Roundup 2018-03-23

My blog posts

Degrading time to double: bigger orgs = slower growth. Can be better to start new movements than try to ramp up the growth of the old. Link

Difficulties in defining closure: not everyone thinks of “finishing the task” in a missiological way. Link

How can I know the will of God? Macro vs Micro perspectives. Link

Events

#Wars:

Syria: fierce fighting in Ghouta, Damascus, Afrin causes massive new displacement – 45k – ReliefWeb

Turkey takes control of Afrin, Syria after Kurds withdraw – Al-Monitor

New Turkish airstrikes against Kurdish fighters in Syria, Iraq – a ‘new phase of conflict’ – Newsweek

… Kurdish annual cultural festival becomes mass protest against campaign against Kurdish militia – Reuters

Pakistan: new crop of Kashmiri militants fighting in name of religion, not politics – QZ

Cameroonians fleeing violence to Nigeria, seeking asylum: 20,000 – ReliefWeb

Children on the front line in Yemen: ‘Told I had to fight until I died’ – BBC Video

Aral Sea: once written off for dead, the Aral Sea is now full of life – National Geographic

Nigeria: Most (not all) of the 110 school girls captured by Boko Haram were returned – CNN Video

How China is influencing Sierra Leone’s election – Diplomat

Myanmar president resigns (health), key Aung San Suu Kyi ally – Guardian

considers law that would restrict work of UN, NGOs – Washington Post ($)

Richard Dawkins giving away The God Delusion in Islamic countries – Guardian

… a ‘stirring towards atheism’

Pakistan: Christians must reveal religion to vote or apply for jobs – Christianity Today

Raw Data

RiskMap 2018 – Link

2018 Global Risk Forecast – Link

Regional Humanitarian Outlook for Great Lakes Region (West Africa) – ReliefWeb

Somalia: GIEWS Country Briefing: food situation improving but still insecure – ReliefWeb

DRCongo: Summary statement of the humanitarian situation – ReliefWeb

Papua New Guinea earthquake report: 544k affected over 5 provinces – ReliefWeb

Analysis

Beyond regional radars: security from below and the rule of law in the Sahel – Link

Libya cannot hold free elections in current climate – HRW

Why [decade-long] drought is a national security issue in Iran – Al-Monitor

… over 90% of population, economic production in areas of high/very high water stress

‘Christianity’ as default is gone: the rise of a non-Christian Europe – Guardian

… survey of 16-to-29 year olds found majority in a dozen countries are non-religious

The growth of Germany’s Muslim population – Pew

Muslim refugees [in Sweden] are finding Christ, and facing backlash – Christianity Today

… ‘largest revival in the last 100 years going on right now…’ (though technically not revival)

The number of ex-Muslims in America is rising – Economist

Opportunities & Challenges of Han mission work amongst ethnic minorities – ChinaSource

China’s new frontiers in dystopian [facial-recognition, monitoring, controlling] tech – Atlantic

… the toilet paper & jay-walking examples are perhaps the biggest culture shock for Westerners

Starting in May, China will ban people w/poor ‘social credit’ from planes, trains – TheVerge

As China tightens rules on religion, unregistered churches wince – Economist

The rise of South Korea’s soft power in the Middle East – Diplomat

… another context for Korean mission sending

Sri Lanka’s anti-Muslim violence: tied to Buddhist identity – Diplomat

Embracing China, Facebook and Himself, Cambodia’s ruler digs in – NYT

… ‘high water mark for China’s influence in Southeast Asia’

The Japanese elderly women shoplifting to get arrested – Bloomberg

… ‘in search of the community and stability of jail’

Religious persecution is hindering children’s education: a survey – Forbes

Saudi Crown Prince: Liberalizer or Authoritarian? NYT Video

… looks like all the liberalization is generating good will, but iron fist behind it

… SArabia lightens up, builds entertainment industry from scratch – NYT

… also: Saudi Crown Prince: Women are ‘absolutely equal’ – NYT

… Crown Prince says Saudi women should have choice whether to wear abaya – Reuters

… Job market shrinking as govt drives to replace foreign workers with citizens – Gulf Business

America: older people projected to outnumber children for first time in US history – Census

… 2030s: ‘grow slower, age considerably, diversify rationally, intl migration overtake natural increase’

As America changes, some anxious whites feel left behind – National Geographic

… uncomfortable article about people grappling with shift to white-minority status

Refugees in America: an analysis, and a lesson in American greatness – Economist

Blogs & Opinions

Bloody scenes of life under IS haunt Mosul returnees – Reuters

In Syria’s Eastern Ghouta, a doctor’s battle: ‘we will stay until the end’ – BBC

An Eritrean refugee’s journey – an interactive piece – Middle East Monitor

Despite bad press about Myanmar, here is a good report about openness to Gospel – GodReports

Kenneth L. Pike – the man behind the rise of SIL – Christianity Today

… ‘a man rejected by CIM became one of the most significant figures in modern missions’

The story of a 102-year-old woman in China who heard the Gospel, was baptized – ChinaSource

The remarkable story of China’s “Bible Women” – Christianity Today

Carl Ellis: The forgotten history of African American missions – SEBTS

Norooz – a guide to the Persian New Year – IranWire

How China taught me to view Islam [common misconceptions] – Far West China

Why your personality shapes everything you do in ministry – SBTS

Secularization: an unexpected friend to the Gospel – MNN

… reminded of “ex-Muslim” and “increasing atheist” articles, not sure how big a trend this is though

Op/Ed: Raising my kids to be unapologetic American Muslims – Atlantic

Future, Tech

Affectiva has emotional AI software/face scanning for cars: ‘to prevent drowsy/distracted driving’ – Mashable

The decades long quest to end drought by taking the salt out of sea water – Wired UK

Europe’s new privacy law will change the web [and impact missions] – Wired

Lufthansa has started biometric boarding at LAX: ‘just show your face’ – CNTraveler

More to read

Entire issue of ChinaSource Quarterly devoted to Contextualization & the Chinese Church – Link

Pentecostal Megachurches in Southeast Asia: 243pp – Link

Brent Fulton: 7 trends impacting foreign Christians in China: $1.99 – Link

Young China: how the restless generation will change their country and the world – Link

History: how the Philippines became Catholic – Christianity Today

Quotes

“Live in the future, then build what’s missing.” ~Paul Graham

“If service is below you, leading is beyond you.” ~Tanmay Vora

Some men die by shrapnel. Some by flames. Some die inch by inch and play at little games. Winston Churchill 

If you’re not ready to face opposition for your obedience to God, you’re not ready to be used by God. ~@Craiggroeschel

“You’re not called and commissioned to attend a service once a week. You’re called to make disciples.” ~@ToddAdkins

“It is not good enough to do God’s work; it must be done in His way and for His credit.” ~Erwin Lutzer

“It is the cause,  not the death, that makes the martyr.” ~Napoleon

“There is nothing wrong with men possessing riches. The wrong comes when riches possess men.” ~Billy Graham

“God loves each of us as if there were only one of us” ~St. Augustine

“Those who grow deep without growing wide are probably not as deep as they think.” ~J. D. Greear