Each month we keep an eye on 15 major issues and here link to articles on major events in each category. These are global ‘vulnerabilities’ that can cause significant challenges or opportunities for the church and missions. Some categories will be empty month to month; we keep the categories standard.
1. Wars & Rumors of Wars
- Sudan landmines:
- Yemen Removes 80 Per Cent Of Landmines- ICRC: some good news.
2. Ethnic & Religious Unrest
- UK: Weapons for Bibles scheme rolls out across London.
- Kyrgyzstan unrest: 2,200+? dead, 400,000+ fleeing
Agencies rush aid to Uzbek refugees (Guardian)
Kyrgyzstan crisis spreads as 100,000 Uzbeks try to flee (CSM, MNN)
Uzbekistan closes border amid clashes (CNN)
Running scared after fleeing (BBC)
Video of Kyrgyz unrest (Youtube)
Stalin’s harvest: what lies behind the violence (Economist)
China offers humanitarian aid to Kyrgyzstan (Xinhua)
400,000 Flee in Kyrgyzstan, U.N. Says (6/18, NYT, raising the estimate of the number of refugees)
Kyrgyz leader estimates 2,200 dead (6/18, Washington Post)
Children Hard Hit by Violence in Kyrgyzstan
- Iraq: Neda, young victim who defined Iran’s Green uprising, commemorated in film
3. Earthquakes & Disasters
- World: Reported Floods – Nov 24 – 30, 2009
- The 20th century has been one of the driest in nine centuries for Northwest Africa (Science Daily)
4. Famines & Droughts
East Africa: severe drought and famine, worst in 20 years
- Aid group: Rains fail again across East Africa (AP), Drought threat in East Africa (BBC)
- Africa: An Early Warning System for Droughts (AllAfrica.com), WMO develops Drought Monitoring System (Ghana Broadcasting Corporation).
- Rain ‘not enough’ to end hunger in Kenya (CNN)
- Somaliland & drought: the tale of one elderly. (Somaliland Press)
- Sahel faces worst food crisis for five years
- Funding shortage forces UN air service to halt aid flights in West Africa: World Food Program flights to Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia will be halted.
- Food crisis in Niger worse than in 2005 as millions face hunger. Oxfam on Twitter: Niger has 1 midwife per 33,500 people. Also: 3.3 million people, almost 25% of Niger’s population, are severely food insecure.
- RT @BarnabasFund: is helping starving Niger Christians as UN says the food crisis is of a magnitude not seen beforehttp://bit.ly/a9PzOo
- RT @ywamthailand @Oxfam: New video frm #Chad food crisis: women digging anthills to eat grains & seeds ants have storedhttp://bit.ly/d44H0C
- Nepal Food Security Map (as of Sept 2009)
- RT @ECHO_net: In Asia between 1993-2003 decline of poverty was most attributed to better rural agriculture not to migration to cities.
- Drought takes tragic toll on farming families (Australia)
5. Plagues & Pandemic Disease
- 451 million clinical cases of malaria worldwide in 2007: Experts
- HIV/Aids: the invisible cure: notes how the main problem in Africa is long concurrent relationships, in which STD protection is not used, but which are violated on occasion by infidelity, through which STDs are spread (unlike in other countries where STDs are spread primarily through the drug trade and prostitution).
- No money for vaccines puts 120 million at risk of yellow fever
General crime, violence:
Ecclesiastical, robbing the church of finances and mars its image.
Structures of sin, addictions and generational patterns
- The iPad’s dirty little secret to success: pornography? (Fast Company, mostly safe article, a few blurred pictures). But interestingly enough Apple has taken pornography on, and refuses to allow any porn apps in the store. (And the elimination of Flash from the iPad/iPhone may also contribute to success here.)
- New ‘morning-after’ pill effective, safe: FDA staff: “to prevent unwanted pregnancy with no unexpected side effects”
- Child porn too big for law enforcement? Microsoft steps in (CSM).
- Thai Religious warn of World Cup sex trade: around every sporting event there is usually a flourishing trade in sex.
- Woman describes how porn addiction destroyed marriage, calls for more scientific study
- RT @ecpatusa: “9 out of 10 Americans are unaware of the number of people living in sexual slavery” – http://bit.ly/cikbwU
Organized crime, and its threat
- US Includes Itself in Human Trafficking Report for First Time: faults 13 countries for human trafficking
- Drugs return to Guinea-Bissau, destabilizing it. Newspaper Office Vandalized for Publishing Narcotic Story. Former Exile Holds Power in West African Nation, and the US views the West African nation as a hub of the global drug trade. And it’s spreading: Gambia’s Drug Trafficking Dilemma.
- Hi-tech navies take on Somalia’s pirates: how to tell the difference between a pirate and a fisherman? not the fishing gear (which pirates take as a cover) or the AK-47s (which fishermen take for protection). It’s the long metal ladders. (Reuters Africa).
Human Rights, oppression, surveillance
- Teaching human rights in Africa (The Guardian)
- CCTV plan for Muslim areas halted
- New surveillance systems in West Bank – Jerusalem Post
7. Migration, Refugees
- Global conflicts bringing more refugees to Albany (mostly from Iraq and Myanmar)
8. Demography & Population Growth
9. Power, Energy
- In Nigeria, Oil Spills Are a Longtime Scourge: poor regulation, insufficient maintenance, sabotage.
- Why we may never be able to say goodbye to oil: a decade ago few imagined we would be drilling a mile below the ocean floor in the Gulf of Mexico (BBC).
10. Lack of successful youth outreach—which robs the church of its future
12. Poverty & Economic Unrest
14. Women & Children—
- India moves to alter divorce laws, making it easier for couples to divorce (BBC).