Roundup 153

Don’t Miss

Register for these upcoming Beyond events here –

26 March: How to reach families and groups with the Gospel – Discover key biblical principles which are often overlooked in missions, which are critical to reaching entire communities and societies with the gospel. In this Nugget you will learn how to empower families to reach other families/groups with the Gospel. This avoids pulling individuals away from their families, which can alienate and antagonize whole communities against the Gospel. It also leverages the power of groups to rapidly spread the Gospel through existing relationships.

4 April: a new Online Event, “The Unexpected Missionary: Katie’s Story”—One of Beyond’s candidates will telling the story 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” now headed to the field!

Also: New book by Doug Lucas, published by WIGTake: “More Disciples: a guide to becoming and multiplying followers of Jesus” – Link

New events

North Africa

Algeria protests
Pres. Bouteflika drops bid for 5th term as president – Link
1,000 judges: would have refuse to oversee the vote if Bouteflika participated – Link
A path toward democracy (“but power brokers continue pulling the strings”) – Link
Nabila Ramdani: The fight for freedom in Algeria isn’t finished – Link
The military will continue to dominate the political system – Link

South Sudan: sexual attacks are so common that mothers are teaching their daughters ‘safer’ ways to survive the ordeal of being raped – Link

West/Middle/South Africa

DR Congo: “New waves of violence likely” – Link

Why violence is increasing in Burkina Faso – Link

Nigeria: “No cheeks left to turn” – double persecution of Africa’s largest church – Link

West Asia

Syria: ISIS-led tragedies and destruction breed a fierce determination among Syria’s down-but-not-yet-out Christians – Link

Turkey driving to widen religious education, but enrollment rates remain low – Link
… “pupils who fail to enter language, science or vocational high schools ‘are left with no other option but to enroll in imam hatip schools’ while ‘the well-off go to private high schools… parents concerned about their children’s professional and economic futures were steering away from imam hatip schools and turning to regular academic education.’”

Few of Jordan’s [1 million+] Syrian refugees are going home soon – Link

South-central Asia

Afghanistan: some progress, daunting challenges, Taliban still won’t talk to the government – Link

Kazakhstan: Baptist house churches raided, believers fined for conducting prayer services without permission – Link

Tajik Christians fear talking about their faith: converts keep a low profile amid growing uncertainty about their religion’s status – Link

India national election to be held in April to May – Link
… tension with Pakistan may boost Modi – Link

Cow vigilantes are undermining the rule of law in India – Link

Amid the unrest in Kashmir, Dal Lake’s floating produce market is a lifeline – insightful article full of beautiful photos – Link

East Asia

China alleges Western forces are trying to use Christianity to influence China’s society and ‘subvert’ the government – Link
… “Only by continuously carrying forward and practicing the core values of socialism can our Christianity truly be suited to socialist society.”

Over 1.5 million Uighurs are in camps – Link

Tibetan religious activity slashed, Lhasa mayor confirms – Link
… “As China’s war against religion heats up, regional officials are seeking to demonstrate & even quantify their successes in order to please their boss in Beijing…”

Japan’s female future: demographic realities + the growing number of women in higher education is changing the male-dominated management structures of Japan Inc. – Link

North Korea threatens to scuttle nuclear talks, resume tests – Link

A long read: North Korea is more like East Germany than Vietnam, and prosperity would be the ruin of Kim Jong-un – Link

Southeast Asia

Myanmar’s beleaguered Baptists: Rohingya aren’t the only group under fire – Link


US citizens will need to register to visit some parts of Europe (h/t Brigada) – Link

Shootings in 2 mosques in New Zealand leave 49 dead – Link


Red, black and gray – book review of “Atlas of Religion in China” – Link

Sovereign wealth funds control $8 trillion, or 10% of the world’s GDP – Link

29% of US Americans don’t use cash for weekly purchases – Link
… something American missionaries would have to adjust to overseas, in many places


Organizing for the age of urgency: vision-led, decide at the 70% point, push decision-making to the edges, leadership is earned – Link

I’m watching Netflix’s BBC documentary, “Busiest Cities of the World” – a fascinating look at Hong Kong, Mexico City, Moscow, and Delhi. Link

The years since the Arab uprising have seen an uptick in repression across the Arab world – Link

Do 47% of Christian Millennials think evangelism is wrong? Rick Richardson does a semi-deep dive into definitions and how the question is phrased – Link

From 2002: How resilience works: “Resilient people, they posit, possess three characteristics: a staunch acceptance of reality; a deep belief, often buttressed by strongly held values, that life is meaningful; and an uncanny ability to improvise” – Link

Kat Holmes: to be successful, ask “whose voice is missing”—on the critical skill of seeking out a range of perspectives – Link

Luck, risk, avoiding losers: interview w/Oaktree Capital Co-Founder Howard Marks – Link
… I haven’t listened to the interview yet, but the bits given in the transcription were fascinating. For example: “The question is not, do you dare to be great? The question is, do you dare to be different? To diverge from the pack is required if you’re going to be a superior in anything. Number two, do you dare to be wrong? Number three, do you dare to look wrong? Because even things which are going to be right in the long run, maybe look wrong in the short run. So, you have to be willing to live with all those three things, different, wrong, and looking wrong, in order to be able to take the risk required and engage in the idiosyncratic behavior required for success.”

The collaboration trap: when we assume teams like working together – Link

How to solve optimal stopping problems – Link
… who to marry, where to park, which apartment to rent, what church to attend: “We think that rational decision-making means exhaustively enumerating our options, weighing each carefully, and then selecting the best. In practice, when the clock — or the ticker — is ticking, few aspects of decision-making, or of thinking more generally, are so important as one: when to stop.”

“Why misinformation is about who you trust, not what you think” – a long read interview with researchers focused on how information travels through networks of friendship – important implications for movements – Link

Future, Tech

“Facial recognition of 100% of all international travelers crossing US borders, including Americans, by 2021” – Link

Aid workers are using encrypted communications to stay safe in conflict zones – Link

In China, can digital technology solve a problem of trust – and interesting look at the rural/urban divide, and how migrants into cities require networks of trust to find needed resources – Link

New book: China’s great firewall and the war to control the Internet – Link

Jay Baer: The FB messaging push is not about privacy — it’s about control – Link
… 30% of the world’s population is on one or more of Facebook’s platforms.
… and Zeynep Tufecki also dives into what Zuckerberg’s post DIDN’T address – Link

Google Flights + Google Hotel bookings = cheaper fares? Maybe. Link

Law professor discovers anyone armed with Google and overhearing some of your conversation stands a good chance of finding out who you are. I wonder if the average person gives away that much in overheard conversation. Still, reminds us to be mindful of how much of our life is “out there” discoverable by others. – Link

‘Emotion detection’ has grown from research to a $20 billion industry – Link

AI that can “spot shoplifters even before they steal” – Link

WhatsApp’s Wild East: India’s chat groups revolve around politics, pornography and Pakistan – Link


“When the whole world is running towards a cliff, he who is running in the opposite direction appears to have lost his mind.” ~C. S. Lewis

“A pruned vines does not look beautiful, but during harvest time produces much fruit.” ~Henri Nouwen

“A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.” ~Max Planck

“God is not under any obligation to make me succeed.” ~Tim Keller

“If we are committed to following hard after God, we must do the things he tells us to do. But the risk of obedience is that it will often make no sense to us at the time.” ~Kenneth Boa

“The Church who feels no compassion for perishing souls has already become worldly.” ~Adolph Saphir

“The master has failed more times than the beginner has tried.” ~Stephen McCranie

“Trials teach us what we are; they dig up the soil, and let us see what we are made of.”  ~C. Spurgeon

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