As number of Christians Rise or Fall, So Do 100 Country’s Credit Ratings

 

Study finds surprising correlation between sovereign ratings and changes in Christian populations—especially evangelicals.
As Christians Rise or Fall, So Do 100 Country Credit Ratings Courtesy of Dick Slikker/ARDA

Should a country’s Christians-to-debt ratio be added to the list of economic indicators worth watching? Or more specifically, its evangelicals-to-debt ratio?

According to a study of more than 100 nations, changes in the percentage of Christians—especially evangelicals—in a given country have a direct correlation to economic well-being.

Dutch researcher Dick Slikker wanted to assess the Marxist theory that increases in prosperity lead to decreases in religious practice. So he examined the past decade’s worth of data from countries including the United States, Belgium, China, Germany, Iceland, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and the United Kingdom. His research used Operation World and the World Religion Database for its data on changes in the percentage of Christians in each country, while studies from Moody’s Analytics and Fitch Ratings provided data on changes in the economic status of each country, particularly its sovereign credit rating.

His conclusion: “Changes in the percentage of Christians within a society exert a measurable correlated influence of the economic well-being of that society.”

“When using total Christian populations per country, statistically significant positive linear correlations were obtained in seven out of eight combinations of data source, rating agency and either five- or ten-year interval.” Slikker notes in his abstract.

Furthermore, within the three subsets of Christianity studied—Protestants, Catholics, and evangelicals—it was evangelicals that proved to have the highest rate of correlation with economic wellbeing.

Slikker told CT, “Four out of the four (100 percent) models for evangelicals are significant, and six out of the eight (75 percent) models for Protestants are significant.” By contrast, only 50 percent of the models for Catholics proved significant. The study also noted the correlation in a nation’s Muslim population, finding it to have no effect on the economy in all but one case, which was a negative effect.

Slikker’s study joins others that have found mixed results on whether the “Protestant work ethic” exists or not. A 2009 Harvard study found no empirical evidence of economic benefit. However, another recent study found that the effects of unemployment hurt Protestant societies more than societies that are less Protestant.

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‘Manchurian president’ ushering in Islamic caliphate?

WND EXCLUSIVE

Published: 22 hours ago

‘A tidal wave of change already reaping disastrous results

Since assuming office, President Obama has weakened America both domestically and abroad by emboldening U.S. enemies and tacitly supporting Muslim Brotherhood revolutions that have empowered Islamic radicals, charges a new book.

In “Impeachable Offenses: The Case to Remove Barack Obama from Office,”New York Times bestselling authors Aaron Klein and Brenda J. Elliott demonstrate that Obama’s policies have been helping to install Muslim Brotherhood-friendly regimes to the detriment of U.S. national security and world stability.

“Obama’s policies are installing political Islam throughout the Middle East and North Africa in a tidal wave of change already reaping disastrous results for those regions as well as for U.S. interests there,” write Klein and Elliott.

The authors compare Obama’s actions to the policies of Jimmy Carter, which weakened the secular Shah’s regime in Iran, arguably ushering in a Shiite Islamic revolution that continues to this day to support and carry out acts of terrorism worldwide.

Aaron Klein’s “Impeachable Offenses: The Case to Remove Barack Obama from Office” is available now, autographed, at WND’s Superstore

Klein and Elliott spotlight the central role Obama played in the downfall of U.S. ally Hosni Mubarak, citing information that indicates elements of the anti-Mubarak uprising in 2011, particularly political aspects, were being coordinated with the U.S.

“Impeachable Offenses”presents new information the Obama administration worked behind the scenes with the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood to facilitate a transfer of power after Mubarak’s resignation.

Islamic caliphate?

Mubarak was only the beginning, write Klein and Elliott. Obama’s support for a U.S. ally’s ouster and replacement with radical Islamic elements would be repeated numerous times in the Middle East and North Africa, to the great detriment of the American war on terror, the authors write.

“Impeachable Offenses” spotlights Obama’s role in the downfall of Tunisian President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, who fled Tunisia Jan. 14, 2011. Ben Ali largely was seen as an ally of the West, even working behind the scenes with Israel on occasion.

Another U.S. ally forced to step down after mass protests was Yemen’s president Ali Abdullah Saleh, who was considered a crucial ally in the U.S. fight against al-Qaida in his country and throughout the Middle East.

Klein and Elliott present evidence Obama was involved in Saleh’s ouster, which brought the Muslim Brotherhood-founded Islah party to rule.

The U.S. similarly has called for the king of Morocco, Mohammed VI, one of the most Western-oriented leaders in North Africa, to open his monarchy to a power-sharing agreement with a new parliament to be voted on by the people.

While the king still retains vast powers, he now shares in a coalition government with the Justice and Development Party, which won a plurality of the vote, the first under the country’s new constitution. The party advocates a society governed by Islam and has been described as an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Book makes impeachment case

Klein and Elliott bill their book as a well-documented indictment of Obama based on major alleged violations.

Among the alleged offenses enumerated in the book:

  • Obamacare not only is unconstitutional but illegally bypasses Congress, infringes on states’ rights and marking an unprecedented and unauthorized expansion of IRS power.
  • Sidestepping Congress, Obama already has granted largely unreported de facto amnesty to millions of illegal aliens using illicit interagency directives and executive orders.
  • The Obama administration recklessly endangered the public by releasing from prison criminal illegal aliens at a rate far beyond what is publicly known.
  • The president’s personal role in the Sept. 11, 2012, Benghazi attack, with new evidence regarding what was transpiring at the U.S. mission prior to the assault – arguably impeachable activities in and of themselves.
  • Illicit edicts on gun control in addition to the deadly “Fast and Furious” gun-running operation intended, the book shows, to collect fraudulent gun data.
  • From “fusion centers” to data mining to drones to alarming Department of Homeland Security power grabs, how U.S. citizens are fast arriving at the stage of living under a virtual surveillance regime.
  • New evidence of rank corruption, cronyism and impeachable offenses related to Obama’s first-term “green” funding adventures.
  • The illegality of leading a U.S.-NATO military campaign without congressional approval.
  • Obama has weakened America both domestically and abroad by emboldening enemies, tacitly supporting a Muslim Brotherhood revolution, spurning allies and minimizing the threat of Islamic fundamentalism.

This is Klein and Elliott’s fourth book investigating the Obama administration. The other titles are “Fool Me Twice,” “Red Army” and “The Manchurian President.”

Obama administration had restrictions on NSA reversed in 2011

The Obama administration secretly won permission from a surveillance court in 2011 to reverse restrictions on the National Security Agency’s use of intercepted phone calls and e-mails, permitting the agency to search deliberately for Americans’ communications in its massive databases, according to interviews with government officials and recently declassified material.

In addition, the court extended the length of time that the NSA is allowed to retain intercepted U.S. communications from five years to six years — and more under special circumstances, according to the documents, which include a recently released 2011 opinion by U.S. District Judge John D. Bates, then chief judge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

Read the document

Obama

Declassified 2011 FISA court ruling

Opinion struck down an NSA program that unlawfully gathered thousands of electronic communications between Americans.

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What had not been previously acknowledged is that the court in 2008 imposed an explicit ban — at the government’s request — on those kinds of searches, that officials in 2011 got the court to lift the bar and that the search authority has been used.

Together the permission to search and to keep data longer expanded the NSA’s authority in significant ways without public debate or any specific authority from Congress. The administration’s assurances rely on legalistic definitions of the term “target” that can be at odds with ordinary English usage. The enlarged authority is part of a fundamental shift in the government’s approach to surveillance: collecting first, and protecting Americans’ privacy later.

“The government says, ‘We’re not targeting U.S. persons,’ ” said Gregory T. Nojeim, senior counsel at the Center for Democracy and Technology. “But then they never say, ‘We turn around and deliberately search for Americans’ records in what we took from the wire.’ That, to me, is not so different from targeting Americans at the outset.”

The court decision allowed the NSA “to query the vast majority” of its e-mail and phone call databases using the e-mail addresses and phone numbers of Americans and legal residents without a warrant, according to Bates’s opinion.

The queries must be “reasonably likely to yield foreign intelligence information.” And the results are subject to the NSA’s privacy rules.

The court in 2008 imposed a wholesale ban on such searches at the government’s request, said Alex Joel, civil liberties protection officer at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI). The government included this restriction “to remain consistent with NSA policies and procedures that NSA applied to other authorized collection activities,” he said.

But in 2011, to more rapidly and effectively identify relevant foreign intelligence communications, “we did ask the court” to lift the ban, ODNI general counsel Robert S. Litt said in an interview. “We wanted to be able to do it,” he said, referring to the searching of Americans’ communications without a warrant.

Al-Qaeda Vows to Slaughter Christians After U.S. ‘Liberates’ Syria.


Al-Qaeda Vows to Slaughter Christians After U.S. ‘Liberates’ Syria.HT: Raymond Ibrahim.

While U.S. leaders continue pushing for war against the Syrian government, today “Al-Qaeda-linked rebels,” reports AP, “launched an assault on a regime-held Christian mountain village in the densely populated west of Syria and new clashes erupted near the capital, Damascus, on Wednesday… In the attack on the village of Maaloula, rebels commandeered a mountaintop hotel and nearby caves and shelled the community below, said a nun, speaking by phone from a convent in the village. She spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals.”

Arabic news agency Al Hadath gives more information concerning this latest terror attack on Syria’s Christians, specifically how the al-Qaeda linked rebels “terrorized the Christians, threatening to be avenged on them after the triumph of the revolution.”
Thus al-Qaeda terrorists eagerly await U.S. assistance against the Syrian government, so they can subjugate if not slaughter Syria’s Christians, secularists, and non-Muslims — even as the Obama administration tries to justify war on Syria by absurdly evoking the “human rights” of Syrians on the one hand, and lying about al-Qaeda’s presence in Syria on the other.

Update:

Maaloula – a mountain village of 2,000 residents 60km northeast of Damascus – is home to some of the most ancient Orthodox Christian relics and is a major pilgrimage destination. It’s also one of the very few places in the world where people still speak Aramaic, a biblical-era language Jesus is believed to have spoken.

Following the suicide bombing, al-Nusra rebels and government forces traded fire, with the rebels eventually seizing the checkpoint and taking over a hotel on a mountain overlooking the village, according the Observatory and a local nun.

Rebels also disabled two tanks and an armored personnel carrier and killed eight regime soldiers during the fighting.

From the mountaintop hotel, rebels fired shells into the village, forcing around 80 people to take refuge in a convent, the nun said.

A Syrian government official has confirmed the attack, AP reported.

Bikers to counter Muslim 9/11 march to DC

 
 
 

 

Grass-roots movement plans to descend on Washington on 9/11 Published: 17 hours ago


Muslims who have begun promoting a 9/11 march in Washington that originally was to protest “anti-Islamic bigotry in the U.S.” and then turned into a “March Against Fear” may have some competition.

Loud competition. Very loud. And lots of it.

In what was a virtual impossibility before the Internet, a Facebook page has been created in which many individuals are coordinating what they have dubbed “2 Million Bikers to DC.”

At the Mr. Conservative blog, the author said: “The best way to counter bad speech is to oppose it with good speech. Sometimes ‘speech’ can be expressed simply by the number of people who are willing to show up to support a principle. That’s the view that hundreds of bikers (so far) across American have as they prepare to join a ’2 Million Biker Ride to DC’ to counter the planned Sept. 11 ‘Million Muslim March.’”

On the Facebook page, the community purpose is described as: “To honor those who were killed on 911 and our armed forces who fought those who precipitated this attack!”

More than 16,000 “likes” had been generated in just a short time.

“We have now created the final phase for states to coordinate! All riders need to look at the state list, choose your state and request to be added! Several states still need coordinators,” is included in the instructions.

Four dozen pages to coordinate delegations from individuals states already exist.

A Ronald Curaba said: “Who ever comments I would like to do this … should shut up and show up! Im a retired FDN Lt. I should be at my old firehouse where I was on that ill fated day …. but I will be in DC riding! God willing!”

Added Bryan Short: “How appropriate. A million muslims surrounded by 2 million hogs!”

 

‘Peaceful’ Brotherhood Protesters Torching Coptic Christian Churches | National Review Online

‘Peaceful’ Brotherhood Protesters Torching Coptic Christian Churches

By Andrew C. McCarthy

August 14, 2013 10:49 AM

 

In the familiar pattern, the Western media are focused on the military raids against Islamic supremacists in Egypt but ignoring the latter’s use of violence and of women and children as human shields. After all, the “protesters” say they are “peaceful.”

When not similarly ignored, Islamic supremacist aggression against Egypt’s Christians — which was a prominent feature of Muslim Brotherhood governance — is disingenuously reported. Take this AFP report of the fact that the Brotherhood and its allies are torching Coptic churches. The AFP endeavors to exculpate the Islamic supremacists by editorializing, in the report, that these were “reprisal” attacks. But the Brotherhood was not ousted by the minority Copts. To be sure, the Copts far prefer to take their chances with a largely secular, technocratic government backed by the armed forces than the rampant persecution they endured while the Brotherhood was running the show. But it is the army, not the Copts, who ejected Morsi. AFP tries to obscure this by recounting that “the Coptic church backed Morsi’s removal, with Patriarch [i.e., Pope] Tawadros II appearing alongside army chief General Fattah al-Sisi as he announced the military coup.” As I observed in writing about the coup in the August 5 edition of National Review, however, Pope Tawadros was hardly alone — General Sisi also gathered by his side significant Islamic supremacist leaders: Grand Mufti Ahmed al-Tayeb of al-Azhar University and leaders of the Salafist al-Nour party (in addition to prominent secularists).

The Brotherhood is not “retaliating” against Christians. Islamic supremacists are persecuting Christians . . . which is what they do in Muslim-majority countries.

via ‘Peaceful’ Brotherhood Protesters Torching Coptic Christian Churches | National Review Online.

Liberal media love new Jesus book ‘Zealot’

However, they fail to mention author is a devote Muslim offering a opinion

  • 660-Zealot-cover.jpg

Reza Aslan, author of the new book, “Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth” has been interviewed on a host of media outlets in the last week. Riding a publicity wave, the book has surged to #2 on Amazon’s list.

Media reports have introduced Aslan as a “religion scholar” but have failed to mention that he is a devout Muslim.

His book is not a historian’s report on Jesus. It is an educated Muslim’s opinion about Jesus — yet the book is being peddled as objective history on national TV and radio.

“Zealot” is a fast-paced demolition of the core beliefs that Christianity has taught about Jesus for 2,000 years.

Aslan is not a trained historian. Like tens of thousands of us he has been formally educated in theology and New Testament Greek.

He is a bright man with every right to hold his own opinion about Jesus—and to proselytize his opinion.

As a sincere man, Aslan’s Muslim beliefs affect his entire life, including his conclusions about Jesus. But this is not being disclosed. “Zealot” is being presented as objective and scholarly history, not as it actually is—an educated Muslim’s opinions about Jesus and the ancient Near East.

“Zealot” is a fast-paced demolition of the core beliefs that Christianity has taught about Jesus for 2,000 years. Its conclusions are long-held Islamic claims—namely, that Jesus was a zealous prophet type who didn’t claim to be God, that Christians have misunderstood him, and that the Christian Gospels are not the actual words or life of Jesus but “myth.”

These claims are not new or unique. They are hundreds of years old among Muslims. Sadly, readers who have listened to interviews on NPR, “The Daily Show,” Huffington Post or MSNBC may pick up the book expecting an unbiased and historic report on Jesus and first century Jewish culture. (I will let my Jewish friends address Aslan’s statement on MSNBC that, “there were certainly a lot of Jewish terrorists in first century Palestine.”)

As a journalist and author who is Christian I cannot imagine penning a so-called objective biography of Muhammad and then concealing my conflict of interest in national media interviews.