Sunday, February 22, 2009

Sookhdeo Target of UK Convert to Islam

The Bishop of Rochester, Rt Rev. Michael Nazir Ali, of Pakistani origins, now has to have a body guard, for himself and for his Englishborn wife and their sons.

His forthright comments on Islam in Britain have led to death threats from the British Muslim community, threats which the police take very seriously.

Furthermore, good ministries are being undermined, and might even be destroyed. Ben White`s review of "Global Jihad" soon appeared on the Church Mission Society, and also on the website of Richard Sudworth, one of their missionaries, who urged people to read the review and see what really underpins the ministry of Barnabas Fund.

Barnabas Fund, headed up by Patrick Sookhdeo, is an aid agency sending practical help to persecuted Christians around the world. If Sudworth`s comment damages its work, he will have reduced the support available for faithful Christians living courageously in hostile contexts. But of course, they are mostly non-white and many of them are converts, so their welfare is perhaps of little interest to him.

Read it all here.

And here is John Martin's response:

With over 150 years’ experience of work in the Muslim world, CMS has always been well aware of the risks faced by Christian minorities.

But now an anonymous article has been published online which appears to implicate CMS and one of its mission partners, Richard Sudworth, in actions seeking to damage the work of the Barnabas Fund and with it put at risk faithful Christians living in hostile situations.

The article was originally posted on VirtueOnline on 15 February and subsequently replaced by a significantly revised version.

This new version still appears to implicate CMS and Richard Sudworth. CMS notes that the Barnabas Fund still carries the original version of the article from VirtueOnline and is disseminating it.

CMS has no intention whatever to undermine the work of the Barnabas Fund. CMS has consistently affirmed the work of the Barnabas Fund on behalf of persecuted Christians and has occasionally worked collaboratively with it.

CMS affirms the ministry and integrity of Richard Sudworth who having lived and served in the Muslim world knows the realities Christian minorities face and is now engaged in sensitive and courageous work here in Britain.

CMS regrets that this episode has sown disunity among evangelical Christians whose common aim is to share Jesus.

John Martin
CMS Head of Communications

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