Much of the focus of the war in Ukraine has been about the battle on the ground - but the fight to dominate the skies is just as important. The BBC has interviewed a Ukrainian air defence officer about the battle for control of the skies. Captain Vasyl Kravchuk has a surprisingly ready smile for a man who has endured fifty days of war. They spoke to him via video link from his base at an undisclosed location. He knows the coming weeks will offer no respite. Russia may have received a bloody nose in its aborted attempts to take Kyiv, but with the Eastern region of the Donbas now firmly in Moscow's sights, the men and women of Dnipro's anti-aircraft missile brigade will continue to play a key role in the next phase of the war. Capt Kravchuk said, ‘Past wars have shown that whoever dominates the air wins the war’.

A congregation of 100 Christians celebrating a Maundy Thursday service in Uttar Pradesh’s Fathepur District were threatened by a radical Hindu mob who surrounded the church and subsequently locked the doors. A First Information Report was lodged against 36 of the Christians on alleged forced conversion charges based on Uttar Pradesh’s anti-conversion laws after the mob’s leader, Himanshu Dikshit, complained that the church was working to convert Hindus to the Christian faith. Most of the congregation were freed from the locked church, but the 36 remained in jail until the wider Christian community raised their bail amount. One of the congregation said, ‘This is a perfect portrayal of Jesus’ suffering 2,000 years ago. We know Jesus endured, and we will.’

Over 220 million Indonesians are Muslim, 87% of the population. Christians are 8% of the population and live mainly in the major cities and the eastern Indonesian islands. Despite being a recognised religion Christians are persecuted, particularly in Aceh on the island of Sumatra where they apply Shari’a law instead of Indonesian law. Acehnese strongly oppose anyone who has converted to Christianity. There are 0.12% Christian and 0.00% evangelical Acehnese. Pray for missionaries to reach the Acehnese with the love of Christ so that many will know and believe Jesus died to pay for their sins and rose from the dead. Pray for them to understand the weight of their sin and that doing good works doesn’t erase their sins. Pray for the few Christians there to understand the imperishable inheritance they have in Jesus. See

There are some Christian deaf leaders and deaf believers in South Africa who now have scripture published in sign language by Door International. That gives them a perfect opportunity to move into training local leaders in how to evangelise, disciple, and plant churches. Published sign-language scriptures and deaf leaders are rare. Deaf people are one of the world’s largest unreached people groups. Less than 2% of the world’s 70 million deaf people have access to the Gospel. Using a new technique, Door is teaching deaf leaders from Angola and South Africa how to reach their people for Christ. The programme ‘2×2’ is based on Christ’s mission approach in Luke 10. Between now and June four leaders are going into the field to live, work, observe, and serve alongside existing two-by-two teams to gain some of the tools they need and then return to their country and continue the process.

By 2018 there were 5 billion mobile phone users and over 4 billion using the internet. Desert nomads can watch videos pre-loaded onto their mobile phones. This revolution in communications is increasing the spread of the gospel. Networking tools are being used in astonishing ways. Isolated Muslims who have heard of Jesus or dreamt of a man in dazzling white speaking to them have started to seek Christ via social networking. A project to do this drew over a thousand responses in just one southeast Asian country. When the idea was repeated in the Middle East, the response overwhelmed the available resources. One observer reports that thanks to messaging apps, untold numbers of groups are emerging daily who encourage one another in the Word even in places where the gospel cannot legally go. Pray for creativity and wisdom to make the most of every mission opportunity that presents itself.

One in three nursing homes still spend less than $10 a day per resident on food despite being given an extra $10 a day by the government to improve the standard of meals. A government audit of 2,600 residential aged-care facilities’ spending on food and ingredients for the last six months of 2021 shows average daily food spend per resident is about $12.35. 67% of residential services in the past six months reported an average daily spend on food and ingredients of more than $10 per day. The audit concluded that 2% of nursing homes are still spending an average of less than $6 per day. The aged care services minister said the sector’s performance ‘isn’t good enough’. All providers spending less than $10 per resident per day on food would be referred to the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission to consider regulatory action.

Christians are the majority of Mexico’s total population, but they are targeted by unlawful gangs for speaking out against criminal operations and violence. Cartels violently try to silence them. In rural indigenous communities, anyone turning away from traditional religious beliefs faces rejection and punishment in the form of fines, imprisonment, and forced displacement. Non-discrimination laws mean that any links between Christian faith and politics are placed under very strict legal scrutiny. In areas controlled by criminals or drug cartels, young Christian men are exposed to forced enrolment. Those who do not accept it face threats, potential abduction, and even death. Families are bribed and intimidated to force their children to obey the gangs. Church leaders are victims of blackmail because they have access to church funds. Mexico also has the highest rate of human trafficking in the world. Women are easy targets.

Israeli police entered the al-Aqsa mosque compound in East Jerusalem on Easter Sunday, leading to renewed clashes with Palestinians. Tensions flared during a rare week in which Easter, Passover, and Ramadan coincided. Police confined Palestinians in the compound to a small area and denied entry to those outside after dawn prayers so that Jewish worshippers could tour the perimeter of the complex under armed guard. Whilst Jews are allowed to visit the al-Aqsa compound, which they refer to as Temple Mount, they are not allowed to pray there. The Israeli police arrested nine Palestinians, saying that they had hurled rocks and firecrackers at them. Footage has emerged of Israeli forces using batons to beat journalists recording the clashes, as well as Palestinians who appear to be bystanders. Hamas warned, ‘Israel will bear all the consequences of the brutal attacks on al-Aqsa’.