Roundup 118

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My blog posts

Christian distribution: global south vs global north – Link

News & Events

Egypt: camera bill stokes fears of a surveillance state – Link
… new bill requires restaurants, shop owners to install cameras

Nigeria: herdsman violence and attacks continue – Link
… all-boys Catholic seminary in Taraba evacuated following herdsmen invasion

In South Sudan, a never-ending hunger season puts millions in danger – Link
… NYT team goes to S Africa to document the extent of the hunger. Long read, video.

Congo could again descend into war – Link
… summary of deep dive by the Economistin February.

A quarter of Central Africa Republic’s population have been displaced by conflict – Link
… 700,000 internally displaced, 570,000 in neighboring countries

Kyrgyzstan urged to crack down on bride kidnapping – RFE

Famine looms in Yemen as threat to port grows – Link

Suggestions that the opposition party could win Turkey’s elections – Link
… fears of foul play hang over the elections – Link

Iraq: 9 months after liberation, Mosul is coming back to life – National Catholic Register

Pakistan: Transforming Karachi into a livable and competitive megacity – Link (PDF)
… “detailed information on the economy, livability and key urban infrastructure of the city”
… this is the city that has been scorched by relentless heat – Link

Pakistani Hazaras face a constant threat of targeted violence – PRI

India’s Hindu nationalist party suffer defeat at polls – AP
… BJP wins 2 seats in four elections and 10 state assemblies
… Lost its majority, has 271 of 543 seats in lower house, but remains dominant due to allies
… Modi still likely to have a big win in the national elections based on image, emphasis on development

Fear of Islam leads India to snub refugees – WSJ

Bangladesh: “Race against the rains”: the effort to rebuild the Rohingya camp – NYT
… video-heavy documentary: ‘nearly a million Rohingya Muslims live here. These low-lying structures would be the first to flood.’

China: A “New” New Normal? ChinaSource
… management of religious affairs will shift to the United Front Work Department. Here’s why that could be a game changer.

China: a 3rd person is arrested following a pop superstar’s concert – NPR
… due to facial recognition / surveillance tech

For many South Korean Christians, reunification with the North is a religious goal – The Conversation

Vietnam: documenting Hanoi’s postwar evolution – Link
… ‘a photographer’s quest to capture a city’s transformation, along with its people’

Cambodia: What’s missing from its democracy? – Diplomat
… “But the restrictions on free speech, media, civil society, freedoms of association and assembly, and the possible absence of election observers indicate that even if the CNRP were miraculously resurrected, the Cambodian elections would still be a far cry from free and fair.”

Myanmar: intensifying violence against ethnic minorities – NYT
… “doubling down” with a new campaign against largely Christian minority in Kachin state

Malaysia abandons plan to build KL-Singapore rail project – Link

USA: 60% of Americans recall attending Vacation Bible School while growing up – Link
… what does this say about reached/unreached/evangelized/unevangelized?

Burqa bans, headscarves and veils: a timeline of legislation in the West – Guardian

Greece: “Where Islam flourishes, despite being half underground.” – Economist

Pew came out with 10 key findings about religion in Western Europe – Link
… secularized, but most still identify as Christian; few regularly attend church; more
… and, Western Europe’s Christians are as religious as America’s ‘nones’ – Christianity Today

USA: Visa restrictions for Chinese in America – Link
… US administration plans to shorten length of validity for some visas issued to Chinese citizens

USA: Christian churches still struggle with race, how to discuss it, what to do – Link
… how much do these issues impact motivations for missionary candidates?

Reaching and revitalizing Rural America: overcoming misconceptions, and answering the call – Christianity Today
… the overall issue of the differences in strategy between reaching urban areas and reaching rural areas is important. The world is urbanizing, yes, but the rural regions are still growing in population. Even when the pops begin to shrink later in this century, there will still be huge swathes in both which require different strategies. We cannot focus on one to the exclusion of the other.

Raw Data / Resources / Collections

Three books on Turkey/Asia Minor may be helpful to those interested, from Andy Jackson:
… A guide inside the early church of Asia Minor: 300 profiles – Amazon
… Istanbul: a guide inside the early church of Constantinople – Amazon
… The Protestant Evangelical Movement in Turkey, 2005-2017 – Free Ebook Download
… (This latter, you have to register and be approved, and then you can download it)

Analysis

The 31 Largest Frontier People Groups: a prayer guide – Link

US State Department publishes Intl Religious Freedom Report for 2017 – Link

Global report on Internal Displacement 2018 – Link

Mary Meeker 294-slide Internet Trends Report 2018 – Link
… smartphone and Internet adoption are *slowing* (most already online)
… people spending more time than ever gazing into their screens
… China catching up fast as a tech hub

Where it’s hardest to be a child – End of Childhood Report from Save the Children – Link
… worst countries are all in Africa; worst is Niger.

A secular Muslim’s guide to drinking alcohol during Ramadan – Washington Post
… “although alcohol is considered haram, a significant minority drinks… Chad and a number of other Muslim majority countries top the global ranking for alcohol consumption…”

Blogs, Opinions, Stories

Profile: Malaysian Buddhists celebrate Vesak (Buddha Day) – Link

This entrepreneur shares how she built an audience without advertising – Link
… 17 minute podcast from “Problem Solvers.” The entrepreneur in question runs an “adult” business selling sexual aids.
… why link to this? Because it’s a SFW case study of how someone who is denied access to media (ability to place ads) could still build an audience. Some of these principles and ideas are useful both in restricted access areas, and for mission agencies that can’t afford the cost of some keywords on Google Search etc.

7 signs your church is (finally) reaching unchurched people – Cary Nieuwhof
… 1) people aren’t signing much during the service
… 2) long-time church people are unsettled
… 3) irregular attendance is regular
… 4) your tidy categories are falling apart
… and 3 more. Good stuff here, along the lines of vanity metrics: if we measure “what matters,” we tend to aim for that – but something like “more singing” may make the actual goal (unchurched people) less reachable

Apply a build/measure/learn loop (from Lean Startup) to your personal life – Tara Velis
… simple methods for defining experiments and learning from them

Learning from “The Ten Faces of Innovation” by Tom Kelley – Ameet Ranadive
… Learning, Organizing, Building Personas. The original book is here – Amazon

Future, Tech

5 ways to stay safe on public wifi – Link
… excellent short little video with good safety disciplines: https, etc.

Facebook makes it easier to set up 2-factor authentication – Link
… maybe not a bad idea for missionaries and mission agencies?

Pew: Teens, Social Media and Technology 2018 Report – Link
… among other things, massive drop among teens using Facebook

This Russian startup is using AI, facial recognition to power an ethnicity detection tool – Quartz

The Big Four: Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Alphabet/Google (in order) – Link
… Microsoft pulled ahead of Google.

As I predicted, bots will not just be calling restaurants, but answering phones – Link
… Domino’s AI bot is answering store phones

The world’s lightest wireless flying machine lifts off: insect-sized drones – Link
… Clear back in the 1970s a very similar invention – and its implications for privacy and security and surveillance – were anticipated by that famed children’s series, Danny Dunn – Link

Quotes

“Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.” ~Tara Velis

“You can’t declare a 500 piece puzzle a 100 piece hurt because you want to.” ~Neill Mims on complexity

“In church today we are diligently praying for an infusion of cash when we desperately need and infilling of the Spirit.” ~Mac Brunson

“God is under no compulsion to make your dreams come true, but He will spare no expense to see that His will is accomplished in your life.” ~Richard Blackaby

“Quit praying for revival in the nation when you won’t even befriend your unchurched neighbor next door.” ~Ed Stetzer

“Assumptions limit the way we look at problems and they’re disastrous to the creative process.” ~Todd Henry

“Our greatest regrets are often acts of omission.” ~Jeff Bezos