Roundup 294

Pray with us

1. We continue to pray for an end to the war in Ukraine. Pray especially for the more than 8 million Ukrainian refugees in surrounding countries–more than 1 in 8 Ukrainians are now refugees. Pray for churches and believers to be a blessing to these displaced.

2. Ramadan is winding down. Let’s continue to pray for Muslims to encounter Jesus. There are a number of prayer campaigns being launched around this time, including two strands of 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World (here and here). Also, Frontiers has “Hidden Treasures of the Muslim World,” a 30 day prayer guide available via daily emails. Also note the Global Day of Prayer for Turkey below.

3. The ripple effects of the Russian-Ukrainian war are being felt especially amongst the poor, with rapidly increasing prices leading to widespread hunger. One analysis suggested that every percentage point increase in global food prices equals 10 million hungry. Pray for believers to find specific, practical ways to help the hurting near them.

New Events

North Africa + West Asia = Middle East (570m)

Egyptian Christians alarmed by murder of Alexandria priest. Al-Monitor
Egypt’s gig economy workers face rough ride. Al-Monitor
… economic pressures push educated, urban youth into work-on-demand model
… “they bleed you dry left and right… taking advantage of vulnerability…”

Jordan, once fertile, is pushing back as desert encroaches. CSM
… “efforts to restore damaged but once fertile land is sprouting hope”

Saudi royals are selling homes, yachts, art as Crown Prince cuts income. WSJ
… more than $600 million worth has been sold … data point on the oil boom?

West Darfur violence leaves 200+ dead: hospitals, markets closed. Radio Dabanga
… “several days of violence, attributed to attacks by militas”
… Analysis: Why are Sudan’s Janjaweed on the attack again? BBC

East Africa (520m)

“I lost everything”: Somaliland fire upturns life, economy. Hiiraan Online
… market employed more than 12,000 …
UNHCR says 500,000 displaced by drought in Somalia in 3 months. Hiiraan Online
… projects 1.4 million could be displaced within six months …
Horn of Africa historic drought is the product of cascading failure. Quartz
… “Somalia sees 45% increase wheat prices, previously sourced from Russia, Ukraine”
Six people killed in blast at restaurant in Somali capital. Reuters
… “targeting security officers and politicians”
Children are being killed, maimed by discarded explosives in Ethiopia. Reuters
… “danger makes them fearful of fetching water, resuming farming”

West + Middle Africa (600m)

Attacks in Mali, Burkina Faso kill 21, wound dozens. Reuters

South + Central Asia (2b)

Ariana Afghan Airline launches new weekly Kabul to Moscow route. Ariana News
Iran-Afghan border reopens in Herat province. Khaama Press.
In Pakistan, Afghan refugees face hardship, frosty reception. Japan Times
Deportation threat in Turkey dashes Afghans’ hope for safety, new life. Middle East Eye

India’s scorching heat:
… hottest March on record, scorching temperatures rising past 104 F (40 C)
… temperatures forecasted to max out at 118 F in the coming days. Gizmodo
… surging power demand (aircon) = power cuts to factories. Reuters
… threatens crucial wheat harvest, intended to make up for lost Ukrainian exports. NBC
Modi may replace religion-based marriage & inheritance laws w/civil code. Straits Times
… ahead of national elections in 2024, “risks alienating broad spectrum of voters”

Life for Kyrgyzstan’s Christian converts is getting worse. Open Doors
… threats, poisoned pets, nowhere to bury your dead

Visitors trickle back, but trekking mecca Nepal seeks more. Straits Times
… adding new tourism infrastructure, investment in hotels, new sports …

Longread: Inside Sri Lanka’s unprecedented mass protests. Foreign Policy

Eastern Asia (1.6b)

The Chinese government is hunting Uighurs around the world. NBC
… and receiving help from some “surprising” countries
… has more tools than ever to target Uyghurs abroad. RFE
Covid cases in Beijing are stirring fears of a Shanghai-style lockdown. Reuters
… to test 20 million for Covid-19, racing to stamp out outbreak. CNA
… all Beijing schools closed Friday in bid to fight the spread. CBC
Other places testing too:
… many smaller cities are also under lockdown, though less noticed in press. RFA
… Guangzhou mass tests, cancels flights after suspected case. CNA
China’s pursuit of zero Covid-19 is driving expats away. Straits Times
… “also, tight entry controls have made it difficult to enter”
“Companies are beginning to panic.” Fortune
… “China’s lockdowns will make supply chain issues, inflation even worse”x
China says imports are causing outbreaks of Covid-19. Economist
… ding-ding-ding, blame you wins hands down.
Amid low birth rate worries, China increases pressure on women. Diplomat

Southeast Asia (700m)

Malaysia: no more arrival tests for fully vaccinated. CNA
… traveler’s insurance no longer required to enter
… “unvaccinated must still undergo tests, 5-day quarantine”

Indonesia bans exports of palm oil around domestic price rises. Diplomat
… Ukraine war choked sunflower oil exports > price rises for Indonesians
… will press up cooking oil prices in other parts of the world

Soaring unemployment in Myanmar follows junta rollback of labor rights. RFA
… “nearly 3% of Myanmar lost their jobs last year due to Covid, political upheaval”
Internet blackouts are hiding an ongoing human rights catastrophe. Rest of World
… “the level of atrocities that have gone unspoken… have been quite shocking.”


USA colleges are trying to make campus life more Ramadan-friendly. NPR

Russia’s ‘special military operation’
What is Transnistria (Moldova), and why does it matter to Russia? Economist $
… disturbing possibility of an expansion of the war …
Europe decries ‘blackmail’ as Russia cuts gas to Poland, Bulgaria. Reuters
… “for refusing to pay in roubles”
How the Russia-Ukraine war is impacting Vietnam’s economy. Diplomat
… ripple effects: Russian exclusion from SWIFT = worries about collecting $
As diplomacy hopes dim, US marshals allies to furnish long-term aid. NYT $
… Germany shifts policy, says it will send armored antiaircraft vehicles
UNHCR estimates refugees in neighboring countries will top 8 million. Link
Ukraine refugee crisis ‘woke up’ networks of Roma evangelicals. CT
Staggering refugee burden evokes haunting history in Polish capital. LAT
… “how long Polish hospitality lasts before there’s a backlash”

New Data

Covid global case data

4/22: 507.8m cases, 6.2m deaths (trackers: Johns HopkinsNYT)

Other data

The state of relationships, marriages, divorces, and living alone in America. Link
How the American middle class has changed in the past five decades. Pew
… lots of data on middle class income, has impacted church/mission finances …

Longer Articles

Air travel is back, but airlines struggle to handle the surge. WSJ

Book Notes

The books I’ve read in 2022 (updated this week). Also, the books I read in 2021.

Tech & Futures

On biometric IDs, India is a “laboratory for the rest of the world.” CSM
… “may offer lessons about balancing efficiency, privacy and personal freedom.”
Drones have come of age in Russia-Ukraine war. Foreign Policy
… “A child can operate these drones.”
… Effective, cheap drones should (will?) force tank evolution. NextBigFuture
These fast, cheap tests could help us coexist with Covid. MIT

“The world is running out of sand, scientists lament.” Futurism
… “second most used resource worldwide after water” – glass, concretee


“Discipleship is personal. Jesus preached to thousands, but he discipled a few. You may preach to thousands, but if you’re not discipling a few your Ministry isn’t like Jesus.” ~Rick Dugan

“Christians, especially ministers, so often think they must always contribute something when they are in the company of others, that this is the one service they have to render. They forget that listening can be a greater service than speaking.” ~Dietrich Bonhoeffer

“Anything that is mentionable is manageable. It is the things we won’t talk about that destroy us.” ~Charles Siburt

“It is not your business to succeed but to do what is right. When you have done so, the rest is up to God.” ~C.S. Lewis

“The sure conviction that we could if we wanted to is the reason so many good minds are idle.” ~Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (German physicist and satirist)

“The number one difference between a Nobel Prize winner and others is not an IQ or work ethic, but that they ask bigger questions.” ~Peter Drucker

“We judge others by their doings, but ourselves by our intentions.” ~Edward Wigglesworth

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