Podcast #056: Patrick Sookhdeo – An immigrant story

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The 1960s in Britain are popularly associated with black and white television, The Beatles, a sexual revolution and England winning the football World Cup in 1966. But what was it like for those who came as outsiders to England at that time?

One such person who came in 1959 at the age of 12 with his family was Patrick Soohdeo.

Patrick  is Director of the Institute for the Study of Islam and Christianity as well as the International Director of Barnabas Fund. The latter is an interdenominational Christian charity that supports Christians who face discrimination because of their faith. It was established in 1993 and channels aid through national Christians to more than 60 countries around the world. He campaigns for the abolition of Islamic apostasy laws around the world and has written to date 33 books.

Patrick is married to Rosemary, who is from New Zealand, and they have three grown-up daughters.

Do join us on this podcast interview with Patrick where we discuss:

  • His upbringing in British Guyana with a Hindu father and Muslim mother in an environment of remarkable religious harmony and tolerance.
  • How he came to have the name Patrick.
  • The violence and racism he and his family experienced coming to Hoxton in East London in 1959.
  • His initial impression of Christianity as a racist, barbaric religion of white people.
  • How that radically changed in 1964 when he started to hear teaching from and began to read the Bible for himself.
  • How his faith in Christ led to him having to leave home and become a vagrant because “the Christians who loved me into the kingdom then disappeared.”
  • Rejection from many Christian organisations before eventually going to London Bible College.
  • Hostility and lack of understanding of him from indigenous Christians in the UK when he met Rosemary and they decided to get married.
  • His motivation and faith to keep going in spite of all the challenges of his life.

Much of Patrick’s experiences make for disturbing listening, but it is a story that needs to be told. Indeed it is remarkable how much the UK and the church has changed for the better in terms of race relations since the 1960s.

You can access the podcast below or at Making Sense of Life on iTunes here.

The Barnabas Fund website is here.

Patrick’s latest book, “Hated Without A Reason: The Remarkable Story of Christian Persecution Over The Centuries” is a history of persecution from the first century to the present day.

2 thoughts on “Podcast #056: Patrick Sookhdeo – An immigrant story”

  1. Mei Ling Routley

    Dear Sunil
    Thank you for a most marvellous podcast with Patrick Sookhdeo. I can completely understand why a person from a different faith background would not want to have anything to do with Jesus, if these followers of Jesus were not exactly ‘salt and light’.
    However I wonder if a whole layer of the population with a white British background were also affected by this hypocrisy. In disregarding Jesus’ commandment to love our neighbours as we love ourselves, perhaps more was lost than a few ‘foreign’ souls, and one if not more than one generation of ‘locals’ were also lost to God’s Kingdom.
    I very much look forward to the continuation of Patrick’s story. Many thanks again.

    1. Thank you for your comment Mei Ling.
      I agree with you that in many ways such a mindset would also affect many others and not just those who are from overseas.
      The challenge for every generation is to keep the Gospel relevant.

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