Chinese Christians Use Zoom for Church. Their Government Is Making That Harder (November 30, 2023, Christianity Today)
On a hot night in August, Yong Shao, a small group leader of a house church in a major city in northern China, was about to start the weekly Zoom Bible study when he started receiving a barrage of messages from his small group members with an unexpected problem: Zoom wasn’t working for them. An IT professional, Yong went into troubleshooting mode. He suggested they update the Zoom app and switch to using cellphone data instead of Wi-Fi. In the past, these tricks worked when Zoom was down—but this time, nothing.
WCC Commission on World Mission and Evangelism planning group convenes (November 30, 2023, World Council of Churches)
Among other topics, the group discussed how its work will move with the WCC Pilgrimage of Justice, Reconciliation, and Unity. They also explored how the work of the commission intersects with other programmes of the WCC, including the Faith and Order Commission, Commission of the Churches on International Affairs, Health and Healing, and others. Fundraising and reconnecting with partners were also on the agenda.
Asia Evangelical Alliance 40th Anniversary (1983-2023) – ACML’40 (Asian Church And Mission in a New Landscape) (November 8, 2023, AEA)
In the heart of a rapidly changing landscape, the 40th Anniversary of the Asia Evangelical Alliance (1983-2023), Asian Church and Mission in a New Landscape unfolded as a pivotal moment. Grounded in Joshua 3:4 “You’ve never been on this road before”, the Intergenerational Consultation of Kingdom Leaders delved into the intersection of church and mission in new and evolving landscape. 248 leaders from 24 nations, mostly in Asia converged under one roof to discern and envision the new landscape.
President Jokowi highlights importance of religion at R20 Summit (November 29, 2023, The Jakarta Post)
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has highlighted the importance of religion, religious leaders and society in bringing about peace, citing the ongoing humanitarian tragedy in Palestine inflicted by Israel. R20 ISORA has been organized by the Nahdlatul Ulama central executive board to discuss the Israel-Palestine conflict and come up with a solution. Some 150 religious leaders from within and outside the country attended the international forum.
Southeast Asian rice farmers brace for El Nino’s wrath as crops wither: ‘we’re on our own’ (November 18, 2023, SCMP)
Indonesian rice farmer Mudzakir expects to lose several tonnes of grain when he harvests later this year, as stems wither across his hardened fields in East Java. In good years, farmers in his group harvest at least six to seven tonnes of rice for each hectare of their farmland, but with their regency of Probolinggo gripped by unseasonal drought, Mudzakir, who like many Indonesians goes by one name, is ready for the worst.
Japan has a glut of 8.5 million akiya, empty 'ghost houses' left to rot. Now Airbnb wants to fill them with tourists. (November 30, 2023, Business Insider)
Airbnb is looking to capitalize on a growing swathe of empty houses in Japan, hoping to convince owners to remodel the vacant homes into tourist attractions. Japan has some 8.49 million akiya, or unoccupied homes, according to the government's Housing and Land Survey in 2018. The survey is conducted every five years.
Mekong Delta to develop one million hectares of high-quality, low-carbon rice production by 2030 (November 30, 2023, Viet Nam News)
The project is part of an effort to restructure the region’s production system and value chain with a focus on sustainable farming practices, higher product value, greater business and production efficiency, as well as improved livelihoods of rice farmers, in accordance with Việt Nam’s commitment to protect the environment, adapt to climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Malaysia to pilot Singapore-styled progressive wage programme next June, says economic minister (November 30, 2023, Channel News Asia)
Malaysia will pilot its “progressive wage” programme next June that aims to raise wages of low-income workers as they become more skilled, with government subsidies helping to pay some of the salary increment.
Protests, court appeals as Nepal's TikTokers decry government ban on app (November 23, 2023, Reuters)
Nepali TikTok creator Manjita Manandhar was caught off guard when the Himalayan nation banned the popular social media platform last week for disturbing "social harmony and goodwill".
The United Nation’s annual climate summit is under way in Dubai, with world leaders approving a climate disaster fund that will help vulnerable nations cope with the impact of drought, floods and rising seawater. The agreement marked a “positive signal of momentum” at the start of the 2023 conference – known as COP28 – its host UAE’s Sultan al-Jaber said in the opening ceremony on Thursday.