Friday, September 18, 2009

Nations at Risk - and Why It Matters to the Global Church

In a recent article in The Christian Century, Philip Jenkins describes what happens when states can no longer deliver basic services and security to their people. He also notes that states are on the alert list to fail will by 2050 contain the world's largest Muslim and Christian populations. MP+

Notes from the Global Church
September 08, 2009

Nations at risk

by Philip Jenkins

It's the world's least desirable club: the league of failed and failing states. Every year, the Fund for Peace presents its list of the world's shakiest political entities. Qualifications for entry into the club include such factors as demographic crisis, economic decline and bloody intergroup conflict. A failed state is one that loses control of large parts of its territory and fails to provide rudimentary public services. State agencies become in effect criminal organizations, allied with gangs and terrorist factions in bloody battles over state property and natural resources. Gradually, the accumulation of disasters leads to the utter collapse of state authority and its replacement by private militias or warlords. Last year, unsurprisingly, Somalia led the pack of quasi-states and nonstates.

Understanding the process of state disintegration is vital for anyone who cares about religion and the fate of fellow believers. Failed states are the troubled home of some of the world's largest populations of both Christians and Muslims, and the concentration of both faiths in dysfunctional and violent countries will grow apace in the coming decades. Billions of people will have to cope with settings utterly lacking in the fundamental protections and services that Euro-Americans take for granted.

Read the whole article here.

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Mad Padre

Mad Padre
Opinions expressed within are in no way the responsibility of anyone's employers or facilitating agencies and should by rights be taken as nothing more than one person's notional musings, attempted witticisms, and prayerful posturings.


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