Tensions spiking after two serious terrorist attacks in Israel, including one on the Temple Mount. Please pray for calm.

Palestinian-Murders3Israelis

Tensions are flaring again in Israel and the disputed territories in the wake of two shocking sets of murders by Radical Islamists terrorists:

  • Last night, a Jewish grandfather and his son and daughter — having Shabbat dinner and celebrating the birth of a new grandson — were savagely stabbed to death by a Palestinian terrorist who broke into their home.
  • One week ago, three Palestinian terrorists smuggled firearms onto the Temple Mount and launched a surprise attack against three Israeli Druze police officers, killing two of them before they were stopped.

Please pray for comfort the families and friends of those who were murdered. Pray for healing and comfort for those who were wounded in the attacks.

Please pray, too, for wisdom for Israeli and Palestinian leaders to know best how to calm the situation before it explodes into widespread violence, as well as for the U.S. administration, Jordanian leaders and other regional leaders who have influence.

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas could start by denouncing these terrorist acts, and working harder to arrest terrorists and prevent future attacks.

At the same time, there needs to be a quick consensus on how best to prevent violence on the Temple Mount. Israel needs to work closely with the Jordanians and Palestinians on this. After the attack on the Temple Mount last week, the Israelis installed metal detectors and are now requiring every Muslim who wants to go up on the Mount to go through those detectors. This is already required of all Jews and Christians who want to visit the holy site. Yet Palestinian leaders are denouncing the move and demanding the Israelis remove the metal detectors. Other Arab and Islamic leaders are doing the same.

Why? Metal detectors are used to protect visitors to Mecca, the Vatican and in sensitive religious and political sites all over the world. If there is a better way, fine, make the case. But to criticize Israeli leaders for trying their best to protect a site sacred to Jews, Muslims and Christians in the wake of a terrorist attack is nonsensical and hardly creates and atmosphere conducive to peace and security.

Developing….

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Dispatch from Berlin: President Trump deserves credit for pushing NATO to increase defense spending in face of growing threat posed by Russia.

Germany-Joel-BrandenburgGate2

(Berlin, Germany) — Over the past few days, I’ve been in Berlin for a series of meetings with my 20 year old son, Jacob.

We’ve visited the Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstag, the Pergamum Museum (housing priceless archaeological treasures from the Middle East, including the famed Ishtar Gate from ancient Babylon), and a memorial built to honor the Jews murdered during the Holocaust. We also saw a section of the Berlin Wall. Neither of us had ever been to the German capital before and I must say it’s been a bit surreal to be in a city that was once the epicenter of such evil and yet is now safe, and free, and the capital of a major American (and Israeli) ally.

In between meetings, I’ve been working on the edits of the manuscript for my latest international political thriller, The Kremlin Conspiracy, which releases next March. In that novel, a new American President faces an increasingly dangerous and volatile Russian leader who is plotting a military attack against the NATO alliance.

More on the novel in due time. For now, let me make a few comments on the actual American President and how he is handling NATO and the Russia threat.

Readers of this blog know that last year I was quite critical of then-candidate Donald Trump. One of my concerns was that Mr. Trump did not appear serious about strengthening NATO to protect America and our European allies from the grave and growing threat posted by Vladimir Putin and the Russian military. Indeed, Mr. Trump made numerous comments during the campaign highly critical of NATO. He also suggested he might not honor Article 5, the mutual defense pact that says an attack on one NATO member will be regarded as an attack on all, and that all members will come to that member’s aid.

Six months into the new administration, however, I need to commend President Trump. Pundits may criticize his tactics, but the facts are clear: the President has persuaded most NATO leaders to significantly increase their annual defense spending. He has chosen a Vice President, Defense Secretary, CIA Director, Director of National Intelligence and other senior national security officials who are serious about the threat of Russia and serious about strengthening NATO. The President has also wisely proposed a $93 billion increase in U.S. defense spending and (finally) made it clear he supports Article 5.

NATO-spending-graphic

This is a big deal. Previous efforts by Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama to persuade NATO to increase military spending failed. Indeed, for many years, defense budgets in most NATO countries — including the U.S. under Mr. Obama — were declining precipitously, even though Russian defense spending has grown 23% since 2000.

Consider the facts:

  • NATO just announced it will increase defense spending by $46 billion in 2017.
  • This represents a 4.3% increase.
  • In fact, 25 of the 28 NATO members have announced they are increasing their annual defense budgets.
  • Currently, only 5 of the 28 members spend at least 2% of their GDP on defense, even though in 2014 all the NATO members promised to do so. These five are the U.S., Greece, Estonia, the U.K., and Poland. (To see what each country spends, click here.)
  • That said, Romania has just announced it will be the 6th country to hit the 2% mark, and other countries are finally moving towards that goal.
  • What’s more, Latvia and Lithuania — two Baltic states who (along with Estonia) feel deeply threatened by Putin — have just announced they are dramatically increasing their defense spending and will both hit the 2% target by 2018.

“We are moving in the right direction when it comes to burden-sharing and defense spending,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters.

Even Germany — whose leader, Chancellor Angela Merkel, has been highly critical of President Trump’s insistence that each NATO member pay its fair share — has decided to increase its military budget. (see here, here, and here.)

“Germany, under fire from U.S. President-elect Donald Trump for not meeting NATO’s defense spending goal, is boosting military budgets,” reports Reuters. “German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen….said Germany was boosting military spending by nearly 2 billion euros in 2017 to 37 billion euros, or 1.22 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). It is due to reach 39.2 billion euros by 2020.”

President Trump is absolutely right to call out NATO countries for making a public commitment to mutual defense spending of at least 2% of GDP yet not doing their fair share. The European countries that comprise NATO have large, modern economies. They have a combined annual GDP of some $20 trillion. They face a serious and growing threat not only from Russia but from the Islamic State and other radical Islamist terror groups. They can afford to more. They’ve promised to do more. Yet right now they are leaning heavily on the U.S., which invests 3.61% of GDP on defense spending — almost double its fair share — and is in the process of investing substantially more.

One last point for now: Radical Islam is not the only threat we face in the West. Radical Russian nationalism and imperialism may prove to be an even more serious threat, especially given that Moscow has nuclear weapons while the violent Islamists do not (yet). Thus, while I’m encouraged that the Trump-Pence administration is persuading NATO to finally move in the right direction, I remained deeply concerned that most NATO leaders are insufficiently concerned by the magnitude of the threat posed by Vladimir Putin and the Russian military. Putin has invaded and occupied parts of Georgia, Crimea and eastern Ukraine in recent years. Putin is selling arms to the ayatollahs in Iran, and has sent military forces into Syria to bolster the regime of Bashar al-Assad, a mass murderer who is presiding of the destruction of his entire country. Do we really believe Putin’s aggression has run its course? A recent study by the RAND Corporation found that the three Baltics States (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) are currently so poorly defended by NATO troops that Moscow could launch a surprise attack and capture at least two of them in just 60 hours.

I will write more about such concerns in the weeks and months ahead. But given my time here in Berlin, I thought it would be worth bringing up some of these topics now.

ARTICLES WORTH NOTING:


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Visiting with the Vice President — and introducing him to one of our sons.

VP-family

(Washington, D.C.) — It was a very special day at the White House.

Noah turns 13 on Thursday and part of his present was getting to join Lynn and me in a meeting today with Vice President Mike Pence in his West Wing office.

VP-Noahmeets

This was Noah’s first time ever to visit the White House, and certainly his first time meeting a Vice President, and it was pretty cool. Noah got the VP’s autograph and actually got to sit at his desk.

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VP-JoelNoahautograph

Noah also met Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the Principal Deputy Press Secretary, who gave him a tour of the White House Press Briefing Room and let him stand behind the podium. It was fun to give her a copy of my latest novel.

One of Pence’s aides also gave us a tour of the VP’s ceremonial office in the Old Executive Office Building — and if that weren’t enough, Noah got some White House brand Hershey’s chocolates, too.

VP-SandersNoahpodium

The Lord has opened some remarkable years for us over the years. We don’t deserve these opportunities, and we’re humbled by them. But what an extra special blessing to be able to share them with our children.

VP-JoelNoah-NorthLawn

Lynn and I are very grateful for our friendship with the Pences. We’ve known them since Mike was in Congress and they are a real class act — humble, down to earth, and truly Midwestern nice. The VP was particularly kind to welcome Noah and us like this amidst a crazy busy summer and it was an unexpected blessing to be able to catch up with him.

We count it an honor to be able to pray for the Pences, and for the President and the First Family and their staffs, and we hope you’re praying faithfully for them, too.

VP-Joel

P.S. — Here’s a photo we took with Mike and Karen a few years ago when he was the Governor of Indiana leading a trade delegation to Israel and we spent such a fun evening with them  in Jerusalem. Honestly, they haven’t changed a bit. Just as warm and kind today as they’ve ever been.

VP-JerusalemwhenPencewasINGov

(Four of these are Official White House Photos by Joyce N. Boghosian. The rest were taken by Lynn and me.)

[Official Required Disclaimer: These (four) photographs are provided by THE WHITE HOUSE as a courtesy and may be printed by the subject(s) in the photograph for personal use only. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not otherwise be reproduced, disseminated or broadcast, without the written permission of the White House Photo Office. This photograph may not be used in any commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.]

Coming March 6th: THE KREMLIN CONSPIRACY. “The Real Book Spy” website posts exclusive story on my next novel title, cover and plot details, plus links to pre-order.

KremlinConspiracy-coversmall

(Washington, D.C.) — This morning, The Real Book Spy — one of the leading websites that tracks and reviews new mysteries and thrillers — has posted a story revealing key details of my next novel.

Here are excerpts, including my brief interview with the site’s founder.

Exclusive: See The Cover Art And Plot Details For Joel C. Rosenberg’s Next Thriller

Following his latest jaw-dropping New York Times bestselling novel, Without Warning, Joel C. Rosenberg is set to release a brand thriller next March called The Kremlin Conspiracy.

Without Warning was the final novel in Rosenberg’s J.B. Collins trilogy about a New York Times reporter who investigates The Islamic State. The Kremlin Conspiracy will be the first book in a new series and will introduce readers to Marcus Ryker, a former United States Secret Service agent.

Scroll down to see the cover art and plot synopsis for The Kremlin Conspiracy, then keep scrolling to read exclusive comments from Joel C. Rosenberg about his new novel….

“After eleven novels that have focused primarily on the Middle East and the threat of Radical and Apocalyptic Islam — and one historical novel about the Holocaust — I felt it was time to shift gears,” said Rosenberg, speaking exclusively to The Real Book Spy.

“I needed a new challenge and wanted to focus on a different part of the world, different enemies. In this case, I kept finding myself drawn to Russia. Moscow was once known as the seat of the “Evil Empire” and I believe it is once again emerging as the center of the most dangerous government on the planet. Remember, Iran, al Qaeda and ISIS just dream of having nuclear weapons. Moscow not only has them but also has the long range ballistic missiles to hit every city in NATO and the United States. If they reemerge not simply as a geopolitical challenge but an aggressive enemy, the world will be headed down a very dark road.”

Dubbed a “modern Nostradamus” by U.S. News & World Report after his first novel, The Last Jihad, came out in 2002, Rosenberg has been known to write headline-beating thrillers. With Russia dominating many news cycles, it makes sense that authors are writing related stories into their books. But for Rosenberg, there’s a personal connection too.

“One of the reasons I was drawn to writing about Russia is that I have Russian roots. My grandparents on my father’s side were Orthodox Jews who escaped out of Czarist, anti-Semitic Russia in the early years of the 20th century. I visited the Soviet Union in the summer of 1986 when I was in college. In 2004, my father and I traveled to Moscow to do research for Epicenter and The Ezekiel Option. I guess I find myself fascinated with — and somewhat haunted by — both the history and the future of Russia.”

While Rosenberg might be fascinated with Russia, it’s safe to say that Book Spy followers are fascinated with Rosenberg’s writing. Without Warning was by far the most pre-ordered novel of 2017 among our followers, and for good reason — it’s one of the year’s best thrillers and features one of the most shocking, jaw-dropping endings in recent memory.

As for how far along he is with the new book, Rosenberg told us: “I just turned in the manuscript on June 21st. The novel releases on March 6th. I’m as excited about this one as any novel I’ve written so far.”

Readers anxious to get their hands on The Kremlin Conspiracy can pre-order Rosenberg’s forthcoming thriller by clicking here!

Exactly one year from now: Join us for The Joshua Fund tour of Israel & the Epicenter Prayer Summit in Jerusalem.

Epicenter-PrayerSummitDear friends —

It is with great excitement about God’s love for the people of Israel that I cordially invite you to join us for the Epicenter Prayer Summit, which will be held in Jerusalem the evening of Wednesday, July 11th, and all day Thursday, July 12th, 2018.

The Summit will be the centerpiece of The Joshua Fund’s next “Prayer & Vision Tour” of Israel which will take place July 3 – July 15, 2018.

Please consider joining us both for the tour and the Summit.

If you’re a pastor or ministry leader, consider custom-designing a tour that would be perfect for your congregation by contacting Inspiration Cruises & Tours.  We pray that many congregations will take this opportunity to visit Israel and join us in Jerusalem for the Epicenter Prayer Summit.

Or, if it won’t work for you to bring a whole tour, consider coming just as a couple, or with a few friends, to attend the Summit and spend some time touring Israel without being responsible for a larger group.

Keynote speakers for the Summit include Anne Graham Lotz, Dr. Ronnie Floyd and me. Also speaking will be local pastors and ministry leaders on the frontlines of the faith. We will be joined by leaders of various Jewish, Israeli Arab and Palestinian Arab ministries as they share with the Summit participants about what they see the Lord doing from their unique vantage points. They will also be sharing real-time prayer requests for their ministries, as well as praying for unity among the brethren in the Land.

The focus of the Summit will be the urgency of praying for the peace of Jerusalem, preaching the Gospel to all people in the Epicenter and asking the Lord to pour out His Holy Spirit to bring about a revival in His Church and a sweeping spiritual awakening in the Land and throughout the region. Please prayerfully consider joining us. I would love to see you there!

Yours to bless Israel and her neighbors in the name of Jesus,

Joel C. Rosenberg

Chairman and Founder of The Joshua Fund

> Pastors and ministry leaders:  to begin planning your own tour of Israel in July 2018 that allows you to bring your people to the Summit, please click here.

> Lay people: to learn more about The Joshua Fund’s next tour of Israel — and to register while there is still space — please click here.

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What Does The Future Hold? Insights from the Hebrew prophets — and resources to help you study & teach Biblical eschatology.

WordofLife

(Schroon Lake, New York) — This week I’ve been teaching at the Word of Life conference center, nestled in the heart of the gorgeous Adirondack Mountains.

It’s been such a blessing to be here with my family. We’ve loved meeting so many people from all over the U.S. and Canada, teaching the Scriptures, answering people’s questions, and taking advantage of so many outdoor activities, from swimming and kayaking to jet skiing and tubing to miniature golfing and so many other activities.

Word of Life is a wonderful ministry with a rich history of teaching the Scriptures to young and old. I highly encourage you to learn more about them and consider attending one of their Bible conference and/or youth camps.

My series this week was called, “What Does The Future Hold? Insights From The Hebrew Prophets.” It was divided into four sessions.

  1. Session One — What Does The Future Hold For Syria? (Isaiah 17 & Jeremiah 49)
  2. Session Two — What Does The Future Hold For Jordan? (Jeremiah 48 & 49)
  3. Session Three — What Does The Future Hold For Egypt? (Isaiah 19)
  4. Session Four — What Does The Future Hold For Israel, Russia & Iran? (Ezekiel 38 & 39)

Soon, I hope to post links to either the audio and video of the sessions. For now, I promised those who attended the sessions that I would post links to notes I’ve previously published on the importance of studying and teaching Bible prophecy, and on the specific prophecies we studied together during the week. I’ve also included a link to books on eschatology and other Bible prophecy resources that I recommend.

I hope you find them helpful.

Bible Prophecy Resources

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Without Warning — my new thriller about ISIS operatives launching terrorist attacks inside the U.S. using chemical weapons captured in Syria, and the hunt for the ISIS leader by a secret coalition of Israel, Egypt, Jordan and the UAE — is now available in hardcover, e-book and audio formats from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, CBD, Lifeway, and your favorite general market and Christian bookstores. To order online, please click here.

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BREAKING: Brazen domestic terror attack on Members of Congress. James Hodgkinson, 66, of Illinois, shot & killed by Capitol Police after firing upwards of 100 rounds, wounding five people, including House Majority Whip. Here’s the latest.

Shooting-Congressman-June2017

UPDATE on Thursday at 3pm eastern:

  • House Majority Whip Steve Scalise still in critical condition.
  • This morning, Scalise underwent third surgery in 24 hours.
  • President Trump and the First Lady visited Scalise last night.
  • Vice President Pence visited him this morning.
  • Security concerns among lawmakers on Capitol Hill growing.

(Washington, D.C.) — Washington has been shaken by a brazen, premeditated domestic terror attack on Members of Congress.

Security has been tightened at the White House and around the Capitol.

No evidence of foreign terrorism.

The man who opened fire on Members of Congress and Congressional staff at a baseball field in Alexandria, Virginia — wounding five people, including the House Majority Whip — has just died.

James Hodgkinson, 66, of Illinois, was shot by Capitol Police during his morning rampage in which he may fired as many as 100 rounds. He was rushed to the hospital under police supervision but succumbed to his wounds.

Multiple news reports say he was Bernie Sanders supporter who volunteered on the Sanders presidential campaign. He reportedly said he was going to “destroy Trump.” One report said he seemed intent on “killing as many Republicans as possible.”

JamesHodgkinson

Here’s the latest on this developing story.

In the meantime, please continue praying for all those wounded and traumatized. Let us also be extremely grateful to the quick response and professionalism of the Capitol Police and other heroes on the scene who prevented this terrible event from become a deadly bloodbath.

Here’s the latest from the New York Times:

  • A lone gunman opened fire on Republican members of the congressional baseball team at a practice field in a Washington suburb Wednesday, using a rifle to shower the field with bullets that struck five people, including Steve Scalise, the majority whip of the House of Representatives.
  • President Trump, in a statement from the White House, said the shooting suspect had died.
  • Law enforcement authorities identified him as James T. Hodgkinson, 66, from Belleville, Ill., a suburb of St. Louis.
  • Two members of Mr. Scalise’s protective police detail were wounded as they exchanged gunfire with the gunman in what other lawmakers described as a chaotic, terror-filled ten minutes that turned the baseball practice into an early-morning nightmare.
  • The police said two of the five people were critically wounded.
  • Standing at second base, Mr. Scalise was struck in the hip, according to witnesses, and collapsed as the shots rang out, one after another, from behind a chain-link fence near the third-base dugout.
  • Witnesses said Mr. Scalise, of Louisiana, “army crawled” his way toward taller grass as the shooting continued.
  • The authorities said the Capitol Police and local officers arrived minutes after they received desperate calls for help from those under siege at the field.
  • The F.B.I. said the bureau would take the lead in the investigation, treating it as an assault on a federal officer….
  • Mr. Hodgkinson appeared to be have been fervent fan of Senator Bernie Sanders, according to a Facebook page with references to the Vermont senator. A LinkedIn page for James Hodgkinson had a profile photo showing Mr. Sanders’s famous hair and glasses and the words, “The Dawn of a New Democracy.”

  • In a statement Wednesday morning, Mr. Sanders said he had been told the alleged shooter had volunteered for his presidential campaign. Mr. Sanders offered his “hopes and prayers” for the shooting victims….

The Daily Mail is reporting:

  • The gunman who opened fire on a Republican congressional baseball practice session this morning before being killed by cops has been identified as a Trump-hating Bernie Sanders supporter.
  • Sixty-six-year-old James T. Hodgkinson from Belleville, Illinois, was killed by Capitol Police after firing up to 100 rounds from an assault rifle at a baseball park in Alexandria, Virginia, leaving five injured including House Majority Leader Steve Scalise.
  • Hodgkinson was a staunch Bernie Sanders supporter and campaigned for the left-wing senator to get the Democratic nomination for president last year. The union tradesman, who ran a home inspection business, threatened to ‘destroy’ the president and his administration on social media.

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Without Warning — my new thriller about ISIS operatives launching terrorist attacks inside the U.S. using chemical weapons captured in Syria, and the hunt for the ISIS leader by a secret coalition of Israel, Egypt, Jordan and the UAE — is now available in hardcover, e-book and audio formats from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, CBD, Lifeway, and your favorite general market and Christian bookstores. To order online, please click here.

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BREAKING: Gunman opens fire on Members of Congress, hits House Majority Whip. Five wounded, plus the assailant. Here’s the latest.

Shooting-Congressman-June2017(Washington, D.C.) — Here’s what we know so far:

  • Five people wounded, reports the NYT and CNN
  • House Majority Whip Scalise was hit — airlifted to G.W. Hospital in D.C. and now in stable condition.
  • Two Capitol Police officers reportedly shot.
  • The gunman was also shot in return fire and is in custody.
  • Reports of at least 60 shots fired.
  • Security being tightened around White House and the Capitol.
  • VP Pence cancelled a morning speech and was rushed back to the White House.
  • Investigation underway.
  • Please pray for Rep. Scalise and the others hit.
  • Let’s be grateful for the Capitol Police who saved many lives by their quick and professional response.

“House Majority Whip Steve Scalise was among at least two people shot Wednesday morning during a GOP baseball practice at an Alexandria, Virginia, ball field,” reports NBC News. “He was in stable condition, said two different senior-level GOP aides. One source said the Republican lawmaker was wounded in the hip area. ”

“Two sources said at least one Capitol Police officer was also shot,” noted the NBC report. “Police confirmed in tweets that it was investigating reports of a ‘multiple shooting’ and that the suspect was ‘in custody’ and ‘not a threat.’ The victims were being rushed to the hospital.”

Politico reports: “Katie Filous, a 29-year-old resident of Alexandria’s Old Town section, said she had just gotten out of her car to take her four dogs to the park when someone on the ballfield screamed, ‘Everybody get down! Someone has a rifle!’ She said a woman who looked like a security guard or a Secret Service member pulled out a handgun and shot at the man.”

Developing….I’ll post more as additional facts become known. For the latest, please follow me on Twitter.

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Without Warning — my new thriller about ISIS operatives launching catastrophic terrorist attacks inside the U.S. using chemical weapons captured in Syria, and the hunt for the ISIS leader by a secret coalition of Israel, Egypt, Jordan and the UAE — is now available in hardcover, e-book and audio formats from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, CBD, Lifeway, and your favorite general market and Christian bookstores. To order online, please click here.

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An invitation to attend the 2018 Epicenter Prayer Summit in Jerusalem. (Pastors, start planning your own tour to Israel to join us at the Summit.)

EpicenterPrayerSummitDear friends —

It is with great excitement about God’s love for the people of Israel that I cordially invite you to join us for the Epicenter Prayer Summit, which will be held in Jerusalem the evening of Wednesday, July 11th, and all day Thursday, July 12th, 2018.

The Summit will be the centerpiece of The Joshua Fund’s next “Prayer & Vision Tour” of Israel which will take place July 3 – July 15, 2018.

Please consider joining us on our tour.

If you’re a pastor or ministry leader, please consider custom-designing a tour that would be perfect for your congregation by contacting Inspiration Cruises & Tours.

We pray that many congregations will take this opportunity to visit Israel and join us in Jerusalem for the Epicenter Prayer Summit.

Keynote speakers for the Summit include Anne Graham Lotz, Dr. Ronnie Floyd and me. Also speaking will be local pastors and ministry leaders on the frontlines of the faith. We will be joined by leaders of various Jewish, Israeli Arab and Palestinian Arab ministries as they share with the Summit participants about what they see the Lord doing from their unique vantage points. They will also be sharing real-time prayer requests for their ministries, as well as praying for unity among the brethren in the Land.

Epicenter-PastorRonnieFloyd

The focus of the Summit will be the urgency of praying for the peace of Jerusalem, preaching the Gospel to all people in the Epicenter and asking the Lord to pour out His Holy Spirit to bring about a revival in His Church and a sweeping spiritual awakening in the Land and throughout the region. Please prayerfully consider joining us. I would love to see you there!

Epicenter-AnneGrahamLotz

Yours to bless Israel and her neighbors in the name of Jesus,

Joel C. Rosenberg

Chairman and Founder of The Joshua Fund

> Pastors and ministry leaders:  to begin planning your own tour of Israel in July 2018 that allows you to bring your people to the Summit, please click here.

> Lay people: to learn more about The Joshua Fund’s next tour of Israel — and to register while there is still space — please click here.

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BREAKING NEWS: Terrorists massacre Christians in Egypt. 26 dead, 25 wounded. Please pray. Here’s the latest.

Egypt-busattack

(Washington, D.C.) — Terribly sad news out of Egypt this morning: terrorists “attacked a bus carrying Coptic Christians in central Egypt, killing at least 26 people and wounding 25 others,” reports the BBC.

Egypt-busattack2

I’ll post updates on Twitter as more news becomes available. In the meantime, please pray for the victims and their families. Please pray for our Coptic Christian brothers and sisters in Egypt to be strong and brave and bold witnesses for our Lord Jesus Christ despite such these evil attacks by the Islamic State and other jihadi groups. Please pray, too, for President el-Sisi and the leaders of Egypt, including the police and security forces, that the Lord will grant favor to their efforts to establish lasting security and calm throughout the entire country for Christians and for all Egyptians.

As it happens, yesterday morning I met with Egyptian Ambassador Yasser Reda at the Embassy here in Washington. We discussed a wide range of issues, including President el-Sisi’s recent visit to Washington, the important efforts Cairo is making to protect Christians, and the government’s efforts to reach out to Christian leaders — Coptic, Catholic and Protestant — to build better relations. I greatly appreciated my time with the Ambassador, and I believe that the government there is making progress, though clearly there is much more that needs to be done.

Egypt-meetingAmbassador

Earlier this month, as readers of this blog know, I visited Egyptian Christian leaders in Cairo to stand in solidarity with them, get an update on their situation, and pray together. Indeed, I am praying the Lord will open the door for me to return to Egypt later this year to deepen these relationships. Eleven years ago, Lynn and our four sons and I lived in Cairo for several months while I was working on a book. We have a great love for Egypt, and we grieve for the persecution the Christians have been going through and all the political and economic troubles the nation has endured in recent years.

Egypt-EmbassyDC

The Bible is clear: God loves the people of Egypt. Much Biblical history happened in Egypt. Many major Biblical leaders lived in Egypt at one point in their lives — Joseph, the patriarchs, the entire nation of Israel, Moses, and the prophet Jeremiah, to name a few. Even the Lord Jesus lived there for a time with his parents when He was young. John Mark took the Gospel to Egypt in the First Century, and Egypt became a great center of discipleship early on. The prophet Isaiah indicates a very difficult but also very blessed future for Egypt (see Isaiah 19), so it’s important that we pray faithfully for the Christians of Egypt, and all Egyptians in these challenging and tumultuous times and find ways to stand with them and help them.

Here is what we know so far, as reported by the BBC:

  • Gunmen have attacked a bus carrying Coptic Christians in central Egypt, killing at least 26 people and wounding 25 others, state media report.
  • The bus was heading towards the Monastery of St Samuel the Confessor in Minya province, 220km (140 miles) south of Cairo, when it came under fire.
  • No group immediately said it was behind the attack.
  • But Islamic State (IS) militants have targeted Copts several times in recent months, and vowed to do so again.
  • Two suicide bombings at Palm Sunday services at churches in the northern cities of Alexandria and Tanta on 9 April left 46 people dead.
  • Another suicide bombing at a church in the capital in December killed 29 people, while a Christian community was forced to flee the town of el-Arish in the northern Sinai peninsula after a series of gun attacks in February.

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Without Warning — my new thriller about ISIS operatives launching catastrophic terrorist attacks inside the U.S. using chemical weapons captured in Syria, and the hunt for the ISIS leader by a secret coalition of Israel, Egypt, Jordan and the UAE — is now available in hardcover, e-book and audio formats from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, CBD, Lifeway, and your favorite general market and Christian bookstores. To order online, please click here.

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