Would Jesus find peace here?
2016-12-15 13:46:29 -
Would Jesus find peace here?

Thomas Baganineza

In 2012, the European Union won the Nobel Peace Prize. Whether they deserved it or not is everyone’s own opinion. But for all intents and purposes, history shows that Europe has been dominating, leading or influencing world affairs more than any other continent. If you want to see the current global geopolitics in the right perspective, you should go to Europe and then you will understand the direction the world is headed.

Since the times of both Roman and Greek empires, Europe never ceased to amaze the rest of the world. From discovering to conquering and colonising, this small continent knows how to strategically invest over the long term, for decades, centuries and millennia.

The European cultures, languages and history are well rooted in other parts of the world. Indeed, in many non-European countries you will find one of the official languages spoken is likely European, whether English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, German or Dutch.

It is also quite surprising that Europe, which has fewer than 30 countries  today and even fewer than that in years past, has more sovereign kingdoms than Africa, which has more than 50 countries. 

When the Europeans came to colonise Africa, they found a continent of kingdoms, an African empire. But to date Africa is left with only three sovereign kingdoms, in Swaziland, Lesotho and Morocco. Compare that with how many sovereign monarchies one can count in Europe.

It is obvious that the colonised Africa was overzealous in destroying her kingdoms, while the coloniser kept her own. And whether we like it or not, even after African independence, Europe had nothing to lose. Whether Africa is economically independent or not is in the eye of the beholder.

Either way, the ongoing ties between the former colonisers and their colonies prove that European powers had and still have nothing to lose. Take the UK, which still counts many countries under its leadership of the British Commonwealth. It is the same with France, which has many Francophone countries under its influence. While few may want to agree with this, it seems once a colony, always a colony. Diplomacy has taught people to conceal what they feel inside them, even if those feelings aren’t offensive.

Despite the fact of its mixed past of slave trade, colonisation, invasion and occupation, Europe should be recommended for its strong policies, hard work and strategic long-term investments.

After the World Wars, Europe saw the need to confront its demons and embraced change. It saw the need to invest in peace, democracy and human rights, transforming into a beacon of generosity and multifaceted partnership towards the developing world. Over decades, the European Union has been giving comprehensive assistance to the poorest part of the world as it also welcomed refugees and asylum seekers from places of strife.

That is why when Europe was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, some of us weren’t so surprised. What is surprising, and saddening, is that the united peaceful image the EU has been portraying to the world was tainted when the UK decided it would pull out of the union in June 2016.

Why, and for which interests, did the UK do that? Could it be jealousy of the place of Belgium, another sovereign monarchy, at the heart of the union’s business? After all, the UK is the living image of the old British Empire on which the sun never set. Is Brexit the prelude to a new world order, especially for the west? Who can think that the UK will freeze out in the cold and beg to return to the EU fold?

How, also, is the now fractured EU committed to peace? While there is power in unity, there is aggressiveness and sabre-rattling in vulnerability and weakness. What, then, does Brexit mean for global peace and security?
Did Brexit mark the beginning of a Eurexit, prompting other member states to leave one after one until the EU becomes more like the USSR as it dissolved in 1991?

I have no doubt that, directly or indirectly, Europe will lead the world until Jesus Christ returns. But when He comes, will He find peace in Europe?

Thomas Baganineza is director at TugOfHope.org, a think tank focused on peace building, climate change and humanitarian crises.
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