As we look at a world in which violence and suffering seem to increase daily, the words of Scripture that promise 'victory' may feel hard to believe. Japan still suffers from the terrible effects of the great earthquake and tsunami, and the risk of nuclear catastrophe has not disappeared. Bigotry and bloodshed have claimed the lives of Christians in many countries, not least in the tragic assassination of Shahbaz Bhatti in Pakistan, and in the continuing 'cleansing' of Christian populations from Iraq. Unrest in North Africa bears heavily on the lives of ordinary people and their families, while oppressive rulers cling to their power. And elsewhere in Africa, civil wars and pandemic disease destroy the lives and security of millions, especially children.