Bodyguards with bulletproof briefcases and high-powered pistols, look-alike stand-ins and food tasters are just some of the ways the very rich and influential people today protect themselves. It is reported that when president Vladimir Putin of Russia steps out in public he has four rings of security surround him, starting with his personal bodyguards, others hidden amid the crowd, still more ringing the perimeter and snipers perched on the surrounding rooftops. According to reports he is apparently obsessed with both his security and his health. Recent photos showed him meeting with world leaders and even his own advisers at opposite ends of extremely long tables to maintain at least 20 feet of distance between them. He donned a hazmat suit, complete with a full face respirator, before visiting a Moscow hospital treating coronavirus patients in April 2020. Especially since his invasion of Ukraine his protection has been tightened, although some papers have reported that he has already survived five assassination attempts since rising to power in 2000.
Since the beginning of the 20th century over 56 world leaders have been assassinated, many of which have led to catastrophic consequences. So the precautions of Mr Putin are not unfounded in history. One such assassination was that of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire, in June 1914. It is widely believed to have been the catalyst for the outbreak of World War One in August 1914, when underlying factors were exacerbated in the political fallout of the Archduke’s death and from 28 June 1914, Europe began an inexorable path to war. Another one is that of the earliest heroes of the civil rights movement in India. Gandhi spearheaded non-violent resistance to British rule as part of the Indian quest for independence. Having successfully helped campaign for independence, which was achieved in 1947, Gandhi turned his attention to trying to prevent religious violence between Hindus and Muslims. He was assassinated in January 1948 by a Hindu nationalist, Nathuram Vinayak Godse, who viewed Gandhi’s stance as too accommodating towards Muslims. His death was mourned around the world. Godse was caught, tried and sentenced to death for his actions. In more recent days there was the assassination of the first female Prime Minister of Pakistan, and the first woman to head a democratic government in a Muslim majority country, Benazir Bhutto. She was one of Pakistan’s most important political figures and was killed by a suicide bomb at a political rally in 2007, her death shook the international community. However, many were not surprised by it as she was a controversial figure who had been tarred consistently by allegations of corruption, and Islamic fundamentalists opposed her prominence and political presence. Her death was mourned by millions of Pakistanis, particularly women, who had seen the promise of a different Pakistan under her tenure.
Even though these people all had a protective shield thrown around them their protection was penetrated by determined assassins. Showing that no one can give us absolute security, no one but the true and living God. In the gospel of John chapter 10 verse 28 the Lord Jesus Christ said “And I give unto them eternal life;” to those who believe and trust in him he promises them eternal life. But then he goes on to say “and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” For those who believe and trust in Jesus they have a divinely protective shield thrown around them that no one can penetrate without the preordained will of God. They have the wonderful hand of God guarding and protecting them. P. Pilgrim firstname.lastname@example.org