4 April: We at Beyond will be doing a new Online Event called “The Unexpected Missionary: Katie’s Story”. One of our candidates will be giving her testimony of how God called her into missions. If you know anyone who’s thought about being a missionary but felt they didn’t have the right “gifting,” come hear from this self-professed “shy, fearful, introverted scientist” who is now headed out to the field! Register at https://www.beyond.org/events/.
Unshackled but far from free, former slaves struggle in Mauritania – Link
… “Activists say improving their lot is harder than ending slavery, and just as crucial to repairing race relations and maintaining peace.”
“Central Africa is now the most dangerous place in the world for children” – Link
… Muslim v Christian militia violence, 1 million displaced, thousands dead, brink of famine
Burkina Faso: deteriorating security situation = 70,000 displaced – Link
“This is love: bringing worship to underground house churches” – Link
… SAT-7 broadcasts to Persian believers in Iran: helping with local music-based worship
Op/Ed: Afghanistan’s post-9/11 generation – Link ($)
… “I was 4 when the Taliban took over my town in 1998.”
Iranian restaurants in capital close as meat prices soar – Link
Azerbaijan and ‘the worst cultural genocide of the 21st century’ – Link
… ‘over the past 30 years, engaging in systematic erasure of the country’s historic Armenian heritage’
… ‘denude Nakhichevan of its indigenous Armenian Christian past’
The violent toll of Hindu nationalism in India – Link
… “A populist Prime Minister has legitimized India’s more militant groups, and targeted attacks against religious minorities are on the rise”
… “In several states, local governments have also passed “anti-conversion” laws that make it illegal to forcibly convert people to a new religion. The ostensible purpose of the measures is to shield Hindus from aggressive Christian proselytizing, or to protect them from Islam. But conversion has historically also provided members of lower castes a way out of the caste system’s repressive strictures. The Bajrang Dal also cited the statutes as a justification for attacks against Muslims and Christians.”
Kashmir is in a perilous state because of India’s pivot to nationalism – Link
… Long read analysis. Kashmir is #36 of Top 40 least reached provinces
… and, India bans Kashmir religious group Jama’at-e-Islami – Link
Pakistan seizes religious schools in intensified crackdown on militants – Link
Beijing plans to continue tightening grip on Christianity and Islam – Link
… “uphold the Sinicisation of religion in China”
“He needed a job. China gave him one: locking up his fellow Muslims” – Link
… “China’s vast detention program for Muslims has required more and more police officers. And recruits are coming from the very ethnic groups that are being suppressed.”
Propaganda 2.0 – Chinese Communist Party’s message gets a tech upgrade – Link
… “the new propaganda push means political study now consumes more of their time than ever before”
What Christianity in Macau is like – Link
Megacities and more: a guide to China’s most impressive urban centers – Link
Why Bangladesh’s divorce rate is rising – Link ($)
Shared Buddhist faith offers no shield from Myanmar military – Link
… a deep look at the tensions in Rakhine State, with lots of photos
Second pastor kidnapped by militant Buddhist forces in Myanmar – Link
… “warned more abductions of Christians were likely because their missionary work made them a target”
Changing dynamics of Islamist terrorism in the Philippines – Link
… “The 1/27 Jolo church bombing might signal a tactical shift…”
Major new research: declining, plateaued, growing churches in USA from Lifeway – Link
… 70% of churches are subtracting, declining or plateauing.
… Only 7% of the churches are reproducing (Level 4), and 0% are multiplying (Level 5).
… context, Sep 2017: “More Americans now say they’re spiritual, not religious” – Link
The Mormon church in the USA, however, is not losing members. Here’s why – Link
… as Rodney Stark has analyzed before, the stronger the obligations and distinctions of a religious community, the less likely it is to lose members and the more likely it is to attract them.
… plus, “Mormons more likely to be married and have larger families, and to marry within the faith.” They have mastered the demographic growth side of things.
A third wave of autocratization is here – Link
… evidence the world’s governments are getting more autocratic by “seeping” away democratic freedoms.
Youth unemployment is a serious issue in the Middle East.
… Here’s a long-read analysis from Brookings – Link
… note that unemployment & corruption are major factors in Algeria, Sudan
I’m going to binge-watch this: Chinese food doc “Flavorful Origins” hits Netflix – Link
… big h/t to ZG_Briefs for this link
Rev Dr Chan Nam Chen: Five reality-checks for mission – Link
Church of England: first service in Farsi after a huge rise in Iranian converts – Link
March 2019 Mission Frontiers: Movements Everywhere, why so few in the west? Link
Rule thinkers in, not out: why a few bad ideas shouldn’t deter us from a thinker – Link
… people who have a lot of ideas will have a few good ones and a few bad ones.
We are terrible at predicting how long things will take; do this instead – Link
Mark Zuckerberg long post: “A privacy-focused vision for social networking” – Link
… “Over the next few years, we plan to rebuild more of our services around these ideas.” If actually implemented, huge: a sharp turn about from a previous focus on public sharing
An ancient Japanese shrine debuts a Buddhist robot – Link
… “world’s first sutra-chanting android deity”
Cool: Excel will now let you snap a picture of a spreadsheet and import it – Link
Twitter users in China face detention and threats in new Beijing crackdown – Link
… I missed this from January. 100s, maybe 1000s, called in by police for expressing opinions about China.
The NSA shut down its phone monitoring program in the USA – Link
“Our goal as disciples is never just to believe God’s Word; our goal is to obey God’s Word.” ~David Platt
“You don’t measure demand for a bridge by counting how many people swim across the river.” ~Horace Dediu
“Wherever you find a multiplying movement of disciples, you will always find a foundation of extraordinary prayer.” ~C. Anderson
“The true test of a person’s leadership is the health of the organization when the organizer is gone.” ~J. Oswald Sanders