Roundup #223

#223 – October 9, 2020

By Justin Long

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Thursday, OCTOBER 22, 2020 | 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM (CDT)

In previous nuggets we’ve learned God’s heart is clear, and the command is even clearer. You are now ready to begin advancing the kingdom and proclaiming the truth.  You might be wondering: how do I share in ways it can be received? Where should I start? The CDC said I can’t leave my house, what do I do now? If these are some of your questions, please join us for this nugget as we explore tools important for your tool belt. We will examine how Jesus and the Apostles sowed seeds of the gospel in the areas hardest to reach. We’ll also look at some strategic ways to re-think how this might be possible in the socially distant world we currently live. Register Online.

New Events

North Africa/Egypt-Sudan (266M)

Starvation used as a weapon of war in S Sudan conflict. Link
… food insecurity in W Bahr el Ghazal, Jonglei, C Equatoria
… “intentionally deprived communities of critical resources”


East Africa/Horn (520M)

Eastern Sudan rocked by protests, calls for independence. Link
… “historically marginalized tribe” [Beja] “leads unprecedented calls for a secession of Eastern Sudan after a controversial peace deal”

Also, Sudan protests over shortages of bread and fuel and rising food prices. Link
… “prices have doubled, some cases tripled… many eating only one meal a day”

Uganda: thousands finally return to places of worship. Link

Flooding hits 6 million people in East Africa. Link
… # affected by seasonal flooding increased 5x in 4 years

2 million Somalis face acute food insecurity crisis. Link
… “combined effects of widespread, severe flooding, Desert Locust infestation, Covid-19, cumulative impacts of previous shocks”…

Djibouti (<2%C) building the largest free trade zone in Africa. Link
… gateway for 90% of Ethiopia’s imports
… $3.5-billion China-backed initiative

West Africa/Nigeria-Sahel (457M)

Senegal: “The pilgrimage must go on.” Link
… pilgrims from across Senegal flock to holy city of Touba …
… “festival that could draw millions” despite Covid concerns
… West Africa’s largest religious gathering–the Magal
… “pilgrims do not book hotel rooms–residents open up homes”

How religion inspires the Nigerian diaspora to play a role in Africa’s development. Link

In Togo, there is no place to hide. Link
… Africa’s oldest single-family autocracy is tightening its grip with foreign made surveillance tools.

West Asia/Saudi-Iran (303M)

Emirates resumes flights to some European cities. Link

Rockets, cluster munitions rain down on civilians. Link
Is N-K conflict a Christian-Muslim clash, or simply politics? Link
Stereotypes, hatred drive Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Link
Turkey strongly backing Azerbaijan. Link
Presence of Syrian mercenaries in Azerbaijan. Link
Iran warns war could escalate into regional conflict. Link
… This NYT op/ed agrees, explores reasons. Link
Karabakh’s critical supply line fights to stay open. Link
Half of N-K population displaced by clashes. Link
On the road to Karabakh: a report’s diary. Link

Iran hits highest Covid death toll since July. Link
… now at 475,000 cases and 27,000 deaths confirmed.
… “just the confirmed numbers… likely numbers are higher…”

This is perhaps one of the most fearsome videos of the Beirut blast I have seen. Really gives you an idea of the impact on the city and its people. Link

Saudi eases restrictions for Umrah pilgrims. Link
… first group of worshippers allowed into Grand Mosque …

Long-read: “A threat from within”: Iraq & the rise of its militias. Link

South-central Asia (2.1B)

India seeks up to 500m Covid-19 vaccine doses by July. Link
Outbreak spreads through rural areas. Link
… refusals to be tested: “we can’t afford to quarantine”
… infections rippling into every corner of the country
… megacities have populous mostly on guard
… rural India is resisting… no one wearing masks… no social distancing

“Awaiting the migrant.” Link
… a look at the travails of migrant workers in India …
… AP seeing a “severe shortage of workers”

Pakistan’s drug habit is endangering the region. Link
… long-read reminder in Diplomat of the “Golden Crescent”

Kyrgyzstan: “on edge of chaos”. Link
… Police, protesters clash in post-election melee. Link
… Anarchic power transition unfolds under shadow of violence. Link
… as dawn breaks, protestors control government buildings. Link
… 2 presidents have been overthrown in the past 15 years
… PM Boronov resigns amid protests of vote-rigging. Link
… parliament election results cancelled. Link
… opposition groups make rival power grabs after toppling govt. Link
… no clear leadership after days of unrest. Link

East Asia (1.6B)

“Chinese Christians deserve a better label than persecuted.” Link
… an important and informative long-read from Brent Fulton in CT, exploring four different narratives often shared about the Chinese church, and how we need to move beyond these stereotypes.

Phase 1 Study: China’s experimental vaccine appears safe. Link

China forcing 500,000 Tibetans into labor camps. Link

America closes immigration door to 91.9 million communists in China. Link
Pew: Negative views of China soar in 14 (mostly Western) countries. Link
… these trends could impact both recruitment & deployment …

Chinese families postponing plans to send kids abroad to study. Link
… 4 out of 5 affluent Chinese parents with children studying foreign curriculums, taking foreign examinations, say they have postponed plans to send kids abroad;
… concerns mount among wealthy, middle-class mainland Chinese after US revoked 1,000 visas of graduate students.
… continued trend impacting ministry to international students

China ramps up a war of words over Taiwan. Link
… and Economist asks if America would have the stomach for a fight. Link
… “prospect of war remains remote, but…”
… watching this trend carefully. incr propaganda could blunder into actual clashes.

Japan to allow travel to 12 (largely East/SE Asian) countries. Link

Southeast Asia (700M)

Protests spread across Indonesia over jobs law. Link
… in 60 locations spread from Aceh to Papua, over 1 million participating.

Protests against Thai government, monarchy continue to escalate. Link
Anti-govt groups make demands ahead of October 14th protest. Link

Thailand Health Ministry wants to reduce foreign tourist mandatory quarantine period to 10 days for those arriving from ‘safe’ countries (#TravelBubble). Link

Haven far from home: the Bosniaks of Malaysia. Link
… interesting ethnography that explores the history of a diaspora

Singapore’s Changi Airport suffers 35% drop in profits. Link
… “has a ‘daunting’ forecast for the future of air transit”

Others/West (1,125M)

USA, graph: not much evidence of evangelical collapse in the last decade; in fact, some evidence of a small increase in size. @ryanburge

Only 4 European countries are below crucial Covid level. Link
… ‘alarm threshold is 7-d average of 20 cases per 100,000 people’
… (only 2 states and 2 islands are below that in the USA.)

France: Paris will close bars, cafes for 2 weeks. Link
… stemming a surge of covid cases in the capital …

New Data


… 10/9: 36.5m cases, 1.0m+ deaths
… 10/1: 34.4m cases, 1.0m+ deaths 
… 9/25: 32.3m cases, 984k deaths 
… 9/11: 28.1m cases, 909k deaths 
… 9/4: 26.0m cases, 862k deaths 
… 8/28: 24.2m cases, 826k deaths
Trackers: Johns

Africa-wide confirmed Covid cases near 1.5 million. Link

Head of emergencies at the WHO thinks roughly 10% of the world has been infected with coronavirus (20x confirmed case total). Link

Other data

UNODC Report: interlinkages between trafficking in persons and marriage. Link

New Longreads

PDF: Ten ways to make ten friends from unreached people groups. Link

Viral effects are not network effects. Link
… viral = existing customers bring new customers for free
… network = each customer adds incremental value for all customers
… most PR efforts on mission-related websites are viral, not network

EMQ Oct/Dec 2020: Rethinking People Group Missiology. Link
… member-only content, but many readers will be part of orgs with access. Summation of a many-month conversation (of which I was part).

Op/Ed: Coronavirus church closures are not persecution. Link
… from a writer who spent 20 years in intl religious freedom work

No email should take more than 5 minutes to write. Link
… (ideally, no more than 30 seconds.)

Futuristics & Technology

CommonPass app, the “answer to Covid-free air travel?” Link
… beginning trials now. 
… digital health pass designed to allow travelers to carry their Covid-19 test status in a standardized, global format.

Want to see what the detonation of a 50-megaton thermonuclear bomb looks like? Recently released, previously classified footage will show you. 40 minute video, the detonation is about 22:30. Link

Long essay: the end of the American Internet. Link
… 80 to 90% of Internet users are now outside the USA
… more smartphone users in China than USA+W Europe

Pew deep dive on Americans sourcing news from Youtube. Link

Atlanta Falcons uses ‘disinfecting drones’ to sanitize the stadiums. Link

Swarms of Azeri drones vs Armenian tanks & artillery. Link
… a new iterative advance in warfare

State of AI Report 2020. Link
… deep, technical PPT. I haven’t gotten through it yet.

Youtube’s plot to silence conspiracy theories. Link
… “It turns out that human nature is awful, and the algorithms have figured this out, and that’s what drives engagement.”
… new AI changes reduced watch time of ‘borderline content’ by 70%

Last Five

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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 blog: Member organizations can provide content to the Missio Nexus website. See how by clicking here.

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