Roundup 113

My blog posts

Levels of mission involvement. Link

Projecting least-reached People Cluster populations to 2050. Link

First, Multiply: Why we should focus on leadership development first. Link


Algeria: Can it be illegal to leave your country? NYT
… Government got Higher Islamic Council to declare emigration haram

Morocco threatens Algeria with intervention in Western Sahara – Middle East Eye
… this old conflict isn’t done yet, impacts Saharawi, an unevangelized megapeople

Diaspora Tunisians brought together by ice hockey – Al-Monitor
… speaks to how sports speak to people – and the value of sports as a gathering platform

DR Congo: tales of terror from Ituri province – IRIN
… more than 48,000 refugees have fled to Uganda since January 2018.
… terrible situation but on the other hand DR Congo continues to function at some levels.

Central African Republic: to live and study in Bangui is a kind of torture – Al Jazeera

With Trump’s help, Egypt holds a farcical election – New Yorker
… American politics aside, good survey of existing state of the Egyptian govt, lots of links.

Syria: dozens suffocate as government is accused of chemical attack – NYT

Turkey’s state of emergency extended another term (no surprise) – Hurriyet
… Its intelligence agency seized at least 80 Turkish nationals from 18 countries – WPost

Turkey to lower price of citizenship for foreign investors (homebuyers) – Al-Monitor
… “prop up construction, housing… driving force of economy under AKP…”

Israel: “Establishing its so-called ‘Greater Jerusalem’ would mean the destruction of the city’s churches and mosques” claims the sec-gen of the PA’s Muslim-Christian committee – Al Jazeera

Saudi Arabia’s first new cinema in decades to open April 18 – Reuters

The Saudi Crown Prince thinks he can transform the Middle East. Should we believe him? TIME

Five facts about religion in Saudi Arabia – Pew
… young, rapidly growing Muslim population; women among most educated Muslims

Kazakhstan demands personal data for under-18 worshippers – Forum 18
… full names, ages, place of study, state-assigned numbers of all under-18 worshippers
… five religious leaders who replied refused to supply the data

Iraqi churches shoulder burden of reconstruction, for now – Al Monitor

India: ‘Big Brother’ requires fingerprint scans for food, phones, finances – NYT

India: an 8-year-old’s rape and killing fuels religious tensions in India – NYT
… ‘motive: to drive Asifa’s nomadic community out of the area’
… ‘has become another battleground in India’s religious wars’ (Hindu v Muslim)
… ‘Hindu nationalists… turned it into a rallying cry… in defense of the accused…’

Dalits are converting to Buddhism as a form of political protest – Atlantic
… “20% of Indian population… many angry at Modi’s government…”

Bangladesh: 100 injured as thousands of students protest – Gulf Times

Is Myanmar sliding back into military rule? Brookings

China’s Party takes (even more) control of the Media – China File
… massive new “Voice of China” under control of Propaganda department

China setting up grid system to monitor ordinary people – RFA
… ‘carve neighborhoods into a grid with 15-20 households per square’
… ‘give each grid a monitor who will report back on residents’ affairs’
… ‘already recruiting grid staff, offering a salary of 5,000 yuan/month’

N Korea: Pyongyang welcomes hundreds of foreigners for yearly marathon – NYT
… but number of participants is lower than in past years

N Korea: denuclearization is on the table, it says – NYT

USA: Muslims tell neighbors about their religion during Open Mosque Day – Boston Globe

Raw Data

2018 survey, the best time to book flights – Link
… Analyzing 917 million airfares over 8,000 markets, great data here

Internet Health Report, 2018 – Link
… compilation of research on what’s helping/hurting across 5 issues

World history map – Link
… would love to see something like this for world church history

Water scarce cities: thriving in a finite world – World Bank Report


Refugees, Immigrants
The challenges of North Korean refugees in China – China Policy Institute
Second exodus: tracing the footsteps of Palestinian refugees in Syria – Link
God’s divine plan for Muslim immigrants – CT
… data about how Muslims come to Christ should affect our thinking on immigration

China’s oppression reaches beyond its borders – NYT Op/Ed
How far will China go? expanding its political ops abroad – Foreign Policy podcast
How to make friends & influence people: inside the United Front – Chinoiresie

Bibles in China: the Gray Zone shrinks – Joann Pittman
… the ban isn’t a new law, it’s new enforcement, and the difference matters.

China: what’s changing about the rule of the CCP – Andrew Batson
… “CP does not govern; it leads, controls, inspires all institutions of govt and governance”

Mormonism’s newest apostles reflect growing global reach – The Conversation
… Chinese & Brazilian appointed to Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

Culture clash: Asian Americans balance Christianity & culture in rituals honoring ancestors – WPost

USA: Korean-American churches struggle to retain language, traditions – Link

The end of antibiotics – CFR
… threat may be slightly overblown but does impact mission. A recent conversation I heard at a table was how a particular antibiotic was ineffective in their field due to resistance.

USA: boomers, Xers less interested in owning a home – Link
… Lots of financial implications, but on the other side of the coin, increased mobility.

Christian women in the USA more religious than male counterparts – Pew
… so not surprising more involved in mission. Women singles outnumber men in every agency

Blogs & Opinions

Bio of Adoniram Judson, “The man who gave the Bible to the Burmese” – CT
… more Biographies on my Bios page

14 crucial characteristics of church movement leaders working among unreached – Link
… complete agreement with these.

Christian nationalism is anti-Gospel – MissioAlliance

Why setting big goals can make you miserable – Aytekin Tank
… mentions ‘the arrival fallacy’ – and the post-achievement crash

7 practical ways grit gets us where we need to go – Shane Bennett

How to think for yourself when algorithms control what you read – HBR
Related: how to prevent smart people from spreading dumb ideas – NYT

Why lose-lose nearly always dominates over win-win – Shelly Palmer
… ‘We seem to be drifting from a society that indefatigably strived to define right from wrong to a culture that exalts winners and excoriates losers. This is dangerous in the extreme.’

Why small teams win: scaling meaning before scaling teams – Link

6 ways to better handle failure – Link
… Brief survey of outlooks, disciplines, methods for separating experiment results from your personal identity, perspective

How to collaborate when you don’t have consensus – Link
… or when you don’t even like each other, or possibly are enemies

Texting has returned us to our roots as an oral culture – Erika Hall
… Chapter 1 of her new book, “Conversational Design”

Future, Tech

10 most effective communication and fundraising tools, according to non-profits – Link
… from 2018 Global NGO Technology Report, downloadable PDF (give email)
… 3 most effective: email updates (82%), websites (81%), social media (78%)

China: fugitive plucked by police at Jacky Cheung concert – Link
… after being recognized in massive crowd by facial recognition cameras
… and, face-scanning tech officially implemented at Beijing Intl Airport – Link

China now has the most valuable AI startup in the world – Link
How China’s massive AI plan actually works – CPI
… ‘wish list of AI, incentives to develop the items’

Don’t give away historic details about yourself – Krebs
… quizzes on Facebook, etc can compromise password verification questions

AT&T drops Huawei phone on security worries – NYT
… I might be paranoid but I’d never use one of these …

There is nothing virtual about Bitcoin’s energy appetite – NYT
… mining one coin = 2 years of American household’s electricity expenditure
… Inner Mongolia has one of the biggest Bitcoin farms in the world

Automated bots post the majority of Twitter links to popular websites – Pew

High fidelity virtual human animation “Siren” – FX Guide

The early pitch decks of 13 unicorns before they were unicorns – Link
… see how business fundraisers concisely present problem + solution

Studying the role of cellular networks on the internet – Link
… 16% of all internet traffic is cellular, but some countries are very high.
… online evangelism/discipleship resources need to aim at mobile phones w/cellular only

New quake alert system rolling out of beta – Link
… disaster response, gives seconds to minutes advance warning

Backpage seized by US authorities – Link
… it’s about time.

More to read

Scott Moreau’s forthcoming book, “Contextualizing the faith: a Holistic Approach”
… this little teaser tidbit has great nuggets – link
… “every church in the world is some mixture of both culture and Scripture”

Great Awakenings: understanding Christianity’s appeal to Chinese hearts – World
… interview with Dr. Mari Li Ma, author of new Surviving the State, Remaking the Church


“Do not imagine that if you meet a really humble man he will be what most people call ‘humble’ now a days: Probably all you will think about him is that he seemed a cheerful, intelligent chap who took a real interest in what you said to him.” ~C.S. Lewis

“Stories are as important as numbers, because stories tell us what the numbers mean.” ~Jim Haney

“Only the dead fishes swim with the stream. The biggest success happens when you’re willing to change and think differently.” ~Elisabet Gretarsdottir

“You can work without praying, but it is a bad plan; but you cannot pray in earnest without working. Do not be so busy with work for Christ that you have no strength left for praying.” –Hudson Taylor