Thursday, November 24, 2016

Intended for Evil by Les Sillars

Sillars tells the story of Radha Manickam, a victim of the Khmer Rouge.

Radha had become a Christian in 1973 through an independent missionary teaching English classes. For the three previous years, the U.S. had done intensive bombing in Cambodia aimed at aiding the pro-American Khmer Republic government in a brutal war against Khmer Rouge, communist guerrillas backed by North Vietnam. The Americans ended up officially leaving in 1975.

Interwoven with the background information about the war is the story of Radha. His whole family was forced to evacuate Phnom Penh when the Khmer Rouge invaded in 1973. They were forced marched to settlements where they were forced to work in cooperatives. Radha saw much horror and thanked God every day for letting him live. They experienced malnutrition. Radha was forced into marriage (and was surprised to later find his wife was a Christian too). They suffered under leadership purges and saw many atrocities. He and his wife survived when the Vietnamese invaded and eventually ended up in a U.N. refugee camp. They later emigrated to America and Radha was involved in ministry to Cambodians in Seattle. He made several visits to Cambodia to minister and connect with his remaining family members.

I recommend this book to those interested is a very good history of Cambodia in the 1970s. While Radha's story is the main theme of the book, there is a great deal of information about the country during this time. Radha's story is a powerful one of survival, forgiveness and a determination to help Christians remaining in Cambodia.

You can find out more about Radha's current ministry at

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Les Sillars has been a journalist for over twenty years, seventeen of those with WORLD magazine. He is a journalism professor at Patrick Henry College in Virginia.

Baker Books, 312 pages.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

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