The Barnabas Fund is a UK based charity that, according to its website, works to benefit persecuted Christians, primarily in Muslim-majority nations. It has recently reinstated its former Director, Dr Patrick Sookhdeo, after being convicted of sexual assault and intimidating witnesses in a UK court in February of this year.
However, despite the conviction the Charity’s board reinstated him to his position as International Director according to story at Christian Today
Interviewed by the Church Times on May 8 2015, the vice-chair of BAI, Dr Vinay Samuel, said: “I am satisfied with the board’s judgment that Patrick is innocent of the charges made against him.”
He said that “the judgment of the court sent a mixed message in the very mild sentence he was awarded” and claimed that there was a conspiracy to destroy Sookhdeo’s ministry and undermine the Barnabas Fund.
Samuel – who was speaking in a personal capacity – said that his view was shared by “key Anglican leaders in the UK”. He added that “many senior Christian leaders in the non-Western world, who are aware of the charges, have conveyed their dismay . . . and assured him [Sookhdeo] and the BF trustees of their full support”.
The government body responsible for monitoring charities in the UK, the Charity Commission is reportedly monitoring the situation;
Of the decision to reinstate him, the spokesperson said: “While the Commission recognises that the trustees consider this decision to be in the best interests of the charity, we will continue to monitor the situation closely and take further regulatory action if needs be.”
The Charity has been in hot water before. Back in 2011 they published a booklet critical of the “Islamisation” of Britain called “Slippery Slope.” The booklet resulted in a formal complaint being lodged with the Charity Commission saying that its overt attacks on Islam constituted racist hatred without public benefit. Eventually, the Commission ruled in favor of the charity.
The Barnabas Fund Trustees include The Rt Rev Julian Dobbs who is the Missionary Bishop of CANA, a joint entity of the the ACNA and the Church of Nigeria, Ian McNaughton, who is a leading young-earth Creationist, the Rev Vinay Samuel, Founder and past Executive Director of Oxford Centre of Mission Studies and Executive Director of The International Fellowship of Evangelical Mission Theologians and Rosemary Sookhdeo, the wife of Patrick.
Several Barnabas trustees, as well as Dr Patrick Sookhdeo are also part of the Westminster Institute, which sent a delegation to Egypt after the coup which overthrew the government of President Morsi, which lauded the Egyptian military’s part in the coup despite grave concerns about their tactics and treatment of civilians.