App-aggedon – Should mobiles do God?

December 28, 2011

“I don’t connect to the wifi in Church so I can’t jump between the Bible, Twitter and Angry Birds……just so you know!”

If you’re religious, resisting temptation is important. Dustin Stout is a bearded Youth Pastor who looks more like Coldplay’s Chris Martin than a Sunday-school teacher. When his students file into his class before Church he tells them to get their Bibles out – then he pulls his smartphone out of his pocket and starts teaching.

“You might believe that by resorting to a smartphone instead of a physical Bible that I am in some way cheapening the lesson in an attempt to be cutting edge and hip. You’d be wrong,” he says.

Religion has never been afraid of making the most of modern technology. The printing press drove popular readings of the Bible and spread the Protestant Reformation across Europe, and, more recently, the US has become the home of TV evangelists. So it makes sens… [more]

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Mobile hell for Afghan woman

December 21, 2011

Getting women in Afghanistan on to mobile phones has been a success story, but now they face more dangers than ever

Mobile phones are the new frontline in Afghanistan. Handsets, masts and networks have become key targets for insurgents who want to stop people connecting, communicating, and educating themselves.

“They want to stop people from talking, stop people coming together.”
They want to stop women, in particular, from developing.

Sweeta Noori is the Country Director for Afghanistan of the charity Women for Women. Her family were part the Afghan elite before they fled the Mujahideen. Sweeta returned, and has worked building women’s networks and capacity for more than ten years.

Since the US-led invasion in 2001 there have been three distinct phases of women’s development, she says. The current phase leaves women in a precarious position – the leap forward that was achieved in the first … [more]

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