Roundup 134

Events, Data Points in Trends

North Africa / Warring States

African countries struggle to contain terror groups – Link
… attacks in less-reached areas can impact church growth, mission effort

Western Africa / Lake Chad

Cameroon: divisions widen ahead of Presidential vote – Link
… “The Carnage of the Cameroons” – Link
… “Anglophone crisis: Red Dragons and Tigers” – Link

Nigeria

In Nigeria and elsewhere, a return to ethnoreligionist roots? Link

Nigeria inundated by floods; UN steps up disease prevention – Link

Ethiopia / Horn / East Africa

Politics changing in Eritrea, but political prisoners still remain – Link
… how many of these are Christians?
Ethiopia: allegations of genocide against Somali Muslims in Ogaden – Link
… ‘entire villages and towns in border region wiped out…’
Kenya: Bible translated into Rendille for the first time – Link
… nomadic group closely tied to the Somalis.
Uganda: faith leaders wade into alarming drug abuse crisis – Link

Middle Africa / Lakes

USA issues a “do not travel” warning for Central African Republic – Link
… due to crime, terrorism. CAR, pop. 3 million, West Africa, 64% Christian.

Congo’s Ebola outbreak has “very high” risk of spreading – Link

Central Asia / Caucasus

Uzbekistan: “building on centuries of inter-religious harmony” – Link
… “new leadership openly tackling challenges… including religious freedoms”

Turkey

Building mosques, erasing Christianity – Link

The return of the Diyarbakir book fair, after 4 year hiatus – Link

Iran/Iraq

Two Christian conversation receive prison sentences – Link
… Middle East Concern: “It is written in the verdict that for Christians to claim that Jesus is Lord and that the Bible is their final authority can be perceived as an attack against Islam.”

China

Government’s “campaign against Christians intensifies” – Link
… “Henan has one of the largest Christian populations… campaign especially forceful”
… “Zhejiang carried out a forceful campaign against churches in 2014-16”
… Baptist Press: “A return to Mao era persecution in China?” – Link
… “We are scared, but we have Jesus”: China & its war on Christianity – Link

China seeks to strengthen grass roots reach through Communist branches – Link
… “A renewed effort has been made to build and strengthen party cells across the country. This is to ensure Beijing’s policies are faithfully carried out at the local level.” This will just further extend control, but it’s a question as to how evenly policies will be implemented.

China curbs teachers’ overseas travel, recalls passports – Link
… Elementary and secondary schools. Not sure what this is about.
Party: “Guide, boycott, and prevent” the faith among students and teachers – Link
… “Teachers cannot be believers, nor can they preach; students must not believe”
Informants in the Chinese classroom – Link

What is China planning for Tibet? Link
… “The Chinese leadership… is adamant that they will appoint the next Dalai Lama whether or not the Fourteenth Dalai Lama decides in favour of continuing or ending the institution.”

An internment camp for 10 million Uighurs: a visits China’s dystopian police state – Link
… Uighurs being secretly transferred to jails throughout China to deal with overflow – Link

Southeast Asia

#Indonesia Earthquake, Tsunami in Sulawesi (1,200 dead):
… Drone video shows scale of destruction, via BBC – Link
… More photos of ‘staggering destruction’ via Axios – Link
… And more photos from the Atlantic – Link
… Inside a mud-swamped Indonesian town – Link
… Volcano erupts in quake-hit Sulawesi – Link
… What went wrong with Indonesia’s tsunami early warning system – Link
… (cell phone towers destroyed by earthquake, no sirens on the beach)
… Lootings, prison breaks and IS: aid route to tsunami zone – Link
… BBC Video: Quake looter: ‘We need to eat’ – Link
… death toll at least at 1,200 (Channel 4 Asia Video) – Link

Diplomat: Sharia is here to stay in Indonesia’s Aceh – Link
… “Even an attempt just to hold Sharia-dictated canings in private was ultimately unsuccessful”

Research Notebook

Anant Kumar and Pramil K. Panda. Ethnicity, Religion and identity politics among tribes in Jharkand. Economic and Political Weekly (V53:39), September 29, 2018. Link
… somewhat related to the 270+ “booked in Uttar Pradesh for promoting Christianity” 

Stats, Resources, Graphics

Trafficking in Persons 2018 Report, with country-by-country survey/narrative – Link

Human Development Indicators Statistical Update, 2018 – Link

World Drug Use Report, 2018 – Link

State of the Industry Report on Mobile Money, 2017 – Link
… 690 million registered accounts worldwide, half in Africa
… McKinsey Report: Africa is the global leader – Link

Noteworthy

Staying safe in the most dangerous country for aid workers – Link
… two part series on aid workers in South Sudan

Brief review of new book by Ghanaian theologian on demons – Link

Diplomat: The world according to China – Link
… Understanding the world China seeks to create by 2049, when the PRC turns 100

UPG Stories

In India and Pakistan, religion makes one country’s hero the other country’s villain – Link

Futuristics/Technology

The Big Hack: How China used a tiny chip to infiltrate America’s top companies – Link
… can’t imagine this kind of thing will help relations between countries.
… or did China? Amazon, Apple, others deny the report – Link

Big tech is developing algorithms to predict famine before it happens – Link

Google activates G-suite email security alerts for state sponsored attacks – Link

… “to inform you government-backed hackers may be attempting to compromise …”

And, a Google writes on improving search for the next 20 years – Link
… important for mobilizers & mission agencies to keep on top of search trends
… many agencies tell me up to 50% of candidates come to agency via Google Search

Commentary: swarm attack systems easily defended against – Link
… “killer drone armies” may be overrated?
… but there have been nearly successful “lone assassin” drones…

India’s biometric ID system has led to starvation for some poor – Link

Netflix consumes 15% of the world’s Internet traffic – Link

A fake news law in Singapore could be a big deal test for Facebook, Google, Twitter – Link

A Google intern built the AI behind these shockingly good fake images – Link
… New algorithm “BigGAN” creates detailed photos from scratch

Fascinating new applications of drone tech to farming:
Hands Free Hectare – farmed a year using only automated tools – Link
The strawberry-picking robots doing work humans won’t – Link
… (and that we don’t want immigrants to do)
Lettuce-peeling robot is another step toward human-free agriculture – Link
Japan: how drones are changing the rice industry – Link
Insect killer: radar-equipped drone sprays pesticide more efficiently – Link
How NASA and John Deere helped tractors drive themselves – Link

Quotable

“If you don’t think your church has a dominant culture, that’s because you’re part of the dominant culture.” ~Andy Prime

“There is no commentary that opens up the Bible so much as sickness and sorrow.” ~J. C. Ryle.

“He who sows his grain in the field puts his trust in heaven.” ~Chinese proverb [allegedly]