The “UN Dispatch” is published to provide perspective and thoughtful commentary on UN-related issues as they affect the global landscape. The December 2011 post featured a listing of the “12 Trends that will Drive the Global Agenda in 2012.” Are you as curious as I am about what those events might be?
Among the issues that gradually will affect all of us are the escalating conflict in Sudan and South Sudan; famine in Somali; the food crisis in the Sahel—a geographic belt just south of the Sahara desert; the critical needs in Afghanistan after all the international troops exit; the shifting political power environment in the Middle East; the changing leadership in the UN Security Council; and the economic crisis in Europe and its implications on the continent.
What surprised me, though, is the inclusion on the list of the politically motivated trend of “kill switches” operated by governments to shut down social media, particularly the Internet. Such options are being explored among governments—whether democratic or dictatorial. This has already happened within the borders of one country this year.
Another listed trend, the economic crisis affecting European nations, is fueling disturbing social repercussions: fear, xenophobia, polarization, anxiety and increased political instability. Does this surprise you?
In his classic book “How Should We Then Live?” evangelical theologian Dr. Francis Schaeffer (1912-1984) traced our culture from ancient Rome to modern day. After presenting the key historical occurrences and philosophies that shaped our culture, he again asked “How Should We Then Live?” From my own reading of his book, I recall his challenge to evangelicals to develop a Christian worldview, one based on biblical absolutes. Schaeffer exhorted us not to fall to the relative values of personal peace — the desire to be largely unaffected by the world’s problems — or the self-gratifying pursuit of wealth.
Be assured that TWR has chosen to engage the global community from a biblical perspective. Amid these conflicts and crises, TWR is speaking hope in more than 200 languages to a needy world. Thank you, dear friends, for enabling us, through your faithful prayers and generous giving, to touch the lives of so many who have limited access to the gospel. I can only share our appreciation for your partnership with us in God’s redemptive work.
Photo Credit: Jan Krata
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