Dr Patrick Sookhdeo, founder and International Director of Barnabas Aid, has received awards from three organisations in the Majority (that is, non-Western) world.
“I am greatly honoured and greatly humbled to receive this recognition from organisations representing some of the marginalised communities of the non-Western world,” said Dr Sookhdeo.
“I do not undertake my work on behalf of persecuted and suffering Christians in order to receive praise or awards,” he added, “but I am grateful that the achievements of Barnabas Aid, for which we give thanks to God, have been recognised in this way.”
On 31 January 2023, in a ceremony at the Armenian Diocesan Centre in London, UK, His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of all Armenians, awarded Dr Sookhdeo the Order of St Gregory the Illuminator in recognition of his work to help the Armenian Church. This is the highest award given by the Armenian Orthodox Church.
The Patriarch also presented Dr Sookhdeo’s wife Rosemary, who co-founded Barnabas and serves as International Director of Finance, with a commemorative pin.
On 18 May, Dr Sookhdeo also received a Gratitude Medal from Arayik Harutyunyan, President of Nagorno-Karabakh, for his “contribution to the realization of charitable and humanitarian aid programs” in Nagorno-Karabakh. The medal was presented by Mrs Azatoohi Simonian, advisor to the president.
Most recently, on Friday 23 June, Dr Sookhdeo was presented with the World Tamil Organisation’s Lifetime Achievement in Economics Award in a ceremony at the UK House of Commons in the Palace of Westminster in which several figures were honoured. This was in recognition of Dr Sookhdeo’s life’s work, including contributing to the economic development of Tamil people globally, especially in India and Sri Lanka.
In 2021 Dr Sookhdeo was awarded an honorary Doctorate in Divinity from Serampore University, India (a two hundred-year-old institution established by the British missionary William Carey), for meritorious services to Church and society, and in 2010 the St Ignatius Theophorus Decoration as Commander, the highest award of the Syriac Orthodox Church. Alongside his work as International Director of Barnabas Aid, he is also the Executive Director of the Oxford Centre for Religion and Public Life, Director of the Institute for the Study of Islam, President of the Westminster Institute in Washington D.C., and an Honorary Professor in the Department of Theology and Religion at the University of Pretoria, South Africa, indicating his influence in both the Western and Majority worlds.
Dr and Mrs Sookhdeo founded Barnabas Aid in 1993, since which time we have funded approximately 5,000 projects in 109 countries, giving aid and practical support to persecuted and suffering Christians across the Majority world.