Muslims convert in Germany and Chinese Tourist boost Russian economy

 Muslims convert in Germany and Chinese Tourist boost Russian economy


At a Berlin church,  Muslim refugees converting in droves

Iranian asylum-seekers Aref Movasaq Rodsari, left, and Vesam Heydari stands in the Trinity Church in Berlin, Germany, Aug. 13, 2015. Hundreds of mostly Iranian and Afghan asylum seekers who have converted to Christianity at the evangelical Trinity Church in the leafy Berlin neighborhood. Most say true belief prompted their embrace of Christianity, but there’s no overlooking the fact that the decision will also greatly boost their chances of winning asylum by allowing them to claim they would face persecution if sent home.

Mohammed Ali Zonoobi bends his head as the priest pours holy water over his black hair. “Will you break away from Satan and his evil deeds?” pastor Gottfried Martens asks the Iranian refugee. “Will you break away from Islam?”

Yes,” Zonoobi fervently replies. Spreading his hands in blessing, Martens then baptizes the man “in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.” Mohammed is now Martin — no longer Muslim, but Christian.

Zonoobi, a carpenter from the Iranian city of Shiraz, arrived in Germany with his wife and two children five months ago. He is one of hundreds of mostly Iranian and Afghan asylum seekers who have converted to Christianity at the evangelical Trinity Church in a leafy Berlin neighborhood. Like Zonoobi, most say true belief prompted their embrace of Christianity. But there’s no overlooking the fact that the decision will also greatly boost their chances of winning asylum by allowing them to claim they would face persecution if sent home.

Martens recognizes that some convert in order to improve their chances of staying in Germany — but for the pastor motivation is unimportant. Many, he said, are so taken by the Christian message that it changes their lives. And he estimates that only about 10 percent of converts do not return to church after christening.

“I know there are — again and again — people coming here because they have some kind of hope regarding their asylum,” Martens said. “I am inviting them to join us because I know that whoever comes here will not be left unchanged.”Being Christian alone does not help an applicant, and Chancellor Angela Merkel went out of her way this week to reiterate that Islam “belongs in Germany.” But in Afghanistan and Iran, for example, conversion to Christianity by a Muslim could be punished by death or imprisonment, and it is therefore unlikely that Germany would deport converted Iranian and Afghan refugees back home.

None will openly admit to converting in order to help their asylum chances. To do so could result in rejection of their asylum bid and deportation as Christian converts. Several candidates for baptism at Martens’ church would not give their names out of fear of repercussions for their families back home. Full Story

This sounds good in theory but all it does is open up another front in the religious and now cultural wars; these converts, whether real or not, have now drawn a separate line and will be viewed as traitors by radical Muslims. So this actually makes the situation worse as now there will be violent interactions between individuals who share a similar culture. Secondly, the statement will you break away from Satan, followed by will you break away from Islam, was purposely put in this story to polarise the situation even more.   Germany has a rather large Muslim population, so this is going to spur some radicals there and radicals on a global basis to retaliate.  Follow the money one Wiseman once told an innocent naive young lad. In the game of war, the one that supplies the guns and bullets is the one that truly wins.  Deep analysis of such matters is beyond the scope of this publication. So if you are inclined to do so, then dig a bit deeper, you might be surprised by your findings.


Russia draws in hordes of Chinese with ‘red tourism’

Saint Petersburg (AFP) – Drawn by its Communist past and a visa-free regime, Chinese tourists are flocking to Russia in droves as it develops new routes touting “red tourism”.Nearly 410,000 Chinese came to Russia last year putting them on top of the list of foreign tourists, according to the federal tourism agency.

Their number has swelled 10 percent since 2013, when Germans topped the list of overseas visitors.

“We had lots of work this summer,” said Viktoria Borgacheva, the head of the association of Chinese interpreters and guides in the city of Saint Petersburg, Russia’s main tourist destination.”I would say our workload has increased 30 percent since last year,” Borgacheva said.

In the first half of this year alone, more than 200,000 Chinese tourists visited Russia.

Russia’s second city of Saint Petersburg, the former imperial capital renowned for its world-class museums and luxurious palaces, hosted nearly 26,000 Chinese tourists in 2014.

“Saint Petersburg is a beautiful city with a rich history,” said Yong Tang, a 57-year-old tourist from Beijing, as he purchased a bust of Lenin. “I’m glad I came here.”

But Saint Petersburg’s European flair and its winding canals are not the main attraction for them, according to Russian tourism officials.

The Russian city of Saint Petersburg hosted nearly 26,000 Chinese tourists in 2014

Chinese tourists flock to Saint Petersburg chiefly to soak in the city’s turbulent revolutionary history as the scene of three revolutions — one in 1905 and two in 1917 — that precipitated the end of the tsarist era and ushered in the Soviet Union. “While Europeans come to Saint Petersburg above all to admire the old capital and the Hermitage (art museum), Chinese tourists want to see Leningrad and its revolutionary history,” Borgacheva said, referring to Saint Petersburg’s Soviet-era name. Full Story

The alliance between these two nations continues to strengthen. Regardless of the mainstream, media will have you believe, both China and Russia will continue to look for new areas in which to strengthen their relations.

China renews islands claim as US think-tank warns on airstrip.

Beijing (AFP) – Beijing will never give up its claims to South China Sea islands, its foreign minister insisted Wednesday ahead of a state visit to the US by President Xi Jinping, after a Washington think-tank said it may be building its third airstrip in the area. China claims almost the whole of the sea and over the past year has asserted its stance by rapidly converting tiny reefs into artificial islands, with facilities for military use.

Taiwan, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei all have rival claims to the waters, which incorporate strategically crucial shipping lanes and could harbour oil and gas deposits.  The Pentagon has warned that Beijing’s activities are changing the regional status quo, and has weighed sending warships and surveillance aircraft within 12 nautical miles — the normal territorial zone around natural land — of the new artificial islands.

Foreign minister Wang Yi stressed that China has no intention of backing down on its claims.

“I wish to reiterate here that (the) Nansha Islands are China’s territory,” he said in a speech to foreign diplomats in Beijing, using the Chinese name for the Spratly islands.

China claims almost the whole of the sea and over the past year has asserted its stance with rapid c …

“This is fully backed by historical and legal facts,” he added. “It is totally understandable for China to uphold its own territorial sovereignty and prevent its legitimate interests from infringement.” Work began last year on a 3,000-metre (9,842 feet) runway on Fiery Cross reef in the Spratlys, around 1,000 kilometres from China’s island province of Hainan.

The latest satellite pictures — showing continuing dredging and channel widening — were taken after Wang said at an ASEAN summit in Kuala Lumpur last month that land reclamation works were over. Bonnie Glaser of AMTI said the works “underscore Beijing’s unwillingness to exercise self-restraint and look for diplomatic paths to reduce tensions with its neighbours, the United States, and other nations”.

“Beijing appears to be sending a message to President Barack Obama that China is determined to advance its interests in the South China Sea even if doing so results in heightened tensions with the United States,” she added. Full Story

This is something we spoke of and predicted in 2014. Sadly, the U.S. does not understand; it has lost the long term battle. There is simply no way it is going to be able to displace both China and Russia. At this point, the best our government can hope for is damage control. It is taking the same path as England and Rome

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