December 16, 2013- December 22,2013 
 News In Review
 Vol 8, Issue 50
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The News In Review newsletter is a service provided by Understand The Times that is a compilation of the news articles previously posted on our site . Understand The Times does not endorse these events but rather is showing the church the current events.  The purpose of posting these articles is to warn the church of deception from a Biblical perspective.

 December 9 - Demographic Shift: Where Have All the Christians Gone?
 Article: Signs Of The Last Times

Where have all the Christians gone? According to Pew Research, in 1900, eight out 10 Christians were living in Europe and North America. Today, the map demographics has been completely scrambled. In Latin America alone, there are 517 million Christians. In Africa, 411 million. Asia tallies 351 million. Once a global powerhouse of Christianity, Europe is home to an ever-shrinking 553 million (expected to drop to 480 million by 2050,) while Northern America has 275 million.

"One of the weaknesses of traditional, ecumenical instruments and organizations is that they just work with denominations," said Grandberg-Michaelson. "Some of the newer models    are really trying to figure out how do we draw independent churches, especially like the growth of mega-churches around the world. How can we draw them into more of an intentional fellowship?"

Read Full Article.... 

 December 9 - Frost & Sullivan: Integration of biometrics in consumer electronics a fast-emerging trend
 Article: Technology For A Global Monetary System

While the adoption of biometrics has been concentrated in the government sector, market dynamics are shifting, as these technologies find increasing use in consumer electronic products.
According to the new analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Innovations in Biometrics for Consumer Electronics, fingerprint recognition will remain the leading biometric technology used in consumer electronics due to its convenience, cost-efficiency and quick ROI.

Read Full Article.... 

 December 11 - Retailers Go High-Tech To Track Shoppers
 Article: Technology For A Global Monetary System

Big Brother could be at your favorite store.
As CBS 2′s Don Champion reported, a growing number of stores are using discrete and sophisticated technology - including mannequins with facial-recognition cameras hidden in their eyes - to track shopper demographics in an effort to boost sales. Retailers say the marketing data
technology allows them to cater their business to customers better, but it's also raising privacy concerns.
Alfonso Perez built a system called Shopperception that Walmart has utilized. It uses motion-sensored cameras to track a shopper's product choice on a shelf and the time it takes to make a decision. Perez's business has doubled in the past year.

Read Full Article.... 

 December 12 - Scientist create 'robotic sperm' to help with fertilization and drug delivery
 Article: Cloning And Genetic Engineering

Scientists have created the first ever "sperm-based biobots" by trapping single sperm cells inside metal nanotubes and remotely controlling their direction using magnets.
The resulting biobot (a 'biological robot', referring to a bacterium or cell which has been programmed to behave in a certain way) could be put to a range of uses, including delivering drugs to a specific target in the body or fertilizing an egg, reports New Scientist.

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 December 15 - Patriarch: Work with Muslims to promote religious freedom
 Article: Ecumenical Movement - Other Religions Uniting With Roman Catholics

The head of the Chaldean Catholic Church is calling on the faithful to reach out to Muslims in order to foster a common understanding of religious liberty and cooperation in supporting it.

"The majority Muslim population is good and not violent," said Archbishop Louis Raphael I Sako, the Chaldean Catholic Patriarch of Babylon. "They do not agree with the extremists but they are also afraid to react publicly."

He noted that
moderate Muslims are "the majority," and said that they must promote religious freedom and civil harmony in their societies. "They must prove to the world through deeds that Islam is not a religion of 'terror and killing' of innocent civilians."

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 December 16 - Pope Francis: Christians worldwide are 'united in blood'
 Article: Ecumenical Movement - Miscellaneous

In an interview with Italian newspaper La Stampa Dec. 15, Pope Francis called ecumenical dialogue a priority of his pontificate, noting that Christians of all traditions face the same persecution today.

"For me ecumenism is a priority. Today there is an ecumenism of blood. In some countries they kill Christians for wearing a cross or having a Bible and before they kill them they do not ask them whether they are Anglican, Lutheran, Catholic or Orthodox. Their blood is mixed. To those who kill we are Christians," the Pope said.

Read Full Article.... 

 December 16 - OIC: interreligious dialogue as a condition for world peace
 Article: Ecumenical Movement - Other Religions Uniting With Roman Catholics

The need for greater efforts to encourage religious pluralism and cultural diversity by fighting the spread of fanaticism and prejudice was the focus of Friday's audience between Pope Francis and Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu (pictured), secretary general of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC), which brings together 57 Muslim countries, this according to a statement released today by the Organisation of the Islamic Conference.
In the communiqué, Ihsanoglu shared with His Holiness his vision about the need for a "historic reconciliation" between Islam and Christianity "based on the [ir] common Abrahamic roots [. . .] in order to support multiculturalism and harmonious societies. His Holiness commended the proposal of the Secretary General and stressed the need to follow it up."

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 December 19 - Pope Francis and his invitation to dialogue with Islam
 Article: Ecumenical Movement - Other Religions Uniting With Roman Catholics

The Apostolic Exhortation "Evangelii gaudium" is often presented as Pope Francis' pastoral program, delivered a few months into his pontificate. It reveals the open, friendly, positive and joyful soul of this Pope in his attempt to spread the Christian message in today's world. In his Evangelii gaudium, the Pope is very positive which is really beneficial in our globalized society.

A. EXEGENCIES OF A GENUINE DIALOGUE  1 . Truth and Love (No. 250)

The first thing to be detected in n. 250 is what is being said about "an attitude of openness in truth and in love " that should characterize relations with other religions . This is important for our global society in which we are in frequent contact with members of different religions.

The Pope underlines that the correct path for encounter and dialogue requires both "love and truth": there is no truth in the hardening of positions, there is no love in ambiguous and vague communication. This is the correct, balanced attitude, that is often lacking today.

Read Full Article.... 

 December 11 - Biometric smartphones to be mainstream in 2014: Ericsson
 Article: Miscellaneous

Biometric smartphones are expected to become mainstream next year as leading handset makers follow the lead of  Apple Inc. into fingerprint recognition technology, an Ericsson report on consumer trends showed on Wednesday.
In September, Apple launched its iPhone 5S which was the first smartphone with a sensor to recognize fingerprints, improving security and ease of use.
"A total of 74 percent believe that biometric smartphones will become mainstream in 2014," Ericsson, the world's biggest mobile network maker, wrote in the report.

Read Full Article.... 

 December 12 - Cashless society: A huge threat to our freedom
 Article: One World Government

Econgularity, shorthand for economic singularity, is an ugly word I created to describe an unfortunate approaching moment in time when our current technological snooping prowess, the ease of big data manipulation and our sprint to a cashless economy will converge. This will happen in such a way as to permit governments to exercise incredibly powerful control over all human behavior.

While this may sound like a paranoid doomsday scenario to some, as a real world finance professional, I believe that this scenario is not only eminently possible, but most of the technology is already available - albeit not yet fully marshaled - to frighteningly make it reality.

It is not too far-fetched to wonder if the day might come when the health records of an overweight individual would lead to a situation in which they find that any sugary drink purchase they make through a credit or debit card is declined. Sounds far-fetched but maybe not so. You might think then that the person can always pay cash and remain outside the purview of these technologies. This may be the case for the moment, but we are well on the road to becoming a cashless society. According to a MasterCard study, 80 percent of U.S. consumer transactions are electronic.  

Read Full Article.... 

We hope the Weekly News In Review has been a blessing to you.

Roger Oakland

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