 2009, he said that a 9° F (5°C) rise in global temperature would devastate the Earth’s population.

“In a very cynical way, it’s a triumph for science because at last we have stabilized something –- namely the estimates for the carrying capacity of the planet, namely below 1 billion people,”

This assumes the world is overpopulated, which is entirely false. Most of the world is virtually unpopulated (Figure 4)

Figure 4

The other person the Pope selected to help him prepare the Encyclical was Naomi Klein. Here is how The Guardian described Ms. Klein.

“She is one of the world’s most high-profile social activists and a ferocious critic of 21st-century capitalism. He is one of the pope’s most senior aides and a professor of climate change economics. But this week the secular radical will join forces with the Catholic cardinal in the latest move by Pope Francis to shift the debate on global warming.”

The combination of Schellenhuber and Klein guaranteed a revolutionary Encyclical because Pope Francis accepts that overpopulation and AGW are dangerous enough to supersede fundamental Church doctrine. The Encyclical promotes the same claims and solutions as UN Agenda 21. This includes a transfer of wealth as required by the Kyoto Protocol and its replacement the Green Climate Fund, approved at the Paris Climate Conference. Like the IPCC, the Encyclical uses global warming as justification for a political agenda. The problem is the political agenda contradicts fundamental traditional Catholic belief and teaching. The church always fought against birth control and abortions. A lawsuit filed in New York just a few years ago saw the Church suing the UN and the White House over these issues.

The main theme of the Encyclical is the threat of population growth and its negative impact on the environment. This is not a new concern for the papacy. In a 1968 Encyclical titled Humanae Vitae, Paul VI wrote,

“The changes that have taken place are of considerable importance and varied in nature. In the first place there is the rapid increase in population which has made many fear that world population is going to grow faster than available resources, with the consequence that many families and developing countries would be faced with greater hardships. This can easily induce public authorities to be tempted to take even harsher measures to avert this danger.”

“Also noteworthy is a new understanding of the dignity of woman and her place in society, of the value of conjugal love in marriage and the relationship of conjugal acts to this love.” 

“But the most remarkable development of all is to be seen in man’s stupendous progress in the domination and rational organization of the forces of nature to the point that he is endeavoring to extend this control over every aspect of his own life—over his body, over his mind and emotions, over his social life, and even over the laws that regulate the transmission of life.”

Paul VI starts with the false claim of the threat of overpopulation. This is an interesting position taken by men who will not allow women to be priests and practice the most unnatural behavior of celibacy. As a defrocked priest friend of mine, now married told me, I laugh when I remember, as a single, celibate priest, counseling couples about marriage. Of course, the Church has continuosly imposed or removed the celibacy rule throughout its history. The Catholic church has little to do with Christianity. As George Bernard Shaw said, Christianity is the greatest thing in the world. It is just a pity nobody ever tried it. Pope Francis is making sure as a Marxist that nobody will try it. He is making the new religion of environmentalism and global warming the opiate of the masses.




Technocratic Management Pottery With Glazed Jihadi Management

TN has consistently pointed out the more-than-casual links between modern Islam and Technocracy. Here is an article by a Muslim who laments this incursion of Western thought. ⁃ TN Editor

An overview of the evolution of nearly four decades of Islamic revolution shows that what was the main component of the advancement and advancement of this divine movement is relying on monotheistic faith and indigenous beliefs based on Islamic teachings. As the effects are of these teachings on the various elements of the Islamic revolutionary software can be seen.

One of the effects of this software development is the particular style of management that emerged from the jihadist culture and thought of the Islamic Revolution, which emerged and emerged after the victory of the Islamic Revolution, and can be seen in its efficacy.

The glorious history of the holy defense is a symbol of the effectiveness of the jihadist management, and now, in the Islamic Revolution in the fourth decade, relying on the power of the people and the interior to advance Islamic Iran, the image of the efforts of all the caricons of the revolution, is again the jihadist management that rescues this sensitive arena And strategic.

However, jihadist and jihadist leaders managed to pass the country away from the unpopular imposed war in the first Islamic Revolution in the first decade, but in the second decade of the revolution we saw the reign of the so-called technocrats. Managers who, although claiming to pay expertise, in fact defined expertise against a commitment and were left unidentified by a Islamic regime director under the charge of the revolutionary authorities.

The managers, who, in the wake of the construction of the government and its chairman, rehearsed Western planning for national development, they rewrote the transcripts of the Western prescriptions and prescriptions for so-called modern Iran. Accordingly, technocrats have turned away indigenous, religious, and revolutionary values on the development path. For example, out of a total of 625 people who participated in setting up and approving the “final draft of the second development plan”, only one person was a seminary, the post is “Deputy of Endowment Organization”; he has participated in one of the planning committees. The review of the status of the organization of the former Bundestag and the former administrative and employment organization confirms this view.

The technocrats’ management flow did not survive only in the economic arena and entered the political phase, with the build-up party of the builders-builders rising. Years later, in the 2014 elections, a stream that coincided with the same technocratic leadership once again managed to reach the realm of power in the executive branch, and again the management of technocrats with liberal doctrines again became the powerhouse.

This managerial trend believes that developmental patterns must be pursued in accordance with what is defined in the West, and the prescribed management pattern is also “instrumental management”, that is, a disconnected management of revelatory teachings and reliance on humanity. This management seeks to accept globalization and globalization as a norm and surrenders to it. However, this spectrum of inaccurate executives reads “illiterate” and “inexperienced” and tries to pull out the spectrum from the field.

Technocratic leaders in the eleventh government have gained reliable seats, especially in economic areas, as key ministries and sensitive posts are available to them. Bijan Zanganeh, Minister of Construction and Reforms, has taken over the Ministry of Oil. Massoud Neely is a liberal technocrat economist who is an industrial development strategy and a third development plan for his team. He is the economic advisor to the president and responsible for the macroeconomic planning of the state. Managers such as Akbar Turkan and Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh also have a strong and effective government in the government.

But the technocrats’ management loop that affects the eleventh state has some features:

Wealthy and capitalist executives: some 11th-century government executives have a wealth of thousands of dollars on the basis of their own figures. In general, it can be said that a significant number of economic managers of the eleventh government have, in recent years, embarked on private sector activities, and now operate in parallel both in the government and in the private sector. For example, Mr. Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh, Minister of Industry, Mine and Trade, is a member of the board of directors in 12 private companies that date most of them since 2009.

One site recently released a news release that surprised experts and the community. “The Secretary-General’s sleep at the meeting of the commission” was the headline for sleeping by one of the ministers of the economy at the meeting of the commission. The story was that, apparently, at the meeting of the commission and at the height of the specialized discussions, the audience suddenly realized that Mr. Secretary was sleeping! Therefore, some members of the commission believed that the fatigue and the high level of the minister’s age were due to his sleeping in the meeting.

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Sheikh Zayed: Islam’s Deep Roots In Sustainable Development

Sheikh Zayed, father of the UAE, was an early adopter of environmental practices, indicating the compatibility between sustainable development and the Koran. This affinity may be one reason why Adolf Hitler (a radical ‘green’) had a such a robust relationship with the Islamic world during WWII. In other words, their mutual hatred of Jews may have a reason, but not the only reason for their mutual attraction. ⁃ TN Editor

Long before “sustainable development” became a global buzzword in 1987, the principle of “utilising natural resources to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs” had already been practised by many cultures and individual leaders beyond the Western world.

In this regard the late Sheikh Zayed Sultan Al Nahyan, father of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), stood out for decades.

Last week, Malaysia hosted the visit of a delegation from the Zayed International Foundation for the Environment. Led by its chairman, Prof Mohammad Ahmed Fahad, and its secretary-general, Dr Meshgan Al Awar, the visit was to celebrate the “Year of Zayed”, commemorating the late leader’s contribution to sustainable development.

Introduced in the influential UN report “Our Common Future”, sustainable development is a philosophy that encourages us to conserve and enhance our resource base while meeting basic needs of employment, food, energy, water and sanitation.

The idea quickly went viral, taken up as the theme of the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro — better known as the “Earth Summit”. And, it inspired Agenda 21, the summit’s sustainable development blueprint for the global community.

This was followed by the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg which reviewed progress and focused on water, energy, health, food security, and biodiversity loss.

Twenty years after the Earth Summit — Rio+ 20 — leaders from 192 nations renewed their sustainable development commitment in a non-binding document called “The Future We Want”.

Three years ago, heads of government met again and agreed on the 2030 Development Agenda, committing to 17 sustainable development goals (SDG).

Each interrelated goal relates to a vital social or economic issue such as poverty, hunger, health, education, climate change, gender equality, water, sanitation, energy, urbanisation, environment and social justice. And, each goal has its own set of targets (169 in total across the 17 goals).

Notwithstanding the global processes taking place in the UAE, the late Sheikh Zayed exemplified a leader who walked the sustainable development talk. He is considered one of the world’s greatest conservationists, one whose foresight and vision long preceded the present-day global environmental movement.

According to Zayed: “We cherish our environment because it is an integral part of our country. On land and in the sea, our forefathers lived and survived in this environment. They were able to do so only because they recognised the need to conserve it, to take from it only what they needed to live and to preserve it for succeeding generations.”

“With God’s will, we shall continue to work to protect our environment and our wildlife, as did our forefathers before us. It is a duty, and, if we fail, our children, rightly, will reproach us for squandering an essential part of their inheritance, and of our heritage.”

Sheikh Zayed founded a programme to protect the country’s wildlife and created a sanctuary for endangered species such as the Arabian Oryx and the Sand Gazelle. Among the results: the symbol of Abu Dhabi, the Dorcas Gazelle, is a protected species and its numbers are increasing. Sheikh Zayed also reintroduced traditional methods of desert agriculture, ensuring that Abu Dhabi will be greener and more fertile.

Sheikh Zayed was born into an inhospitable, arid environment, so when he was appointed the Ruler’s Representative to the Eastern Region of Abu Dhabi in 1946, he immediately started to secure a more reliable and sustainable supply of water. He set out to preserve the heritage of falconry and hunting, and, at the same time, ensure the long-term survival of falcons and their prey. He also introduced a humane face to the sport, which he considered art and an invaluable heritage.

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