A new Covid vaccine has been approved for use in the UK by regulators. It is manufactured by Valneva, using more traditional technology - similar to how polio and flu shots are made. It contains a whole copy of the virus which has been inactivated, so that it can't cause the disease but does teach the body how to fight it. The UK was due to receive 100 million doses of the jab, but the government cancelled the deal in September due to a ‘breach of obligations’. As with the AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines, it is designed to be given as two doses. The Commission on Human Medicines said, ‘We have advised that the benefit risk balance is positive. The vaccine is approved for people aged 18 to 50 years, with the first and second doses to be taken 28 days apart.’

Some asylum seekers from across the channel will be given a one-way ticket to Rwanda, under new government plans. Rwanda would take responsibility for them, put them through an asylum process and if successful they will have long-term accommodation in Rwanda with entitlement to full protection under Rwandan law. Plus equal access to employment, and enrolment in healthcare and social care services. Plans also include asylum seekers resettled in the UK will be spread more evenly across local authorities. Operational control of the Channel handed to the Royal Navy. Investing £50m for new equipment and specialist personnel for Channel operations. A new reception centre for migrants and a maximum sentence of life imprisonment for smuggling. However at the UN last year  the UK government expressed concern over Rwanda’s continued restrictions to civil and political rights and media freedom. 

German police have detained four people accused of plotting to create ‘civil war conditions’ and eventually overthrow democracy. United Patriots are part of Citizens of the Reich. They reject the German state as illegal. They intended attacking substations and power lines to destroy Germany’s energy infrastructure and cause long-lasting nationwide power failures. A number of high-profile people were also targeted as potential kidnap victims. One of the targets said, ‘There are forces that intended to destabilise the state and democracy. They are a small minority but are highly dangerous.’ The movement has an estimated 19,000 members who also spread racism and misinformation. (See) They were arrested on April 13 police also seized numerous guns including Kalashnikov, gold bars and cash in euros and foreign currency totalling £16,600. They went before a judge on April 14. A fifth suspect remains at large. Investigators have identified 12 people also connected to the group, which used the Telegram messaging app to communicate.

According to the UN definition, Human Trafficking means; ‘The recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons for the purpose of exploitation.’ The victims are coerced into dependence by debt bondage, violence, and/or drugs. They become ‘exploited’ and deprived of their rights, freedom of speech, independence, and self-respect. Any age, class, religion, nationality, gender, or colour can be a trafficking victim. Pray for the Red Alert Task Force, as it recruits members from many European countries to partnerships with organisations that can make a difference for victims of trafficking/slavery. Pray that the doctors and other health care professionals who encounter victims to recognise the signs of trafficking and be trained to help them. Pray for the victims to be freed from their slavery and find the physical, emotional and spiritual freedom that they need. 

Last week we celebrated the Finnish district court clearing an MP and her Pastor of all hate speech charges over their beliefs on sexuality, declaring that ‘it is not for the district court to interpret biblical concepts’. (See) Then on the 11th April the media reports that the prosecutors will reportedly appeal that verdict.

At Easter Christians around the world remember the final week of Jesus Christ’s life on earth. The night before He died, after He washed their feet, he told them they must serve each other in humility, and He gave them a warning of what was to come. ``Remember what I told you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also’. (John 15:20). Today, across the nations Christians are still being hated and persecuted for their faith in and love of Christ. ‘If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first’ (John 15:18). We can pray for our Brothers and Sisters in Christ who in 2022 still live in fear of arrest, trial and torture.

Islamic teacher, Hiire Sadiki, was poisoned on April 2, shortly after his wife learned he had converted to Christianity. He put his faith in Christ on March 27 after several months of discussions with a Christian pastor. After he didn’t observe the Ramadan fast and his wife noticed him praying in the name of Christ she questioned his mode of praying. He told her he believed in Issa (Jesus]). His wife had studied the Koran and knew verses about apostasy punishment. She left the room and began phoning Muslim leaders, then returned and prepared supper. ‘After 30 minutes, a neighbour arrived, went to the kitchen and then immediately left. After supper Sadiki suffered convulsions and vomiting and phoned the pastor who took him to hospital. Tests indicated his food was tainted with insecticides used to kill rats. The assault was the latest of many instances of Christian persecution in Uganda. 

Osinachi Nwachuckwu was best known for featuring in the hit gospel song Ekuweme has died in an Abuja hospital. Police have arrested her husband. Initial reports said the 42-year old had been sick with throat cancer, but her family deny that, alleging she had been a victim of domestic abuse. A police spokesperson said an investigation was underway to determine the cause of her death. Many Nigerians, especially Christians, have reacted with sorrow and anger to the news of her death. Some have gone online to urge religious leaders not to advise church members to stay in abusive relationships. Domestic violence has also been trending on social media.