Roundup 117

My blog posts

The time it takes: reaching the unreached is not a short process – Link
… including my powerpoint (in PDF format) on 13 stages of a missions career

Throwing back starfish: can we stop using this story? Link

Are Muslim birth rates faster than Christian birth rates? Link
… globally, yes. In most specific countries, no.

International Day for the Unreached, links to resources – Link

Is Christianity growing or shrinking in individual countries – Link

Changes in speed of religious growth: projections to 2025 – Link

News & Events

Sudan: Where marital rape is legal – Link
… Sudanese teen’s death sentence fuels wider fight

As Sisi silences critics, hopes fade that Egypt’s crackdown will ease – Link
… despite winning 97% of a deeply flawed poll, crackdown on dissent continues

Decades of war ruined Somalia, but it is now picking up the pieces – Link

Crossroads Djibouti: the African migrants who defy Yemen’s War: Photo feature – Link

Saudi Arabia: hitting the brakes on reforms – AtlanticBBC
… reports emerged that women activists had been arrested and imprisoned
… three of them were freed as of 5/24 – Link

Syria regains control of Damascus after seven years of fighting – Link

Turkey: Izmir population surging – Link
… attracting white-collar, educated Turks getting out of Istanbul’s crowds

Turkey: a childhood spent in prison – Link
… 624 children under the age of 6 live in Turkey’s prisons with their mothers

Iranian women threw off the hijab – what happened next? Link
… online threats, harsh government crackdown

Iran braces for economic war with America: will it destabilize the regime? Link
… my bet is: no.

Afghanistan produced a record opium poppy harvest in 2017 – Link
… the poppy crop is “a measure of the Taliban uprising.”
… The opium crop is a massive feeder of the Taliban, organized crime, and systems of sin worldwide.

Pakistan voted to merge the FATA and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces – Dawn
… “to give equal rights to millions in tribal areas, ending a British legacy” – NYT
… provincial status = basic legal rights + national investment (water, health care, etc)

Pakistan: dozens die in Karachi from relentless heat – Link
… temperatures reached 111.2 F, 44 C
… in 2015, at least 1,000 died from a heat wave
… highest temp in Pakistan: 122.4 in Nawabshah, Sindh last month

India home minister says “minorities safe in India” and “no discrimination on basis of religion” – Link

China’s five-year plan for adapting Christianity to Chinese socialism – Link
… China escalates nationwide crackdown on Protestant churches – Link

The remarkable fall in China’s suicide rate – Link
… “Globalization solved the suicide crisis among rural women”
… “as more Chinese have left farms in the countryside to work in factory cities, the suicide rate has plummeted’

China may scrap limits on family size by the end of the year – Link
… but ending the limits probably won’t bring about a baby boom – Link
… birth rates are falling in many countries. Globally, population growth is leveling off.
… Demography is the big force affecting the unfinished task, so this is important – Link

Check out the current Economist for a special report on Chinese abroad
For China’s elite, studying abroad is de rigueuer – Link
Chinese workers and traders in Africa – Link
What happens when Chinese students abroad return home – Link
Why many rich Chinese don’t live in China: increasingly choose to live abroad – Link
Chinese travelers of all sorts have become ubiquitous – Link

Nippon.com has an interesting if very short look at Christianity in Japan – Link
… stats for prefectures, maps, a bit of history.

USA, North Korea summit canceled: NYTEconomist
… NightWatch: “NKor overreach, NKor response conciliatory, seeks ‘do-over'”
… Yes, North Korea demolished its nuclear testing site – Link
… but the site was too unstable to use anyway – Link
… and others think much of the nuclear research was moved to a different location
… the situation in North Korea is unstable; unlikely to lead to massive change soon?

Myanmar: new evidence Rohingya armed group massacred scores in Rakhine state – Link

Indonesia’s prison system is broken – Link
… A look at the problems: are there any opportunities for churches and believers to be a blessing here?

“Alarming levels” of methamphetamine trafficking in the Mekong region – Link
… drug trafficking and abuse will impact the church, the people we’re trying to reach, and the context of outreach programs.

Russia: Gunmen attack Archangel Michael Church in Chechnya, killing 3 – Link 

Analysis

The world’s fastest shrinking countries (from Jan. 22) – Link
… Eastern Europe is shrinking before our eyes
… This map illustrates the immense population growth in Africa, which is driving growth in Islam & Christianity

America is changing demographically, here’s how your county compares – Pew
… an interesting, interactive examination of changes in counties: you can look yours up in a database. The data is somewhat limited: population changes, urban/rural status, and “nonwhite” populations.

1 in 4 American parents live with a child are unmarried – Pew
1 in 3 American children live with an unmarried parent – Link
… this will have implications for discipleship as well as for candidates for mission agencies

True Believers: How ISIS made jihad religious again – Link
… a look at how Al Qaeda’s 400 grew to ISIS’ 40,000. Paywall.

The Uighurs in Modern China: a long read analysis – Link
… Oxford Research Encyclopedia, h/t China Source.

China has a vast influence machine, and you don’t even know it – NYT

Blogs & Opinions

How to get things done and not die – Link
… this marvelous list is a simple productivity reminder. It got saved to my Evernote.

Harar, Ethiopia is the fourth holiest city in Islam – Link
… “also famous for its bear, moral laxity, and that you can have a hyena eat off your head”

10 women who served in China – Link

How Unilever reaches rural consumers in emerging markets – Link
… RM: “A lot of parallels to our attempt to fulfill the Great Commission”

A look at Suzhou, China, the “Venice of the East” – Link

Future, Tech

A fifth of humanity logs on to Facebook every day – Link

Facial recognition to soon be introduced to Beijing subway lines – Link

Chrome will stop displaying “secure” for https://, and instead say “not secure” for non-https. Link
… “Users should expect that the web is safe by default.”
… which means that most websites need to be changed to FORCE https – including mission agency websites

What social media systems are marketers not planning to use next year? Infographic
… 47% moving off Pinterest, 72% moving off Snapchat, only 2% plan to move off Facebook
… more stats and analysis of Social Media Marketing at this link

An autonomous vehicle found the “holy grail” of shipwrecks – Link
… $17 billion in gold, silver, and emeralds.

Amazon, Google supplying AI, facial recognition tech to police, governments – Link

China’s plan to be a tech powerhouse by 2025 – Link
… Made in China 2025 initiative seeks to turn country into a tech leader

Quotes

“It is not your business to succeed but to do what is right. When you have done so, the rest is up to God.” ~C.S. Lewis

“The sure conviction that we could if we wanted to is the reason so many good minds are idle.” ~Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (a German physicist and satirist)

“There is no one who is insignificant in the purpose of God.” ~Alistair Begg

“Everyone wants to be clothed with power but no one wants to be stripped of self.” ~Leonard Ravenhill

“We can know the right words yet never be changed. This is the difference between information and transformation.” ~A.W. Tozer

“Biblical orthodoxy without compassion is surely the ugliest thing in the world.” ~Francis Schaeffer

“When the culture collides with scripture, let the culture collapse.” ~Pastor Dan Cadavos

“Discipleship is personal. Jesus preached to thousands, but he discipled a few. You may preach to thousands, but if you’re not discipling a few your Ministry isn’t like Jesus.” ~Rick Dugan

“When the grass starts to look greener somewhere else, water your own yard!” ~Craig Groeschel

“A fanatic is someone who cannot change his mind and will not change the subject.” ~Winston Churchill

Seen on an evolutionist website, re Theistic Evolution: “I say, let them keep it. A God indistinguishable from random chance is not worth attack. Also not worth believing in or worshipping.” ~Reginald Selkirk