The cords of the grave coiled around me; the snares of death confronted me. In my distress I called to the LORD; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears.
Psalm 18:5-6

Pierre was a member of the Diola tribe in Senegal, who mysteriously fell ill shortly after proclaiming his newfound faith in Christ at a pagan fetish feast. The local missionaries gathered up their medicine and made their way to his home, where they were shocked to find Pierre unconscious, his face swollen and his breathing heavy.

They rushed him to the nearest hospital but within a few minutes of arriving Pierre died. This happened one Sunday morning in July 1959.

Pierre had been a healthy young man, and his sudden death perplexed the missionaries who knew him. They traced his recent movements and, considering his symptoms, concluded that he must have been poisoned at the pagan feast where he proclaimed his new faith in Christ.

Bless us, O God the Father, who hast created us

Bless us, O God the Son, who hast redeemed us.

Bless us, O God the Holy Spirit, who sanctifieth us

O Blessed Trinity, keep us in body, soul and spirit unto everlasting life.

Parish Prayers (no. 1683)


For Other Articles by Dr Patrick Sookhdeo
Paul and Priscilla Johnson (1952) – “Bless Them, Lord”


Dr Patrick Sookhdeo is the International Director of Barnabas Fund and the Executive Director of the Oxford Centre for Religion and Public Life.


Pierre (1959) – Poisoned by Pagans


Originally appeared on Isaac Publishing


Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels


Dr Patrick Sookhdeo is the International Director of Barnabas Fund and the Executive Director of the Oxford Centre for Religion and Public Life.