Patrick Sookhdeo in shock resignation from Barnabas charities

Patrick Sookhdeo outside Swindon Crown Court earlier this year.SWNS

Patrick Sookhdeo has announced his resignation as a trustee of Barnabas Aid International and from his positions as International Director and CEO of Barnabas Fund.

The move was announced this morning on the Barnabas website and represents a stunning change of course for Sookhdeo and his organisation.

Barnabas Aid International and its parent charity Barnabas Fund were founded by Sookhdeo and support persecuted Christians worldwide. Sookhdeo was found guilty of sexual assault and of intimidating witnesses in February this year and a series of articles on Christian Today had exposed a number of serious complaints about his management style. However, Barnabas had vigorously defended Sookhdeo against all of the accusations levelled against him.

In a statement, Barnabas Fund said: "Dr Sookhdeo founded Barnabas Fund and has led it with zeal, vision and integrity for 22 years. We are immensely grieved that current circumstances oblige him to step down."

Rev Paul Mursalin will become Acting International Director and Hendrik Storm will become CEO.

Patrick Sookhdeo said: "It has been a privilege to serve the persecuted Church for many years. I have always been motivated by the needs of Christians facing suffering. I hope for many years to come I can continue serving those whom the world often doesn't notice. My inspiration has always been Barnabas, the encourager, who stood up for the suffering saints of the early Church. Please pray for me, as I pray for others."

A Charity Commission spokesman said: "We welcome the decision of the trustees to accept the resignation of Dr Patrick Sookhdeo. The commission had serious concerns regarding his reappointment to the board in June about which we had been engaging with the trustees and had an open compliance case. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and take further regulatory action if needs be."