Roundup 167

New Events

North-West Africa

Algerian church grew 50x in 10 years – Link

Across Morocco, no doctor to be found – Link

North Africa / Warring States

WHO says death toll in Libya since April has passed 1,000 – Link
… over 5,500 injured, over 100,000 displaced …

Mali: Over 200k displaced since January due to violence – Link

International pressure enabled a power-sharing deal in Sudan – Link
… but, will the deal stick? Link
… activists are torn over the deal – Link
… those responsible for the bloodshed not held accountable, or relinquish power? – Link
… military council will be dissolved? Link
… the rise of Sudan’s paramilitaries – Link
… as the Internet blackout lifted, videos of violent crackdown get published – Link

Western Africa / Lake Chad

UN: “Islamist attacks are spreading so fast in West Africa…” Link

The brave women fighting Boko Haram in northern Nigeria – Link

Ethiopia / Horn / East Africa

A look at the big business of khat growing – Link
… here’s Quartz’s explainer for khat – Link

The glow from the Ethiopia-Eritrea peace is fading – Link

Eritrea nationalizes Catholic-run health facilities – Link

The devastation of back-to-back cyclones in Mozambique – Link

Central Asia / Caucasus

Uzbekistan’s invisible Uighurs – Link
… no one knows how many, but thousands, tens of thousands almost certainly

Saudi / Israel / Lebanon / Syria / Gulf

Saudis plan to ease travel restrictions on women – Link
… would end guardianship laws related to travel for men & women over 18

Lebanon’s crackdown on Syrian refugees, explained – Link
… “Lebanon, a season of change” (MNN) – Link

West Asia / Turkey

Turkey’s long economic crisis grinds on – Link
… the economy drives a number of trends, including political unrest, governmental policy, and the desire of many Turks (including persecuted minorities like Christians) to emigrate…

Afghanistan / Pakistan / Pashto

The long and winding road to peace in Afghanistan – Link

Seeking revenge, Taliban target Afghan soldiers’ families – Link
… peace, peace, but

Yakawlang, Bamian: A school with no heat or computers but many college-bound students (92% acceptance rate), mostly (>66%) girls – Link

Pakistan: 19-yo Christian man arrested on blasphemy charge over cricket match – Link
… illustrates how blasphemy law often used to “settle scores”

“The Christian-only condition for sanitary workers in Pakistan” – Link


Chennai’s worsening drought forces doctors to buy water for surgery – Link

UP: Job’s don’t come easy for India’s poor Christians (especially Dalits) – Link

Nepal / Bhutan / Tibet

Rising persecution in Nepal – Link
… but, “over 8,000 churches established and more than 1 million converts since 2008.”

Bengali / Bangladesh

“The living hell of young girls enslaved in Bangladesh’s brothels” – Link
… “tens of thousands of under age girls”

Shocked by rise in sex crimes, child rape – Link


Xinjiang schools used to separate children from families – Link
… you will be assimilated …

Hong Kong extradition bill “is dead” – Link
… but not withdrawn …

Heavy rains have forced the evacuation of 80,000 – Link


Conundrum: Japan needs foreign workers – Link
… but doesn’t want immigrants …

Southeast Asia

Former UN chief says Bangladesh cannot continue hosting Rohingya – Link
… wants Myanmar to allow them to return ‘without fear’

But the Rohingya are not returning, and unlikely to – BBC video – Link

New Data

The countries hosting North Korean migrant workers – Link

Homicides kill 5x more than armed conflict yearly. Organized crime responsible for 20%. Link

Online Spiritual Atlas of China – Link

UN revises down its demographic forecasts – has some great graphics – Link

Longer Reads

How complex systems fail – a 5 page PDF that I am still digesting – and thinking about in two different ways: (1) mission agencies and networks are complex systems; (2) religions are complex systems. Link

Ralph Winter used to say “it could be more strategic to stay and send 100 than to go yourself.” If you were to be such a “strategic sender” – a mobilizer of missionaries – how might you get started? This short article offers five individual keys to being a better mobilizer. #Send100 – Link

McKinsey report on Generation Z (which they measures as 1995-2010): undefined identity (“don’t define yourself in only one way”), communaholic (“be radically inclusive”), dialoguer (“have fewer confrontations and more dialogue”), realistic (“live life pragmatically”). Link

Book Review: “Beneath the Tamarind Tree”, the story of the girls captured by Boko Haram – Link

“What Christians really think about the church’s relationship advice” – this isn’t exactly a long-read, but a book review. I highlight it because it on the math of an important and challenging problem. More women than men are in church, and women are generally more devout than men. This makes marriage and family a demographic challenge (akin to the “hack the matching supply” issues of some dating apps), and yet we hold up marriage as being the “nobler and holier way to live.” The three statements “thou shalt marry,” “thou shalt be abstinent until marriage,” and “thou shalt marry a believer” are very difficult many to reconcile–partly because of cultural norms, but partly (maybe more) in fact because of the math of the demographics. There are no easy solutions, an it’s not just a Western problem. Link

25 best pitch decks and templates, 2019 – great examples here – Link


SCMP – China Internet Report 2019 – Link

Over 1,000 Android apps harvest data even after being denied permission – Link

FBI & ICE using drivers license photograph databases for facial recognition searches: there’s lots of these sorts of databases that can easily be linked together. Airports get facial recognition from passports. In just about any country, it’s less a matter of getting the data, and more a matter of linking and using it accurately. – Link

It’s less and less easy to opt-out of facial recognition systems – Link

Waze users as voluntary #surveillance that helps: Wazers are fastidious about reporting crashes, often faster than they get reported to 911 services. Now, researchers are trying to use all that data to see if they can predict crashes before they happen. Link

How to make Facebook users less depressed: more from friends and family, less from businesses. Link

The DeepNudes app – uses AI to convert any photo (clothed, etc) of a woman to a nude. Motherboard had a good write-up. – Link
… later, however, the source code was posted in the wild. So we can expect these kinds of apps to be around for some time. (Not linking, for obvious reasons.)

“Twitter now prohibits hate speech that targets religious groups by using dehumanizing language, a ban it says may extend to other categories like race and gender.” – Link

Robotic umpires in baseball (“anything can be automated”) – Link

Google Translate’s camera now interprets 88 languages – Link

“Mobile passport is the best kept secret in international travel” – I am Global Entry but I have seen people using Mobile Passport get through faster than me, depending on the time of day and transit queues. Definitely worth checking out – Link

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