eNews For The Week Of July 18, 2016
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In This Week’s Issue
In The News
Articles and Commentary
Memory Verse of the Week
In The News
In The News
Links to interesting articles elsewhere
July 16, 2016
In a statement via its Amaq news service, the IS armed group said one of its “soldiers” carried out the attack on Thursday night “in response to calls to target nations of coalition states that are fighting (the IS armed group)”. Tunisian Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel ploughed a 19-tonne truck into a crowd of people in the Riviera city who were celebrating Bastille Day — France’s national day.
— La Monde
July 16, 2016
UNESCO’s obligation to protect Jerusalem’s Old City is more important than ever, she said, particularly at a time when violence has harmed the multi-faith nature of the ancient site. Attempts by member states to erase Jewish and Christian ties to Jerusalem’s Old City harms its cultural status as a site that is sacred to the three monotheistic religions, warned UNESCO’s Director-General Irina Bokova on Friday.
— Jerusalem Post
July 16, 2016
The Western district of the Methodist church has elected an openly gay bishop despite the denomination’s ban on same-sex relationships. The Rev. Karen Oliveto was elected late Friday night at a meeting in Scottsdale, Arizona, of the church’s Western Jurisdiction. Oliveto is pastor of Glide Memorial United Methodist Church in San Francisco. She is the first openly gay bishop in the 12.7 million-member denomination.
— Edge Media Network
July 16, 2016
Together 2016 organizers will not know if they reached their 1 million attendee goal until a few days more, but one thing they know for sure is they have got the nation talking — the hashtag [#JesusChangesEverything](https://twitter.com/search?q=%23JesusChangesEverything%20&src=typd) was at one point the No.3 most popular trend on Twitter in the United States.
— Christian Post
July 16, 2016
U.S. officials have wrongly allowed the Navy to use sonar at levels that could harm whales and other marine mammals in the world’s oceans, a federal appeals court in San Francisco has ruled. The decision Friday by the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals would scale back the Navy’s use of low-frequency sonar in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans and the Mediterranean Sea under authority that was granted in 2012.
July 15, 2016
Scientists at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) have made an object disappear by using a composite material with nano-size particles that can enhance specific properties on the object’s surface. Researchers from QMUL’s School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science, worked with UK industry to demonstrate for the first time a practical cloaking device that allows curved surfaces to appear flat to electromagnetic waves.
July 12, 2016
The U.S. intelligence community has officially lifted the veil on 28 classified pages from the first congressional investigation into the 9/11 terror attacks that some believe, once exposed, could demonstrate a support network inside the United States for two of those al-Qaeda hijackers. Today, the Obama administration [declassified those documents](http://intelligence.house.gov/sites/intelligence.house.gov/files/documents/declasspart4.pdf) — closely held secrets for over 13 years — and Congress released them to the public this afternoon. The FBI and U.S. intelligence agencies had kept the information secret until now, citing reasons of national security.
— ABC News
July 12, 2016
For the first time, archaeologists say they have discovered a Philistine cemetery near the ancient city of Ashkelon in Israel — a significant development considering the group’s prominent place in the Old Testament. Bible readers likely know the Philistines as the archenemy of the Jewish people, with the story of a young David battling a giant named Goliath, who is described as a terrifying “champion” in 1 Samuel 17, among the more recognizable and well-known Old Testament stories.
— Deseret News National
July 12, 2016
An international tribunal rejected China’s extensive claims in the South China Sea in a landmark ruling Tuesday that also found the country had aggravated the seething regional dispute and violated the Philippines’ maritime rights by building up artificial islands that destroyed coral reefs and by disrupting fishing and oil exploration.
— Washington Post
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by Various Speakers
Koinonia Institute presents its 2016 Strategic Perspectives Conference in Coeur d' Alene, Idaho. Intel and insight to understand the times.
Includes the following speaker sessions:
- Joseph Farah – The Restitution of All Things
- Dr. Scott Carroll – Dismantling a Mummy Mask - Part 1
- Dr. Peter Flint – The Prophet Daniel and the Dead Sea Scrolls
- Paul McGuire – Globalism and Prophecy - Part 1
- Joel Richardson – Mystery Babylon
- William Federer – America has Lost its Memory
- Dr. Scott Carroll – Dismantling a Mummy Mask - Part 2
- Dr. Steve Elwart – You can Run, but you can't Hide
- Jay Seegert – Faith is not a Four-Letter Word
- L.A. Marzulli – The Days of Chaos - Part 1
- Dr. Bob Cornuke – Golgotha
- Paul McGuire – Globalism and Prophecy - Part 2
- Joel Richardson – Turkey and the Coming Caliphate
- Bill Salus – The Now Prophecies
- Ron Matsen – Another Jesus?
- L.A. Marzulli – The Days of Chaos - Part 2
- William Federer – The History of Islam
- Dr. Chuck Missler – Looking Ahead
Available in the following formats:
- DVD – $60.00
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Articles And Commentary
A Failed Coup in Turkey
This message from the LORD came to me: “Son of Man, turn your attention toward Gog, from the land of Magog, the chief noble of Meshech, and Tubal. Prophesy this against him: ’This is what the Lord GOD says: “Watch out! I’m coming after you, Gog, chief ruler of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal. I’m going to turn you around, put hooks into your jaws, and bring you out—you and your whole army—along with your horses and cavalry riders, all of them richly attired, a magnificent company replete with buckler and shield, and all of them wielding battle swords. Persia, Cush, and Libya will be accompanying them, all of them equipped with shields and helmets. Gomer with all its troops, and the household of Togarmah from the remotest parts of the north with all its troops—many people will accompany you.
— Ezekiel 38:1–6 (ISV)
(Note: Normally, eNews does not try to analyze currently breaking news as the situation is usually fluid and ill-defined. Confirmed information is usually scarce. Developments in Turkey, however, are too big to ignore. Please take this analysis as tentative and could be subject to reanalysis.)
An attempted coup in Turkey against the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Friday has failed. The rebellion apparently began with Islamic elements of the Turkish military, but failed to spread among the rest of the armed services. The coup attempt began with a statement from the military saying it had seized control “to reinstall the constitutional order, democracy, human rights and freedoms, to ensure that the rule of law once again reigns in the country, for law and order to be reinstated.”
As the event unfolded, the military did not appear unified, as top commanders went on television to condemn the action and order troops back to their barracks and the military quietly complied.
Who thought there might be a coup in Turkey?
Those that follow eNews and KI’s Intelligence Update should not have been caught by surprise. As had been reported earlier the area that is thought to be Gomer mentioned in Ezekiel is in a state of turmoil and was ripe for a takeover.
Soaring Private Debt
In 2013, Turkey’s public debt was paid off, but private debt has soared, led by corporate debt. This leaves Turkey “one of the most leveraged economies in the emerging-market universe,” according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. This debt affected all facets of the Turkish economy and increased the discontent of the people.
Because of the attack in Istanbul and the continuing refugee crisis in the area, Turkey’s tourism sector is in free-fall. Tourism is down 40 percent. Hotel rooms are going begging and the costs for a vacation in Turkey have plummeted, for those who dare to go there.
“We paid just over £500 (US$660) for two of us for a week, an all-inclusive package,” says Diane Roberts from North Wales. “Most of the cheap deals now are for Turkey — we didn’t expect it, but people are too afraid to come here.”
Tourism and travel accounts for 12.9% of Turkey’s economy, so the slump in tourism also contributed to the general malaise of the people.
Because of the country’s economic and political problems, the value of Turkey’s currency, the lira, has declined. This decline has impacted the buying power of the Turks, increasing their discontent. Turkey’s annual growth rate, which for 50 years had averaged 4.5 percent, remained at an average of 3% in the past four years. Two months ago, some economists were predicting a coup because of the people’s dissatisfaction.
A Government Out of Control
There is a broad sense, election results notwithstanding, that the Turkish President is out-of-control. He is imprisoning opponents, seizing newspapers indiscriminately, and building palaces at an unprecedented rate. In recent weeks, he has once again threatened to dissolve the constitutional court. Corruption in his government is rife.
Erdoğan’s son Bilal is under investigation in Italy in an alleged money laundering scandal.
All these things are raising concerns both inside and outside of Turkey. Even members of his ruling party whisper about his increasing paranoia which, according to some Turkish officials, has gotten so bad that he seeks to install anti-aircraft missiles at his palace to prevent airborne men-in-black from targeting him in a snatch-and-grab operation.
The Growing Islamization of Turkey
There was also the matter of Turkey’s growing Islamization. Just 10 days ago, the Jerusalem Post wrote an article on this phenomenon. From being one of the friendlier Islamic nations toward Israel, Turkey has become one of the most virulently anti-Israel and anti-Semitic countries in the world today.
Dr. Chuck Missler, in his book, Prophecy 20/20: Profiling the Future through the Lens of Scripture, gives an overview of Turkey’s move toward a western-style democracy and its disillusion:
Following World War I, Kemal Ataturk aggressively transformed Turkey from a theocratic autocracy into a Western-oriented democracy. In 1922, he abolished the Sultanate. In 1924, he abolished the Caliphate and the religious courts. In 1925, he made it illegal to wear the Fez (which he regarded as a symbol of backwardness).
Having rid Turkey of the trappings of Islam, Ataturk adopted Western ways. In 1925, Turkey adopted the Western calendar; in 1926, it adopted the Swiss civil code (and later the Italian penal code); in 1928, the country switched to the Latin alphabet; in 1931, the metric system; in 1934, all Turks were obliged to take a surname (Mustafa Kemal became Kemal Ataturk), and women were given the vote.
Following World War II, Turkey joined all of the main Western institutions: the U.N. in 1945; the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in 1947; the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in 1948; the Council of Europe in 1949; and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in 1951. And after four years of application, Turkey received associate membership in the European Community in 1963.
Turkey’s move toward Westernization stalled in 1987 when it applied for full membership of the European Community. Other European members were concerned about integrating that many non-Westerners into the community and blocked their membership.
Seeing they would not be welcomed among the Europeans, Turkey looked for other alliances. Rising Islamic influences as well as the election of President Erdoğan have tilted Turkey eastward toward the mullahs and away from the secular democracies.
In one glaring example, Turkey has built 17,000 new mosques in the country since 2002. The state is also planning an enormous mosque, more than 150,000 square feet in size, to loom over Istanbul on a hill on the Asian side of the Bosporus. Secularists are outraged, and an opposition leader, Republican People’s Party (CHP) MP Mehmet Ali Ediboglu, calls this just another step in a process that, he claims, will end in an Islamic republic.
Turkey is a longtime NATO ally, but under Erdoğan it has moved closer to Iran and radical Islamists, particularly the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas and, possibly, ISIS. ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) has been actively recruiting in Turkey, Erdoğan’s government admitted, and Turkish and other media reports that Turkey has provided funds and medical help for the notorious terror group.
The Jerusalem Post quoted an unnamed ISIS source saying, “Turkey paved the way for us. Had Turkey not shown such understanding for us, the Islamic State would not be in its current place. It showed us affection.”
Some elements of the Turkish military apparently believed the Islamization of Turkey was not progressing fast enough and the corruption of the Erdoğan government was polluting the dream of an Islamic state on the Bosporus.
Setting the Stage
Turkey’s serial corruption scandals and Erdoğan’s increasing erratic behavior led some in the Turkish military to believe the time was ripe for an overthrow. Seizing an occasion in which President Erdoğan was out of town, the coup leaders decided it was time to strike.
The first signs of the coup were revealed through the coordinated cutting of control of transportation avenues. The soldiers involved stationed themselves on major bridges in Istanbul and severed roads in Ankara and Izmir. Turkish F–16s were seen making low flyovers in Ankara. Civilians were told to go home and stay inside. The airports across the country were shut down and flights were paused.
Turkish soldiers besieged the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) headquarters in Istanbul. Tanks headed to the prime minister’s palace in Ankara, but countercoup protesters blocked some of the tank advances. Helicopters reportedly shot at the palace as tanks approached.
Some media and communications channels were taken over by soldiers, who entered state television offices and ordered employees to leave in groups. State media employees were informed that the military was now in charge, and they were advised to stay home and were told that the next broadcast would be the following morning. YouTube and other internet media outlets are either shut down or operating intermittently. The head of AKP’s Istanbul branch went on a private news channel calling on residents to “resist the coup and head to the airport for Erdoğan’s arrival.” The government then retook control of state television.
Doomed to Fail?
Turkey’s coup plotters had the element of surprise working in their favor. The speed in which the military deployed in major cities and took control of critical power centers showed a high degree of organization and efficiency. However, the coup attempt quickly frayed, and its chances of it failing were high because a polarizing faction was leading it.
There are multiple indications that followers of the Gulen movement embedded within the military were spearheading the coup attempt. The Gulenists are an Islamist movement that has built up significant influence in Turkey since the 1970s. They started with the gendarmerie where they could take advantage of lax background checks, and gradually worked their way up the military chain of command. When Erdoğan felt that the Gulen movement had become too powerful, relations started to unravel between the ruling party and the Gulenists. Starting in 2014, massive purges took place to whittle down Gulenist influence in the media and government.
But the Gulenist influence in the military was not fully purged. This may be because of the large amount of blackmail the Gulenists retained on major military figures to prevent their own dismissals. In essence, an Islamist faction within the military that has deeply alienated the secular strongmen within the armed forces is the one leading the challenge against Erdoğan. It was not a coup backed by Turkey’s secular political, military and civilian opposition. This was evidenced by signs of a countercoup led by several military commanders and the national police, as well as by the main secular opposition Republican People’s Party leader saying it was against the coup.
The Counter Coup
The first signs of trouble for the plotters began almost as soon as the plot began. The commander of Turkey’s 1st Army quickly announced that the military did not support the coup. The commander of the 3rd Army, meanwhile, ordered troops to return to their bases. Together, the statements implied significant parts of the military remained loyal to Erdoğan’s administration and would not support the attempted coup.
Once word of the coup reached Erdoğan, he and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), issued a call to citizens to resist the coup. Citizens flooded the streets of Turkey, launching what appears to be a countercoup that stopped the military from taking over the government. Civilians and police alike took back public squares across the country as well as Ataturk International Airport. Unconfirmed reports also suggest that the leader of the coup, Col. Muharrem Kose, a former military legal counsel who was dismissed from his position in March, has been identified and is surrendering to security forces.
The End of the Coup
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said July 16 that his government is in charge following the coup attempt though sporadic ongoing clashes are still being reported. At least 60 people were killed in the violence, including several police officers, and at least 150 people were wounded. Pro-government forces have retaken control of the Turkish military headquarters and the Turkish military’s chief of staff was rescued after being taken hostage by coup plotters. More than 750 people have been arrested so far, many of them soldiers who took part in the coup attempt. Erdoğan thanked the leaders of three opposition parties that refused to back the coup attempt.
The coup attempt came at precisely the wrong time for Ankara. Just over the border in Iraq and Syria, critical challenges are mounting as Turkey is drawn deeper into the fight to contain the Islamic State. Internally, Turkey is combating its own domestic Kurdish militant movement, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
Because the coup revealed deep divisions in the military, the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will be faced with conducting a purge of some of the top leadership of his army. This will include some of his most capable and experienced generals of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd armies as well as several Turkish air units. This will make it difficult for Ankara to use the military as an instrument of policy and national strategy in the near future. The coup has been put down, but the aftershocks could hamstring Turkey for a long time. This period of confusion will also allow other elements in the military to gain a foothold to power, many of these Islamic.
This coup failed, but another, stronger, Islamic coup may succeed in the future, one that may turn its sights south, toward Israel, one with an extremely powerful military.
- Prophecy 20/20: Profiling the Future through the Lens of Scripture
— Koinonia House
- Erdoğan Is Blaming the Coup on a Shadowy Turkish Cleric Who Lives in Pennsylvania
— Foreign Policy
- Tumult in Turkey: The Key Players
— New York Times
- Erdoğan says Turkish gov’t will discuss reintroduction of death penalty with opposition
— Hurriyet Daily News
- FBI Launches investigation of Gulen and his movement
— Canada Free Press
Waiting for John
To whom, then, will you compare me, the One who is God? Or to what image will you liken me? To an idol? A craftsman makes the image, and a goldsmith overlays it with gold and casts silver chains. To the impoverished person? He prepares an offering — wood that won’t rot — Or to the one who chooses a skilled craftsman and seeks to erect an idol that won’t topple?
— Isaiah 40:18–20 (ISV)
A Modern Day Fairy Tale
Once upon a time, there was an island people happy with their life. They went about their life of fishing and gathering their food. They lived as idyllic a life as one could imagine.
And then the gods came.
The gods came in several varieties. While they came in different shapes and sizes, they all looked strange to them. Some of them were short and had faces that looked like none they had seen before. After a time, they left and more gods came. These gods were taller and had skin much lighter than theirs. Others were also tall, but they were darker and looked more like them.
All three types of gods were strange, but they had one thing in common, they brought gifts — lots of gifts.
The island people, who only thought they were happy before, now experienced happiness beyond their wildest dreams. They had all the material goods they could ever want. They had food beyond measure and devices the likes of which they had never seen before. Now, they knew, they were truly happy and would experience this happiness forever.
Then, one day tragedy struck. Like the first group of gods, the second group of white and dark-skinned gods announced they were leaving the island. The islanders were very sad the gods were leaving, but took comfort in the fact the gifts the gods provided them would serve as a reminder of the blessings given on the islanders.
Then the tragedy struck.
As it came time for the gods to leave, they took all the gifts away! What made it worse was not only did the gods take back their gifts, but they dumped all the gifts they could not take back with them into the sea. They left not one thing behind for the islanders. The islanders knew they must have displeased the gods, but no one would tell them what they did wrong.
After the gods left, many of the tools the islanders had used before to fish, gather, and prepare their own food had become useless. They fell on hard times. Many natives starved. They longed for bygone days when the gods, led by John Frum, supplied them with all their needs.
To appease the gods and entice them to return to the island, the natives built replicas of many of the implements the gods had used while there. They also tried to prepare the island for the god’s eventual return. So far, the gods have not returned.
The people are still waiting for them.
Fiction Based on Fact
While told from an islander’s point of view, this is a true story.
The story recounts a series of actual events that took place in a region of the Southwest Pacific Ocean called Micronesia.
Today, centered on the village of Lamakara, at the edge of Sulphur Bay in the shadow of an active volcano on the island of Tanna, Vanuatu (formerly New Hebrides), the cult of John Frum waits. According to one villager:
[We wait for] an American messiah, John Frum… [who] promised he’ll bring planeloads and shiploads of cargo to us from America if we pray to him… Radios, TVs, trucks, boats, watches, iceboxes, medicine, Coca-Cola and many other wonderful things.
During World War II, the Japanese inhabited this part of the Pacific and used it as a base of operations to sever the sea lanes to Australia. The Japanese army stocked the island with all the supplies needed for a long campaign. As the allies moved against the Japanese homeland, the Japanese evacuated the island and were replaced with allied forces, both black and white (the black troops serving mainly as stevedores and warehousemen.)
During both periods of occupation, the islanders were the recipients of the largesse from both sides, as goodwill and to buy their cooperation.
And the cargo kept coming.
The natives truly believed these occupiers were gods and had a name for their chief deity — John Frum. The belief is the name is derived from the servicemen introducing themselves by saying, “Hi, I’m John from Indiana.” Or “Hi I’m John from California.”
In 1943, the U.S. command, concerned about the movement’s growth, sent the USS Echo to Tanna with Maj. Samuel Patten on board. His mission was to convince John Frum followers that, as his report put it, “the American forces had no connection with Jonfrum.” He failed.
At war’s end, the U.S. military unwittingly enhanced the legend of their endless supply of cargo when they bulldozed tons of equipment — trucks, jeeps, aircraft engines, supplies — off the coast of Espíritu Santo. During six decades in the shallows, coral and sand have obscured much of the watery grave of war surplus, but snorkelers can still see tires, bulldozers and even full Coke bottles. The locals wryly named the place Million Dollar Point.
After the war, the Tanna men were convinced that John Frum would come back and hacked a primitive airstrip out of the jungle in the island’s north to tempt the expected American planes from the skies. This practice was repeated across the South Pacific as thousands of cargo cult followers devised similar plans — even building bamboo control towers strung with rope and bamboo aerials to guide in the planes.
In 1964, one cargo cult on New Hanover Island in Papua New Guinea offered the U.S. government $1,000 for Lyndon Johnson to come and be their paramount chief. But as the years passed with empty skies and seas, almost all the cargo cults disappeared, the devotees’ hopes crushed.
In Tanna, however, the faithful have never wavered. Each Friday afternoon, hundreds of believers come to Lamaraka from villages all over Tanna. After the sun goes down, the congregation gathers in and around an open hut on the ceremonial ground. As light from kerosene lamps flickers across their faces, they strum guitars and homemade ukuleles, singing hymns of John Frum’s prophecies and the struggles of the cult’s martyrs. Many carry the same plea: “We’re waiting in our village for you, John. When are you coming with all the cargo you promised us?”
To entice the Americans back after the war, islanders constructed piers and carved airstrips from their fields. They prayed for ships and planes to once again come out of nowhere, bearing all kinds of treasures: jeeps and washing machines, radios and motorcycles, canned meat and candy.
They imitate things like runways, to put fires along the sides of the runways, to make a wooden hut for a man to sit in, with two wooden pieces on his head like headphones and bars of bamboo sticking out like antennas — he’s the controller — and they wait for the airplanes to land. They’re doing everything right. The form is perfect. It looks exactly the way it looked before.
But it doesn’t work. No airplanes land.
Lessons from Yesterday and for Today
The people of the cargo cult may hold a clue to mysteries from the past. There have been many glyphs discovered from prehistoric times which would suggest visitors having come to earth. While some subscribe into the theory, it would seem what looks like an alien visitation is actually an encounter with a demonic entity. Are these glyphs an early representation of an actual event, much like what the cargo cults are representing? (There is a good treatment of this glyph phenomenon in Chuck Missler & Mark Eastman’s book, Alien Encounters.)
There is also a lesson for today from the cargo cult movement. People alive in the West who are under 70 years old do not know privation. While many have gone through trying times, most have not experienced the consequences of a worldwide depression nor were they old enough to really experience the horror of a war on the Homefront.
There are dark times coming. The phrase “wars and rumors of war” is taking on new meaning. The economic privations foretold in the Book of Revelation seem to be just over the horizon.
Those who have not known hard times may not have the capacity to cope and may try to repeat the nostrums they tried in the past, trying to make the good times come back, but they will be no more successful than the people waiting for John Frum.
Taking Peter to Heart
A village elder was once asked what he most wants from John Frum, he replied, “A 25-horsepower outboard motor for the village boat. Then we can catch much fish in the sea and sell them in the market so that my people can have a better life.”
As the elder and his questioner looked down into John Frum’s fiery volcano home, the elder was reminded not only does he not have an outboard motor from his god, but that all the devotees’ other prayers have been, so far, in vain. “John promised you much cargo more than 60 years ago, and none has come,” the questioner pointed out. “So why do you keep faith with him? Why do you still believe in him?”
Chief Isaac gave the man an amused look. “You Christians have been waiting 2,000 years for Jesus to return to earth,” he says, “and you haven’t given up hope.”
To non-believers do we seem to differ greatly from the village elder? Have we taken to heart Peter’s words?
Always be prepared to give a defense to everyone who asks you to explain the hope you have.
— 1 Peter 3:15 (ISV)
- In John They Trust
- The Cargo Cults and John Frum (America)
— Today I Found Out
- Fifty Years Ago: Cargo Cults of Melanesia
— Scientific American
- Cargo Cults and John Frum Movement
— Cargo Cult (Australia)
- Cargo Cult
The views and opinions expressed in these articles, enews and linked websites are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views held by Koinonia House. Koinonia House is providing this information as a resource to individuals who are interested in current news and events that may have an impact on Christian Life and Biblical trends. Koinonia House is not responsible for any information contained in these articles that may be inaccurate, or does not present an unbiased or complete perspective. Koinonia House disavows any obligation to correct or update the information contained in these articles.
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