Population: 61,680,122 (July 2014 est.)
Ethnic groups: Italian (includes small clusters of German-, French-, and Slovene-Italians in the north and Albanian-Italians and Greek-Italians in the south)
Religions: Christian 80% (overwhelmingly Roman Catholic with very small groups of Jehovah's Witnesses and Protestants), Muslim (about 800,000 to 1 million), Atheist and Agnostic 20%
History of Italy:
The Etruscan civilization was dominant until it was overthrown by the Romans in the 3rd century B.C. From 800 A.D. on, the Holy Roman Emperors, Roman Catholic popes, Normans, and Saracens all vied for control over segments of the Italian peninsula. Although Italy remained politically fragmented for centuries, it became the cultural center of the Western world from the 13th to the 16th century.
In 1713, after the War of the Spanish Succession, Milan, Naples, and Sardinia were handed over to the Hapsburgs of Austria. After 1800, Italy was unified by Napoléon, who crowned himself king of Italy in 1805. Austria became the dominant power again through the Congress of Vienna in 1815. Austrian armies crushed Italian uprisings in 1820-1821 and 1831. Giuseppe Mazzini founded a secret society, La giovine Italia (Young Italy), in 1831 with the goal to create a united Italian republic.
Count Camille di Cavour, prime minister of Sardinia in 1852 and the architect of a united Italy, joined England and France in the Crimean War (1853-1856). In 1860, Giuseppe Garibaldi conquered Sicily and Naples and turned them over to Sardinia. Victor Emmanuel II, king of Sardinia, was proclaimed king of Italy in 1861. The annexation of Venetia in 1866 and of papal Rome in 1870 marked the complete unification of Italy into one nation under a constitutional monarchy.
Italy declared its neutrality at the outbreak of World War I. In 1915, Italy entered the war on the side of the Allies. Benito (“Il Duce”) Mussolini organized discontented Italians in 1919 into the Fascist Party to "rescue Italy from Bolshevism." He led his Black Shirts in a march on Rome, and became prime minister on October 28, 1922, establishing a Fascist dictatorship.
Mussolini led Italy with the invasion and annexation of Ethiopia in 1935 and allied with Adolf Hitler in the Rome-Berlin Axis in 1936. In World War II, when the Allies invaded Italy in 1943, Mussolini's dictatorship collapsed. He was executed on April 28, 1945. A democratic republic replaced the monarchy in 1946. The peace treaty of September 15, 1947, required Italian renunciation of all claims in Ethiopia and Greece.
Italy became a founding member of the NATO in 1949 and the European Economic Community (later the EU) in 1958. An outbreak of terrorist activities by the Red Brigades threatened domestic stability in the 1970s, but by the early 1980s the terrorist groups had been suppressed. "Revolving door" governments, political instability, scandal, and corruption characterized Italian politics in the 1980s and 1990s.
In January 1999, Italy adopted the euro as its currency. Carlo Ciampi was elected president in May.
In June 2001, Silvio Berlusconi was sworn in as prime minister. Critics were alarmed by the apparent conflict of interest of a prime minister who also owned 90% of Italy's media. He was accused of having Mafia connections and was under indictment for tax fraud and bribery. He was found guilty in three out of four trials, but was acquitted in all of them on appeal.
In parliamentary elections held in April 2006, the Union coalition led by Romano Prodi won 49.8% of the vote and Berlusconi's House of Liberties coalition won 49.7%. Berlusconi called for a recount, but eventually relented. Prodi's government proved fragile almost immediately. He submitted his resignation in February 2007. The Senate narrowly passed a vote of confidence in Prodi's government and he remained in office.
In January 2008, the Udeur party left the coalition, costing Prodi his majority in the Senate. He survived a no-confidence vote in the lower house of Parliament, but lost in the Senate, forcing his government to resign.
On April 15, 2008, Berlusconi and his government won the elections and he was sworn in for his third term as prime minister on May 8.
On July 23, 2008, the Senate and lower chamber approved a bill that grants immunity to the four most powerful elected officials while they are in office, including the prime minister, the president, and the speakers of the two chambers of Parliament.
In November 2008, Italy was declared officially in recession after two consecutive quarters of negative growth.
An 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck the Abruzzo region in April 2009. At least 275 people were killed and 28,000 were left homeless. The town of L'Aquila was the epicenter of the earthquake.
In August 2010, Silvio Berlusconi's coalition lost its majority amid a row with Gianfranco Fini, the leader of the People of Freedom (PdL) party. Tension culminated when Fini and more than 30 deputies broke with the party to form a "party within a party." The split led to a vote of confidence in December, which Berlusconi barely survived.
In January 2011, the Constitutional Court partially lifted Berlusconi's immunity. The ruling reactivated three trials against him, including one in which his former tax lawyer David Mills, was convicted of taking a bribe in exchange for false testimony. In February, prosecutors in Milan filed criminal charges against Berlusconi for prostitution and abuse of office. On February 13, thousands of protestors poured into the streets in Italian cities to demonstrate against Berlusconi's treatment of women.
In May 2011, the Berlusconi-backed incumbent candidate for mayor of Milan, Letizia Moratti, was defeated by Giuliano Pisapia.
In July 2011, Italy's borrowing costs rose almost one full percentage point from the previous month, climbing to its highest rate in more than a decade. Parliament passed a 54 billion euro ($74 billion) austerity package in September, which sparked protests and a confidence vote on Berlusconi that he narrowly won. The European Union (EU) demanded another round of austerity measures in November. Berlusconi promised to resign once the measures passed parliament. The Senate passed the plan on November 11 and Berlusconi stepped down on November 12. Mario Monti took over.
In December 2012, Monti resigned after losing the support of Berlusconi's People of Freedom party.
Parliamentary elections held in February 2013 were inconclusive. The Democratic Party, led by Pier Luigi Bersani, narrowly won in the lower house, but did not secure a majority in the Senate, and could not form a government. Stock markets in the EU tumbled amid the uncertainty over the future of Europe's third largest economy. On November 28, Silvio Berlusconi was stripped of his Senate seat in the face of a plague of legal troubles.
On December 10, 2013, Matteo Renzi became leader of the Democratic Party. After negotiating a in January 2014 with opposition leader Berlusconi, Renzi was sworn in as prime minister on February 22. For the first time in history, half of the governing cabinet was made up of women.
In spring of 2014, Silvio Berlusconi was sentenced to one year of community service following his conviction for tax fraud.
On February 3, 2015, Sergio Mattarella became the first native of Sicily to become president after the retirement of Giorgio Napolitano.
The Future of Europe: 8.11.2000
Man versus God is the battle that the majority of Europeans are in. Europe has now become the dark continent where most people live their lives in direct violation of the laws of God (Jesus Christ). Men have tried to eradicate even the knowledge of God by burning Bibles, closing churches and persecuting true Christians. Traditions, myths, fairy tales, philosophies, science, medicine, religions, sports etc., has taken the place of obedience to the Holy Scriptures (Colossians 2:8). Humanism is simply man choosing his own set of values, beliefs and morality instead of submitting to God's standards. Humanism or secularism in the Bible is called "idolatry".
Man wants to constantly blame God for all his misfortunes and the injustice found in society. Men constantly make statements showing their total ignorance of the Word of God and God's character. For example, "If God existed then why did he allow Hitler to kill millions of Jews," or, "If God exists why is there so much needless fighting and countless wars; why the rapes, incest and poverty etc." The answer is so very simple yet so difficult for the proud to understand.
The Bible tells us that people's pride make them unable to understand basic truth. Pride causes rebellion and rejects truth so a spirit of deception takes over. 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12 reads, "And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness." The truth is that God is not ruling the world today, man is. Man is responsible for the wars, rapes and deaths not God. You first must understand how you are made to be able to understand why God does not interfere with your decisions. But, because God does not interfere with your decisions, you cannot blame him for your problems. If God did intervene, would not you then blame Him for being a tyrant and making you a robot? Men must face the truth; they cannot have it both ways. Either God interferes in our lives thus making us inhuman without free choice to govern our own destiny, or God allows for free choice of decisions (giving the possibility of real love and obedience). Genesis 1:27, "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them." People are totally different than the animals. God breathed his Holy Spirit into man thus morality. Genesis 1:26, "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth." People have a conscience, knowing good from evil intuitively. Animals perform by instinct. God made man to have sex for pleasure, intimacy, fellowship and reproduction. The only restrictions placed upon man by God is that sex is to be within the confines of marriage and that man is responsible for the life that he chooses to create during that sexual experience (Psalms 127:3). Once again we must understand that man is created like God. Man's very constitution is made like God so man cannot go against the components of his very fabric, lest he breaks the laws of his own creation and starts to self-destruct as glass, rubber or any other creation deteriorates and breaks when used improperly. Man is made to experience the utmost in happiness, fulfillment, satisfaction and enjoyment when having sex with his lifelong partner in marriage. Genesis 2:18, 21-24 God said, "...It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a help meet for him... And the Lord God, caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh." Emotional problems (psychosomatic diseases), physical diseases, mental sicknesses and spiritual death result when men tamper with the way they were created.
Immorality blasphemes marriage as an institution created by God to protect the sanctity of marriage and sexual intercourse. Immorality is a manifestation of idolatry which is rebellion against God and subtly destroys a person and nation as a beast mentality starts to replace the human soul from the living attributes of God. Marriage has responsibilities toward one another so a person doesn't become totally selfish (a beast), which is total insensitivity to the needs of anyone other than himself. Immorality manifests its filthy destruction upon the human race (soul) of mankind in the following different forms: fornication, adultery, homosexuality, lesbianism, cross-dressing, incest, sodomy, rape, bestiality, prostitution, pornography, etc.
People are so hypocritical. They want to govern their own affairs yet they want to blame God for the consequences of their decisions. People must take responsibility for their decisions and actions. God is not to blame for Hitler killing 6 millions Jews. People are to blame for voting him into office and not rising up against his anti-human actions. Nations once again are made up of people and they are also to blame for not stopping him sooner. God is not responsible for the poverty in the countries today. Selfish leaders and people are to blame for wanting more than others have and having no real compassion on society other than lying to people to get voted into office so they can use their position to advance their own lives. In the Bible, Jesus was kind to the woman caught in adultery. He did not judge her or condemn her but He forgave her and told her to go and sin no more. But to the religious leaders who were twisting the word of God to control the people, he was harsh and openly rebuked them (Matthew 23:1-39). All true prophets in the Scriptures used strong harsh words for rebuking both religious and governmental leadership. (Jeremiah 12:10; 14:13-16; 23:1-3,11-32; 1 Kings 18:17-18; 21:17-24; John 3:1-10; Luke 3:19-20; etc.) Leadership is responsible for the problems people suffer today in their nations not God. And people are responsible for electing or allowing the leaders to rule over them (1 Samuel 8:6-22).
COMMUNISM crushes the human spirit so people cannot become what God intended them to be consequently producing people that lack in ambition and creativity. CAPITALISM exploits the human spirit to depravity, debauchery, excess and extremes in selfishness, lusts and desires. People become gluttonous without genuine compassion, yet hypocritically involved in different charities to deceive their conscience of the selfishness they really want and enjoy. Selfishness that can justify the killing of a helpless baby inside the mothers womb because the mother doesn't want to take responsibility for her actions, and now wants to kill another human so she can continue to live a self pleasing life as this new human being might interfere with her own life. And now this self- deceived hypocrite wants to be involved in feeding the orphans or some other charitable cause as long as it does not interfere with her life as she already has killed one human being (her unborn baby) that would have interrupted her life. SOCIALISM can never work on earth with men in leadership as the leaders abuse their power and use the people to advance their own agendas, vanities, lusts and power.
Under Communism, Capitalism and Socialism, the humanist, the atheist and the religious develop the personalities, values and habits of the beast mentality. They become gluttonous, pious, proud, arrogant, self centered, biased, jealous, envious. They lie, cheat, steal, gossip, cause dissension, bitterness and strife. They create fights, strife and discord with bitterness and unforgiveness. They twist the Scriptures, picking and choosing what they want to use to manipulate people and live the rebellious lifestyle of a humanist or idolater (Ephesians 5:3-6).
2 Timothy 3:16 tells us that, "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:" The Protestant Bible is the literal word of God, given by God to be studied and used as the supreme source for people to live their lives while on earth. Revelation 22:18-19, gives a severe warning to anyone not to add or subtract from the Scriptures lest he be eternally damned. The Scriptures (Jesus Christ) is the only way for peace on earth, while all other methods cause mankind's problems and eventually eternal death (separation from God when a person dies on earth).
As we read earlier, human beings were made in the image of God. Galatians 5:22-24 tells us the people who are not living in idolatry (humanism) but instead obey the commandments of God in the Scriptures, have the Holy Spirit ruling them which produces the following personality and characteristics: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts." Consequently, utopia will only happen when people who are led by the Holy Spirit are governed by Jesus Christ. This type of government is called a Theocracy and it will be initiated after the battle of Armageddon when Jesus returns to earth to rescue His bride from a man ruled earth (Revelation 16:16-21 and chapters 17-20).
How do human beings created in the image of God with His character and personality, values, beliefs and morality change into an intelligent animal? How do we change into a beast mentality and will finally be led by the Beast of Revelation chapter 13? The answer is found in Romans 1:19-32; "Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed it unto them (instinctively people know there is a God since they are made in God's image). For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse (people have no excuse for not knowing God as the entire creation speaks of God's reality. If man chooses to ignore the evidence it is a matter of choice of that particular person as Scripture tells us that man can know God if he chooses). Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish hearts was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools (the atheist, agnostic and leaders who try and govern society aside from following the Scriptures): And changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things (different religions such as Hinduism etc). Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves (homosexuality). Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, (humanism which is idolatry) who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature (lesbianism): And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly (sodomy), and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which is meet (diseases, gonorrhea, syphilis, AIDS etc.). And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient (Ephesians 5:4; filthiness, foolish talking, jesting). Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who, knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them."
Galatians 5:19-21 tells us the character of a person who rejects Jesus and the Holy Spirit cannot rule their life: "Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these, adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies (doctrines and traditions taught by religious and church leaders that are not substantiated in the Scriptures yet made sacred by a pastor or priest), envyings, murders, drunkenness, revelings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God."
Ladies and gentlemen, the problems in the world today are created by people who have rejected the way they were created and instead of living as human beings in God's likeness (character and values/morality) they now have chosen their own standards and have decreased to the standard of the animal kingdom or beast mentality. We are not ruled by God in today's world. The majority of our leaders both politically and religiously including most church leaders have adapted the beast philosophy, morality and beliefs. They pass laws in parliament which violate the Scriptures, thus they are guilty of idolatry which is one of the sins which bring judgment on a person or society.
Anti-christ stands for lawlessness (1 John 4:1-3), and there is lawlessness in most of the leaders throughout Europe. Both politically, religiously and within most churches, men make their own laws, standards and morality. They even change the laws of God in the Bible to please the rebellious masses or to control them as the scribes and Pharisees did, which Jesus strongly condemned.
Idolatry and immorality bring deterioration on a person or nation when the majority of people within that particular nation are guilty of these two forms of rebellion against God. The third crime which together brings certain destruction upon the individual or nation is described in the Scriptures as "the murder of the innocents" (Exodus 23:6-7; Psalms 106:38-41; Hosea 4:1-6; Leviticus 20:2-6 etc.). Israel became corrupted by the other religions present around them and they legally killed their firstborn by giving them to Molech as a sacrifice. Today people give their firstborn, and many times their second and third born, as a sacrifice to themselves to live the way they want in the sin of abortion. God makes it clear in Scripture (Psalm 139:13-16) that life begins at conception and that he has a special regard for the baby (embryo).
The world is moving fast toward the creation of a "New World Order" but, before it can be initiated the world will see a nuclear war. The "land for peace" plan by Israel and her enemies will fail. For when The Arab League and the PLO get all the land they can get from Israel peacefully, they plan to take the rest by war.
The Prophetic Vision reports that "according to a recent poll conducted by the website Islam On-line, 86.7% of the Arabic and Islamic world does not consider an Israeli withdrawal from Golan and South Lebanon sufficient reason for making peace. 66% consider the Palestinian question and the status of Jerusalem to be the essence of the conflict... What will happen now? The Russian people have elected a question mark. Putin has promised to restore law and order to a chaotic, crime ridden country, but how? His theory is, 'You have to hit first and hard, so that your opponent will not get to his feet.' He applied this to the destruction of Chechnya, Russia's version of NATO's intervention in Kosovo. Serving as a vent for pent-up public frustration after years of economic decline, diminishing influence abroad and international humiliation by the US, Putin's action is immensely popular with the Russian people. The first decree signed by acting president Vladimir Putin in January was a new National Security Doctrine lowering the threshold for the use of nuclear weapons. It allows Russia to use her vast nuclear arsenal to repel armed aggression. At the same time, with 75% of Russia's current conventional weaponry obsolete, Putin increased military investment by 50%. Russia is currently developing a new generation of low-yield weapons for precision non-strategic strikes, 10 years in advance of anything in the West. Where does the money come from? The IMF?...Russia's new military doctrine (14 January 2000), confirms China as her strategic ally, determined to resist US global dominance."
Russia and some of her allies are planning to move into the middle east against Israel. Russia and The United States will exchange a nuclear attack against each other. Out of the chaos, the New World Order will arise led eventually by "the man of sedition", The Anti-christ. Read Ezekiel chapters 38-39; the books of Daniel, Zechariah, Revelation and others.
2 Timothy 3:1-17 describe the character of people and how they will behave "in the last days." When people reject the laws of God through the Scriptures; when they reject the Author of Life and the future ruler of the world, Jesus Christ. Men turn into a beast until they finally accept and are ruled by The Beast of Revelation chapter 13.
2 Timothy 3:12-14 tells Christians that before Jesus returns, which is during the battle of Armageddon in the last days, that they will suffer persecution. Before the book of Revelation is opened and during that time Christians will face persecution for Jesus (Revelation 6:9-11). There is no way around it unless you compromise to avoid being scoffed at and/or rejected. But then the Scriptures are so very clear in Mark 8:38, "Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and my words, in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels."
We are in the last generation
In the world's history there has never been a generation as this. People today travel by jet around the world in one day where until recently men traveled by foot, animal or small boat. Today, mankind can literally blow themselves up through nuclear warfare whereas prior to this time the world's civilization was never in danger of being destroyed by bows and arrows, spears, swords etc. Today we have the technology to control mankind through identifying them by their birth date, identification numbers etc., through the computers so nobody can buy or sell unless they agree to the conditions, which will soon be implemented. All nations are working towards world communications and cash is being replaced with cards and finally a mark on a persons right hand or forehead (Revelation 13:16-18).
Yes, we are living just prior to a world government and Jesus Christ himself returning. The United States of America's stock market will collapse as well as their economy. Shortly after there will be a nuclear war resulting in the formation of the New World Order. Great plagues are coming upon the world as described in the book of Revelation chapters 6-19. Billions of people will die in all. But those who are following Jesus Christ can be free from fear as nothing can touch them unless God allows it, and if he does, than he gives them the grace and strength to move into eternal life immediately (Exodus 8:20-23; 9:23-26; 12:12-13; Revelation 7:1-3; Daniel 3:16-28; 6:16-23; Psalm 34:7; Luke 22:40-44; Philippians 4:13 etc.).
© 2000 World Ministries International
The following are some Scriptures that deal with end-time events. All prophecies concerning the nations are leading up to fulfillment of end-time judgments (events).
Ezekiel chapters 38 & 39
Zechariah 13: 8-9
Zechariah 14: 1-16
Daniel chapters 2, 4, 7-12
Matthew 24: 1-51
Mark 13: 1-37
Luke 21: 6-38
The book of Revelation
The book of Joel
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