Read the Weekly Roundup: March 13

By Justin D. Long, ed.

Perspective, Insight, Context, Analysis

Don’t Miss

Steve Smith’s new book, “Spirit Walk,” avail for pre-order, big discount: Link.
“Behind the methodologies for personal life transformation as well as multiplying disciples is a much-forgotten spiritual dynamic. Through training thousands of hard-working disciples of Christ around the world, I realized that many were using good biblical methods apart from the daily empowerment of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, I spent much more time emphasizing the spiritual dynamic behind life transformation and disciple-making movements. Out of these countless interactions, the time-tested content for Spirit Walk was born.” (pre-order deadline 4/20)

Come to Beyond’s upcoming nugget training to hear one of our missionaries share stories from a movement, now with disciples who have made disciples to the 22nd generation, and over 17,000 churches have been planted. Our worker will discuss her journey as she learned to give up good things for great things in order to become more effective for the Kingdom. Register Link

Jon Hirst (Generous Mind, GMI) is hosting an Innovation Event (online, live, free): Most organizations value innovation and desire to see its rewards. But few are able to make innovation part of their culture. Now you can learn about how to bring a culture of innovation to your ministry with a free live web event on April 20th at 10:00 a.m. Mountain Time. Register at

My blog posts

Levels of mission involvement. Link

Projecting least-reached People Cluster populations to 2050. Link

First, Multiply: Why we should focus on leadership development first. Link


Algeria: Can it be illegal to leave your country? NYT
… Government got Higher Islamic Council to declare emigration haram

Morocco threatens Algeria with intervention in Western Sahara – Middle East Eye
… this old conflict isn’t done yet, impacts Saharawi, an unevangelized megapeople

Diaspora Tunisians brought together by ice hockey – Al-Monitor
… speaks to how sports speak to people – and the value of sports as a gathering platform

DR Congo: tales of terror from Ituri province – IRIN
… more than 48,000 refugees have fled to Uganda since January 2018.
… terrible situation but on the other hand DR Congo continues to function at some levels.

Central African Republic: to live and study in Bangui is a kind of torture – Al Jazeera

With Trump’s help, Egypt holds a farcical election – New Yorker
… American politics aside, good survey of existing state of the Egyptian govt, lots of links.

Syria: dozens suffocate as government is accused of chemical attack – NYT

Turkey’s state of emergency extended another term (no surprise) – Hurriyet
… Its intelligence agency seized at least 80 Turkish nationals from 18 countries – WPost

Turkey to lower price of citizenship for foreign investors (homebuyers) – Al-Monitor
… “prop up construction, housing… driving force of economy under AKP…”

Israel: “Establishing its so-called ‘Greater Jerusalem’ would mean the destruction of the city’s churches and mosques” claims the sec-gen of the PA’s Muslim-Christian committee – Al Jazeera

Saudi Arabia’s first new cinema in decades to open April 18 – Reuters

The Saudi Crown Prince thinks he can transform the Middle East. Should we believe him? TIME

Five facts about religion in Saudi Arabia – Pew
… young, rapidly growing Muslim population; women among most educated Muslims

Kazakhstan demands personal data for under-18 worshippers – Forum 18
… full names, ages, place of study, state-assigned numbers of all under-18 worshippers
… five religious leaders who replied refused to supply the data

Iraqi churches shoulder burden of reconstruction, for now – Al Monitor

India: ‘Big Brother’ requires fingerprint scans for food, phones, finances – NYT

India: an 8-year-old’s rape and killing fuels religious tensions in India – NYT
… ‘motive: to drive Asifa’s nomadic community out of the area’
… ‘has become another battleground in India’s religious wars’ (Hindu v Muslim)
… ‘Hindu nationalists… turned it into a rallying cry… in defense of the accused…’

Dalits are converting to Buddhism as a form of political protest – Atlantic
… “20% of Indian population… many angry at Modi’s government…”

Bangladesh: 100 injured as thousands of students protest – Gulf Times

Is Myanmar sliding back into military rule? Brookings

China’s Party takes (even more) control of the Media – China File
… massive new “Voice of China” under control of Propaganda department

China setting up grid system to monitor ordinary people – RFA
… ‘carve neighborhoods into a grid with 15-20 households per square’
… ‘give each grid a monitor who will report back on residents’ affairs’
… ‘already recruiting grid staff, offering a salary of 5,000 yuan/month’

N Korea: Pyongyang welcomes hundreds of foreigners for yearly marathon – NYT
… but number of participants is lower than in past years

N Korea: denuclearization is on the table, it says – NYT

USA: Muslims tell neighbors about their religion during Open Mosque Day – Boston Globe

Raw Data

2018 survey, the best time to book flights – Link
… Analyzing 917 million airfares over 8,000 markets, great data here

Internet Health Report, 2018 – Link
… compilation of research on what’s helping/hurting across 5 issues

World history map – Link
… would love to see something like this for world church history

Water scarce cities: thriving in a finite world – World Bank Report


Refugees, Immigrants
The challenges of North Korean refugees in China – China Policy Institute
Second exodus: tracing the footsteps of Palestinian refugees in Syria – Link
God’s divine plan for Muslim immigrants – CT
… data about how Muslims come to Christ should affect our thinking on immigration

China’s oppression reaches beyond its borders – NYT Op/Ed
How far will China go? expanding its political ops abroad – Foreign Policy podcast
How to make friends & influence people: inside the United Front – Chinoiresie

Bibles in China: the Gray Zone shrinks – Joann Pittman
… the ban isn’t a new law, it’s new enforcement, and the difference matters.

China: what’s changing about the rule of the CCP – Andrew Batson
… “CP does not govern; it leads, controls, inspires all institutions of govt and governance”

Mormonism’s newest apostles reflect growing global reach – The Conversation
… Chinese & Brazilian appointed to Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

Culture clash: Asian Americans balance Christianity & culture in rituals honoring ancestors – WPost

USA: Korean-American churches struggle to retain language, traditions – Link

The end of antibiotics – CFR
… threat may be slightly overblown but does impact mission. A recent conversation I heard at a table was how a particular antibiotic was ineffective in their field due to resistance.

USA: boomers, Xers less interested in owning a home – Link
… Lots of financial implications, but on the other side of the coin, increased mobility.

Christian women in the USA more religious than male counterparts – Pew
… so not surprising more involved in mission. Women singles outnumber men in every agency

Blogs & Opinions

Bio of Adoniram Judson, “The man who gave the Bible to the Burmese” – CT
… more Biographies on my Bios page

14 crucial characteristics of church movement leaders working among unreached – Link
… complete agreement with these.

Christian nationalism is anti-Gospel – MissioAlliance

Why setting big goals can make you miserable – Aytekin Tank
… mentions ‘the arrival fallacy’ – and the post-achievement crash

7 practical ways grit gets us where we need to go – Shane Bennett

How to think for yourself when algorithms control what you read – HBR
Related: how to prevent smart people from spreading dumb ideas – NYT

Why lose-lose nearly always dominates over win-win – Shelly Palmer
… ‘We seem to be drifting from a society that indefatigably strived to define right from wrong to a culture that exalts winners and excoriates losers. This is dangerous in the extreme.’

Why small teams win: scaling meaning before scaling teams – Link

6 ways to better handle failure – Link
… Brief survey of outlooks, disciplines, methods for separating experiment results from your personal identity, perspective

How to collaborate when you don’t have consensus – Link
… or when you don’t even like each other, or possibly are enemies

Texting has returned us to our roots as an oral culture – Erika Hall
… Chapter 1 of her new book, “Conversational Design”

Future, Tech

10 most effective communication and fundraising tools, according to non-profits – Link
… from 2018 Global NGO Technology Report, downloadable PDF (give email)
… 3 most effective: email updates (82%), websites (81%), social media (78%)

China: fugitive plucked by police at Jacky Cheung concert – Link
… after being recognized in massive crowd by facial recognition cameras
… and, face-scanning tech officially implemented at Beijing Intl Airport – Link

China now has the most valuable AI startup in the world – Link
How China’s massive AI plan actually works – CPI
… ‘wish list of AI, incentives to develop the items’

Don’t give away historic details about yourself – Krebs
… quizzes on Facebook, etc can compromise password verification questions

AT&T drops Huawei phone on security worries – NYT
… I might be paranoid but I’d never use one of these …

There is nothing virtual about Bitcoin’s energy appetite – NYT
… mining one coin = 2 years of American household’s electricity expenditure
… Inner Mongolia has one of the biggest Bitcoin farms in the world

Automated bots post the majority of Twitter links to popular websites – Pew

High fidelity virtual human animation “Siren” – FX Guide

The early pitch decks of 13 unicorns before they were unicorns – Link
… see how business fundraisers concisely present problem + solution

Studying the role of cellular networks on the internet – Link
… 16% of all internet traffic is cellular, but some countries are very high.
… online evangelism/discipleship resources need to aim at mobile phones w/cellular only

New quake alert system rolling out of beta – Link
… disaster response, gives seconds to minutes advance warning

Backpage seized by US authorities – Link
… it’s about time.

More to read

Scott Moreau’s forthcoming book, “Contextualizing the faith: a Holistic Approach”
… this little teaser tidbit has great nuggets – link
… “every church in the world is some mixture of both culture and Scripture”

Great Awakenings: understanding Christianity’s appeal to Chinese hearts – World
… interview with Dr. Mari Li Ma, author of new Surviving the State, Remaking the Church


“Do not imagine that if you meet a really humble man he will be what most people call ‘humble’ now a days: Probably all you will think about him is that he seemed a cheerful, intelligent chap who took a real interest in what you said to him.” ~C.S. Lewis

“Stories are as important as numbers, because stories tell us what the numbers mean.” ~Jim Haney

“Only the dead fishes swim with the stream. The biggest success happens when you’re willing to change and think differently.” ~Elisabet Gretarsdottir

“You can work without praying, but it is a bad plan; but you cannot pray in earnest without working. Do not be so busy with work for Christ that you have no strength left for praying.” –Hudson Taylor

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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