Fear and tempers are on the rise in Europe. The migration crisis is severe. The Headline for this blog was taken from the Reuters news agency (duplicated here to give you an idea just how serious this crisis is, read the headline again!).
Deep divisions over how to cope with a flood of migrants from the Middle East, Africa and Asia pose a threat to the European Union’s survival as a union. The news media puts out disturbing images of drowning children, refugees being herded on and off trains, and barbed-wire fences being erected across Europe, much of Europe is in shock. Almost all the refugees hope to reach the more affluent countries of northern and western Europe such as Germany, France and Sweden.
Massive inflows of refugees is fuelling political populism and anti-Muslim sentiment, the latest crisis is undermining the ideals of European integration. Disagreement between European Union nations is on the rise—remember 28 nations make up the EU (population 510 million), and every nation differs with others as to how the crisis should be handled. What nations should take the most refugees, and who is to pay for the care and feeding of these masses that will number over one million in the year ahead—these questions are being hotly debated.
Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann made it clear, if the eastern states did not share the burden of absorbing refugees, the EU should reconsider its future financial aid for their development. Eastern Europe, which includes Poland, Romania and Hungary do not want the refugees. Germany is witnessing the rise of the Pegida protest group, which rejects Muslim immigrants, and arson attacks against refugee hostels is on the rise in Germany. Marie Le Pen, leader of the anti-immigrant and anti-Islamic National Front Party in France is rising in the polls, she said this weekend in Marseille, “We’re told to accept 160,000 illegal immigrants this year, but next year it will be 700,000 and the following it will be 1.2m,”
In much of Europe record high numbers of jobless people and fear of terrorism have fuelled anti-immigration sentiment. 60 percent of the French oppose a large influx of immigrants. There are 6 million Muslims in France already, the French people don’t want any more—it is that simple.
Hungary, which is part of Europe’s Schengen passport-free travel zone, is building a high fence along its border with Serbia to blunt what it says is a threat to European security, and identity. In 2014 in Italy alone, 170,000 people arrived by boat to the country, putting a huge strain on Italy’s economy.
The depth, magnitude and length of the economic downturn in Europe led to an earthquake of anger across Europe, and now add to this the refugee crisis– it is no surprise that you are seeing a rise of nationalist sentiment and the emergence of populist parties on both the left and the right who are preaching that their nation will not be dictated to by the European Union.
Fear, anger, and confusion—these emotions will lead to political change in Europe. That is why we are watching closely the refugee crisis in Europe.
In the not too distant future we are told (Revelation 17), that Ten kings will come together in a union of states in Europe. These leaders will then choose one single dictator, the prophesied “beast,” who will set up a system that will be extremely brutal (verses 12 and 13). European extremism will return. Jesus Christ himself will decapitate this end-time empire, and then Christ will establish the Kingdom of God on earth that will rule the nations with justice.