Displaying items by tag: Government

Thursday, 02 July 2020 20:51

Zimbabwe: economic crisis, poverty

A shopper grumbled while returning a loaf of bread to a rack - the price had jumped by a third. Nearby a half-mile queue of cars waited at an empty petrol station hoping for a delivery. Zimbabwe has an economic crisis. Basic goods prices rise weekly as the value of the Zimbabwean dollar tumbles. Inflation was 785.6% in April, and poverty is deepening. UN aid agencies reported that 7.7 million people, half of the population, require food assistance. A loaf of bread went up 36% last month, and last week a 22-pound sack of cornmeal jumped 30%. Fuel soared by 152% recently; a similar rise in 2019 sparked national demonstrations and deaths. ‘Things cannot continue this way. These people should just admit they have failed,’ said a Harare resident, referring to President Mnangagwa’s government which took power pledging to revive the economy. Pray for food aid to reach the hungry.

Published in Worldwide
Thursday, 25 June 2020 22:41

CSW concerned by government aid merger

Boris Johnson has announced that the Department for International Development (DfID) and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) will be merged. A new government department will be created. CSW is concerned as each department has a distinct, essential mandate. It said any proposed changes must not advance economic and security interests at the expense of poverty alleviation, humanitarian assistance, and the promotion of human rights The merger, to be made during a rise in global poverty caused by coronavirus and reconstituting the only department with a humanitarian focus, could be devastating. Another concern is that this announcement pre-empted the outcome of a defence, security and foreign policy review. CSW is urging the Government to await its conclusion before implementing any changes.

Published in British Isles
Thursday, 25 June 2020 22:34

England easing lockdown (a)

With effect from 4 July, where it is not possible to stay 2m apart, people should stay ‘one metre plus’. Churches may open for prayers, services, and weddings for a maximum of 30 people, subject to social distancing and no singing. Restaurants and pubs will offer hospitality with table service only and limited contact between staff and customers, who must give contact details on arrival. Hotels, B&Bs, cottages, campsites, and caravan parks can also reopen; people can stay away from home for the first time since March. Other restrictions for meeting indoors and outdoors are being eased, as long as businesses protect the public from risk of infection. Sadly thousands of sun-seekers flocked to the beach at Southend just one day after the announcement, completely disregarding all rules by sitting or standing close together on a packed beach. See

Published in British Isles
Thursday, 04 June 2020 23:28

Government’s duty to keep us safe

Our government has the responsibility to protect those in the health service risking their lives for our health. There are still doctors, nurses, care home workers, carers and others who do not have some essential personal protective equipment. Amnesty International say we are not safe until everyone is safe. Also migrant women who are victims of domestic abuse go without safety and healthcare. They are too scared to seek urgent medical care or help with safe housing, for fear of being reported to immigration authorities. Women’s Aid estimates that four out of five migrant women are turned away from refuges because they lack access to government support or funds. Pray for the Government to provide resources for everyone who needs them, no matter what their immigration status. Pray also for the police to catch the criminals stealing PPE to sell at inflated prices on the internet (see).

Published in British Isles
Friday, 22 May 2020 00:45

Coming out of lockdown: churches

Faith leaders and the Government have met virtually and organised a ‘places of worship taskforce’ to determine a timeline for churches coming out of lockdown, including possibly allowing buildings to open at different times depending on their community and practice. Members of the group include the Archbishop of Canterbury, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, Imam Asim Yusef, Rajnish Kashyap from the Hindu Council UK, Jasvir Singh from City Sikhs and Daniel Singleton from Faith Action. They will consider whether forms of worship such as individual prayer might be permitted before they fully reopen.

Published in British Isles
Friday, 22 May 2020 00:40

Coronavirus: track and trace concerns

On 20 May Sir Keir Starmer asked the Prime Minister why there had been ‘no effective’ attempt to trace the contacts of those infected with Covid-19 since 12 March when tracing was abandoned. Mr Johnson replied, ‘We have growing confidence that we will have a test, track and trace operation that will be world-beating and yes, it will be in place by 1 June.’ He added that 24,000 contact tracers had already been recruited. The government does not have the luxury of testing and piloting this behind the scenes for months to come, so the system will have to evolve as it goes. On 21 May the NHS said, ‘Time is running out to finalise a “track-and-trace” strategy that would avoid a potential second surge in coronavirus cases.’

Published in British Isles
Thursday, 14 May 2020 22:08

Reopening of places of worship?

In a recent tweet, Robert Jenrick, secretary of state for housing, communities and local government, said he will be meeting with religious leaders to plan the reopening of places of worship, whether for public worship or individual prayer. He said, ‘We will work together to agree how and when to do so, whilst protecting the public and controlling the virus.’ He said that private prayer could be allowed before buildings are opened up to the public. Currently places of worship in England are not expected to open before 4 July at the earliest. Bishops in Scotland have formed a Coronavirus working group to look at the best way of meeting long-term pastoral needs during the pandemic, but the Church is not expected to return to normal until 2021. They said that even when churches reopen, parish activities will still be greatly restricted. Pastoral working groups will identify and publicise advice or resources to help dioceses and parishes face fresh challenges in a safe manner.

Published in British Isles
Thursday, 14 May 2020 21:15

Maldives: pray for change

The Maldives is Asia's smallest country by area and population, known for its lucrative tourism industry. Despite tourism, it is an extremely closed country which boasts of being 100 percent Islam and heavily represses Christian influence. Only a handful of secret believers live in the country, which is regarded as ‘fertile ground for recruitment’ to radical Islam. Dozens of Maldivians have joined IS. The 2019 elections had a surprising result when opposition leader Ibrahim Mohamed Solih defeated the former president Abdulla Yameen, who now faces corruption charges. The new government has begun reforms. Give praise for the shake-up in the government. Pray that this may shake up the nation’s repressive laws and human rights abuses. Conversion to Christianity results in a loss of citizenship. Churches and Christian gatherings do not officially exist, and believers live in fear of being discovered. Pray for safety and religious freedom in the Maldives.

Published in Worldwide
Thursday, 07 May 2020 22:50

The new normal?

On 10 May Boris Johnson will announce plans to ease lockdown restrictions. High Street retailers want to hear how they might reopen. There will be bargains as managers try to shift stock. People are wondering if they will be able to meet friends and family. Will small groups of friends or relatives meet in a small group or in ‘bubbles’? Recently a grandmother asked a Downing Street briefing if being able to hug her grandchildren would be among the first changes. Health Secretary Matt Hancock said that her question ‘brought home the emotional impact’ of lockdown, and he hoped she could do it ‘as soon as possible’. Pray for God to direct every decision made by our leaders as they plan the various stages of our nation’s future. Pray for company bosses rethinking how premises and equipment are shared as they organise safe walking routes in offices, on factory floors and building sites.

Published in British Isles
Thursday, 30 April 2020 22:06

Boris back at No 10

Boris Johnson has said, ‘The UK is at the moment of maximum risk in the coronavirus outbreak’. Speaking outside No 10 for the first time since recovering from the virus, he said we are now beginning to ‘turn the tide’ on the disease. But he refused to ‘throw away’ the public's ‘effort and sacrifice’ by relaxing the lockdown too soon. We can pray for God to continue to give him strength and stamina as he returns to work. Pray that he paces himself and has the discernment to acknowledge when to allow others to carry burdens for him. May God’s wisdom direct him in every decision and give him heaven’s strategies for the next phase. Pray also for MPs, advisors, civil servants, scientists, and economists to adopt workable policies. Let us also ask our Father in heaven to unite the members of every political party as they work towards unlocking the United Kingdom.

Published in British Isles