Roundup 144

Don’t Miss

Status of Global Mission, 2019: latest from World Christian Database – Link

Beyond’s next Online Disciplemaking Nugget Training: “Spirit Walk: How to abide in the Spirit.” Tuesday, January 15th, 7pm to 8:30pm CST.

Most people know that walking by the Spirit is an important aspect of our faith, but what does this really look like? Join us as we discuss how to abide in the Spirit in our day-to-day lives. Learn the keys to walking with, listening to, and being empowered by the Holy Spirit as you seek to make reproducing disciples. We will look at Scripture and examine what God teaches about living in the power of His Spirit. Register at

New Blog Posts

The Big 5 – the provinces where over 600 million non-Christians live

New events


Sudan: bread riots have been met by harsh measures. Several analysts say Bashir is ripe for overthrow.


Burkina Faso declares state of emergency along border with Mali following attacks – Link

DR Congo cut internet to avoid uprising after vote – Link

37 dead in Mali ethnic violence – Link


The Yemen war in 2019: very little news is good – Link

Saudis funding child soldiers from Darfur to fight in Yemen – Link


More reports of evangelicals arrested in Iran during Christmas week – Link

Iranians are converting to evangelical Christianity in Turkey – Link

Iranian lawmakers quarrel over water distribution amidst severe drought – Link
… “20 water related clashes, many of them deadly”

Christmas without Christians in IS-liberated Mosul – Link


Understanding Turkmenistan’s food shortages – Link


Taliban (again) dismiss offer of peace talks – Link

Bangladesh election: “tilted” in favor of ruling party in increasingly authoritarian state – Link

Reports: terrorist attacks in Pakistan increased in Baluch areas.


US government issues travel warning for US citizens in China – Link
… “due to arbitrary enforcement of local laws as well as special restrictions on dual U.S.-Chinese nationals.”

Lots of talk about China’s threatening tone toward Taiwan: Link

Surveillance in China continues to grow:
… Five ways China used facial recognition – Link
… Students wear micro-chipped uniforms to thwart truancy – Link

Crisis of faith: Tibetan Catholics face modernity – Link
… younger people are not joining the church

As China cracks down on churches, Christians declare ‘we will not forfeit our faith’ – Link
… Grinch China: three decades of China’s problem with Christianity – Link
… ZGBriefs analyst on being skeptical of “police quota for arrests of Christians” – Link

North Korea: demands end to US sanctions, says it will return to nuclear confrontation if the US doesn’t – Link


Vietnam’s draconian cybersecurity law goes into effect – Link

#Religious Climate in Sending Countries

What Americans mean when they say they believe in God – Link

Raw Data / Resources / Collections

Status of Global Mission, 2019 – Link

Risk map, 2019 – Link

ACLED: conflict fatalities declined in 2018, but conflict spread geographically – Link


Czech Republic & Slovakia ‘divorced’, ended up with different religious status – Link

Ads don’t work that way – Link
… fascinating long read on the cultural-changing mechanisms by which (some) ads work. Useful for those involved in marketing either agencies or mission concepts.

NYT: “A Muslim Christmas Story”: a first person story – Link

The myth of self-control – Link
… self-discipline may be less about emotional “effortful restraint” and more about personal choices to shape (discipline) our environment to keep temptations far away.

A16Z on 16 ways to measure network effect – Link
… could generate some useful thinking in terms of scalable multiplying movements …

The new fortune at the bottom of the pyramid – Link
… those into BAM models, this could be worth a look

Future, Tech

Probe observes planetoid beyond Pluto, furthest out – Link

How much of the Internet is fake? A lot of it – Link
… The bots are raiding the advertisers: “less than 60% of web traffic is human”

Inside Facebook’s secret rulebook for global political speech – Link
… impacts religious freedom of expression: “In India, moderators were mistakenly told to flag for possible removal comments critical of religion.”

Lots of advances in specific-application AI, but general AI is nowhere near – Link

The future of crime fighting is family tree forensics: lots of privacy issues, but I wonder about when tech like this makes its way to other nations – Link


The full quote: “A missionary society wrote to David Livingstone (missionary to Africa 1813-1873) and asked, ‘Have you found a good road to get back into where you are? If so, we want to send other men to join you.’ Livingstone replied, ‘If you have men who will come only if they know there is a good road, I don’t want them. I want men who will come if there is no road at all!’”

“Avoid the crowd. Do your own thinking independently. Be the chess player, not the chess piece.” ~Ralph Charell

“I have seen too many “Christian” packed into too many churches who seemed  to have no interesting actually doing what the Bible said.”  ~Francis Chan

“Great Leadership is often more about what we choose not to say than the things we do say. We can destroy our roles with one wrong statement or inappropriate tone. Over the past 45 years as a leader there are many sentences I wish I could recall and ask forgiveness.” ~David Watson

Reading More

“From Megachurch to Multiplication: a church’s journey toward movement,” by Chris Galanos. Tells the story of E-Life in Lubbock, Texas (disclaimer: they quote a tweet or two of mine.) It’s a good, informative, easy read. Preorder:

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