Read the Weekly Roundup: December 1

By Justin D. Long, ed.

Perspective, Insight, Context, Analysis

New events

North Africa

Lake Chad: the worlds most complex humanitarian disaster (NYT Mag)
… longform read + audio. Boko Haram, climate change, armies, hunger…
… also, In Great Lakes region, the church is growing–as is climate conflict
… ‘large share of … growth of Christianity and Islam over the past century.’
Algeria: Independent press fears for its survival
… killed off by the launch of high-speed Internet access in 2014
… newspapers failed to adapt to online media
Chad: will have a National Missions Consultation in partnership with Cru
… from Nov 28 to Dec 2.
Egypt: Over 300 killed in mosque attack by ISIS-related terrorists.
How an Egyptian village became a target of the Islamic State (Sufis)
… and, New phone app helps Egyptian women fight sexual harassment
Libya: France says EU states will undertake military ops to end slave trafficking
… BBC: Emergency evacuation operation agreed
… Backstory: sale of migrants as slaves causes outrage in Africa and Paris
Between 400k and 700k migrants are living in camps in Libya
Morocco: The abandoned children of Morocco
… illegitimate children with no papers, no last name, & devoted caregivers
Tunisia: What next for the IS fighters returning to Tunisia
… terribly sad stories of returning radicals, the need for deradicalization

West Africa

West Africa population planners battle to woo Muslim hearts
… highest birth rates, highest maternal mortality rates in the world
… ex. Niger: to triple to 72 million by 2050
Are West Africa’s gunsmiths making violence cheap?
… ’60% of illegal arms circulating were locally produced’
Nigeria: The Nigerian who composed 200 hymns from a leprosy colony
… ‘wrote with the subs of his thumb and index finger’
Continued Boko Haram violence in the northeast
… most around Maiduguri, capital of Borno State.
… Continued Christian-Muslim farmer-herder violence, too
How Nigeria’s oil industry went local
… ‘domestic companies now control more of the resources than ever before’
… ‘poised to deliver economic gains Nigeria always wanted but never had’
Nigeria’s flourishing ‘miracle cure’ business for HIV/AIDS
… despair, stigma make easy targets for scams, supposed miracle workers
… unfortunately some of the scams appear to be run by pastors?

East Africa/Horn

Djibouti: welcomes plan to build Saudi military base
Yemenis find refuge in Djibouti
Ethiopia: Renewed clashes between Oromos, Somalis in the East
… 20 killed, 98 arrested. Competition over Khat trade involved.
Renewed Ethiopia-Egypt tensions over Nile dam construction
… Egypt fears it will cut its water supply, issues stern warning
‘We are everywhere’: how Ethiopia became a land of prying eyes
… ‘relies on a vast network of millions of party members as informants’
Somalia: Heavily armed Al-Shabaab retake Central Somalia town
severe drought, conflict displace 32,000 in October
… in all, over 1.2 million displaced since January
Sudan: Parliament says claims about lack of religious freedoms ‘exaggerations’
… ‘hasn’t experienced any problems regarding coexistence’
… Yeah, right: Open Doors, Economist both say Christians are persecuted.
S Sudan: Crocodiles, pythons, and militias
… children risk death for school: 4 hours wading through swamps each day

Central Asia

China wants to improve the Karakorum highway
… crosses Wakhan corridor, connects Kashgar to Abbottabad
Kazakhstan: Complete re-registration of churches required if restrictions become law
… for all but Muslims and Russian Orthodox
Baptist minister faces fines for handing out pamphlets, Bible passages on street
… placed under 1-year ‘limitation of freedom’
Kyrgyzstan: New tours connect travelers with local culture at gateway to mountains
… especially the Dungan ethnic minority, Chinese Muslims
Tajikistan: China building aluminum plant: ‘owns half of Tajikistan’s external debt’
Uzbekistan: Inside the secretive state of Uzbekistan (BBC, Video)
Central Asian Spring hailed after Uzbekistan changed leadership
Uzbekistan opens the door… a crack

West Asia/Gulf

Iraq: Strategic Mosul-Dohuk highway opened after 3-year closure
… important commercial artery connecting Turkey to Iraq’s N Kurds
Iran/Iraq earthquake casualty counts exceed 500.
… Kermanshah, worst earthquake of the year.
Israel: Daughter of holocaust survivor faces deportation
… over father’s alleged Christian conversion
Lebanon: Hariri out of Saudi Arabia, now “rethinking decision to resign”
Saudi Arabia: Arrest of 2nd richest man causes shockwaves in Ethiopia
… owns 4.7% of Ethiopia’s economy, employs 14% of its private workforce
Saudi has expelled >1,200 Ethiopians after warning on undoc’d migrants

South Asia

Afghanistan: Farmers say US strikes on Taliban opium labs won’t work
Bangladesh: Christians here live in constant fear (The Hindu, re Catholics)
Iran: China pushing billions into Iranian economy
India: Floods, droughts and India’s uncertain Climate future:
… Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai may be condemned to catastrophic annual climate events
Nepal: First elections since stripping authoritarian king of his powers
Pakistan: Balochistan journalists caught ‘between the stick and the gun’
… ‘scene of a long running nationalist insurgency…’
… ‘foreign journalists need to seek special permission to visit the majority of the province…’
Religious protests erupt in Pakistan over wording of oath of office.
Military called out after police, paramilitary operations turned violent and deadly

East Asia

China: Officials told not to incite ‘religious crazes’ for profit
… religion seen revival… some temples converted to museums… tickets required…
The Great Call of China: Churches poised to become major exporters
… “Chinese Urbana” held by Mission China in Thailand, 1,200 youth gathered
“House arrest” in China isn’t “house arrest” at all
… ‘residential surveillance at a designated location’ is a brutal black hole.
Rebalancing the SeeSaw
… issues that discourage Chinese missionaries, vs. those that encourage
Censorship in China: a brief overview of how it works
… plus links to guides for the best VPNs to use in China
Japan: “A lonely death”: “many older tenants… cocooned in their small apartments”
… ‘each year some died without anyone knowing…’
… ‘first time, took 3 years to discover… when his auto withdrawals depleted bank account’
N Korea: Fired a ballistic missile in a further challenge to Trump (NYT)
… as surely most readers know by now, claimed it could hit anywhere in the continental US
… lots of international commentary on what ‘completing the nuclear force’ means

Southeast Asia

Cambodia: becomes world’s newest 1-party state
… effectively destroyed all opposition to autocratic rule.
Debate stifled in Cambodia as crackdown spreads fear
Indonesia: Mt. Agung in Bali erupts again, spurring evacuation of thousands
tries to evacuate 100,000 people away from erupting volcano (NPR)
Myanmar: Purge of Rohingya lifts General’s popular support
… under the Constitution, civilian leadership has no control of military
Rohingya trapped in open-air prison of apartheid
Thailand: Will southern Thailand turn to Jihadism? (Diplomat)
… not likely, if the government doesn’t oppress & fan the flames.
Vietnam: blogger gets 7 years in jail for reporting on toxic spill
… found guilty of ‘spreading anti-state propaganda’ for reporting on protests over spill

New Data

Missiographic: Mission staffing and financing
… new from MissioNexus based on data from the North America Mission Handbook
… lots of agencies putting their missionary numbers in ‘global,’ unwilling to name countries
Pew: Europe’s growing Muslim population
… make up 4.9% of Europe in 2016; even w/no migration, pop likely to grow
… 3 growth scenarios based on high, medium, no migration
… key opportunity to reach Muslims
Open Doors: 2017 WorldWatch List out, measuring persecution worldwide
… notably, India slips to #15, right next to Saudi Arabia.
Brookings: “62% of UN SDG indicators not trackable in Africa due to data collection limits”
… how do we think we can have precise and 100% accurate mission stats?
… we have to learn to live with ambiguity and estimates.
Nigeria, Somalia, Chad have highest child pneumonia, diarrhoea deaths
WHO: 10% of medicine in developing countries is fake or substandard
Foreign student enrollment in US doubled since Great Recession: 364,000 in 2016
Zimbabwe notwithstanding, coups are less common today

Longer reads

USA: Is there an evangelical crisis?
… challenge of staying in, leaving, or even defining evangelicalism today
Zimbabwe: Behind Mugabe’s rapid fall: a firing, a feud, and a First Lady (NYT)
Treacherous Shenanigans: the inside story of Mugabe’s downfall (Reuters)
Manangagwa the “Crocodile” to be sworn in as President
New leader stirs fears that he resembles the old one (NYT)
Book Review: Serving God in a migrant crisis, Patrick Johnstone.
… review from MissioNexus. IV Press re-released the book.
Puente, Maria. Generational change linked to how you perceive sexual harassment?

Lifehacking, Tactics, Skills, Rules

How to write email with military precision
… subject keywords, BLUF (TL;DR) synopsis up front; be economical (fit in one pane)
Millionaires don’t use to-do lists (They do this instead):
… “don’t work from a to-do list, do live and work from their calendar”
… “if it doesn’t get scheduled, it doesn’t get done”
… Start with big rocks: this 7-minute video explores prioritization in an easy analogy
26 time management tricks I wish I’d known at 20
… SlideShare. Excellent points here, quick read.
Why you shouldn’t use pie charts
… tips for better data visualization.
Goins, Jeff. Nobody knows what you’re doing.
… this applies to those of us involved in missions, too.

Pioneer Mission Startups, Strategy

Thomasz Tunguz. “Managers must be insane to brainstorm in groups.”

UPG Profiles, Travelogues, Stories

Russia: Photos of women villagers who run the show in rural Russia.
… ‘Russian men have left countryside to seek work… leading to rise of
… village matriarchs and their tough farm daughters.’
Afghanistan: In her film about Afghan life, the woman slaps back
… but more about female filmmakers in Afg. thant he film itself.
Ladakh, India: A home in the Himalayas for Buddhist nuns
… 28 nunneries, many less known to tourists and others.
France24 video: “The smugglers in Niger sell you to Libyan slave dealers
… “16-year old Malian warning of realities of traveling via Libya”
Iran/Azerbaijan: Life on the Iranian side of Astara
Children’s book brings Lebanese proverbs to life


How much? The rise of dynamic and personalized pricing
… “dynamic = prices for all fluctuate over the course of a single day”
… “personalized = specific customers pay diff amounts for same product,
… “tailored to what the retailer thinks they can/will spend”
… “shopper doesn’t know what info seller has on them”
… “shopper believes they are seeing the market price”
#Retail: inside the Walmart vs Amazon battle over Black Friday
… ‘expects Cyber Monday to be the largest shopping day in history’
Smartphones are killing Black Friday: ‘more of a season than a 1-day event’
Google is filtering news for the wrong reason: self-censorship is a tricky slope
China: “Digital Leninism”: long tradition of Party control over every nook of society
to have 626 million surveillance cameras by 2020 (AI, facial, gait recognition)
Big Data = Big Finance: Amazon, Google, Alibaba, Tencent move into lending
McKinsey Report: robots could force 375 million to switch occupations by 2030
Vidyard: The State of Video Marketing 2017 report
How fiction becomes fact on social media: not always what you might think.
Skype tells a Belgium court it’s technically impossible to eavesdrop on calls.
Cashless societies: The promise and perils.
#Autodrive: GM unveils driverless Chevy Bolt
#AI: China racing for AI military edge over US


There are two ways to get enough. One is to continue to accumulate more and more. The other is to desire less. ~G. K. Chesterton

A leaky roof can fool the sun, but it cannot fool the rain. ~Haitian proverb (purportedly)

Judging others makes us blind, whereas love is illuminating. ~Bonhoeffer

Only if your God can outrage and challenge you will you know you worship the real God and not a figment of your imagination. ~Tim Keller

A good leader takes a little more than his share of the blame, a little less than his share of the credit. ~Arnold H. Glasow

Justin Long, a missionary researcher serving with Beyond (a Missio Nexus member) provides the Weekly Roundup. Sign up to get it every week or visit his daily blog: Member organizations can provide content to the Missio Nexus website. See how by clicking here.

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