Catholic Priest Held Prisoner By Muslim Terrorists For Over A Year Finally Released

We have followed the long story of Fr. Tom Uzhunnalil, a Catholic priest who was taken hostage by Muslim terrorists in March 2016. As of the most recent report, he was close to death.

However, in a turn of good news, Fr. Tom has been finally rescued and is flying home to India according to a recent report:

The kidnapped Indian priest, Father Tom Uzhunnalil, has been freed from captivity and flown to Oman, the country’s government and church figures have confirmed.

Fr Tom was kidnapped in March 2016 when his care home in the Yemeni city of Aden came under attack. Four gunmen killed four Indian nuns, two Yemeni staff members, eight elderly residents and a security guard, while posing as relatives of one of the residents.

In May this year, an online video showed the priest in poor health, appealing for help. ‘My health condition is deteriorating quickly and I require hospitalisation as early as possible,’ he said.

Now the Omani government has reported that it has found and freed Fr Tom.

The Arab sultanate said in a statement: ‘In response to the Royal Orders of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said and as per a request from the Vatican to assist in the rescuing of a Vatican employee, the concerned authorities in the Sultanate, in coordination with the Yemeni authorities, have managed to find a Vatican government employee.

‘He was transferred this morning to Muscat in preparation for his return home.’

India’s Foreign Minister today tweeted confirmation of the release. Sushma Swaraj, who had insisted during recent months that the Indian government knew who was holding Fr Tom, tweeted: ‘I am happy to inform that Fr Tom Uzhunnalil has been rescued.’

Meanwhile, the Catholic Church in the UAE, Oman and Yemen issued a statement from the local Bishop Paul Hinder saying that he ‘is happy to inform that Fr Tom Uzhunnalil SDB, who was abducted during the attack on the Care Home run by the Missionaries of Charity in Aden, Yemen on 4th March 2016 has been released today. He is now is safe hands.

‘The Bishop thanks all those who were involved in the release efforts and all those all over the world who prayed unceasingly for the safe release of Fr Tom. More details are awaited and will be released as and when available.’

According to reports, Fr Tom will be flown back to Kerala in India later today.

He was reportedly set free after the intervention of the Oman foreign ministry.

A daily newspaper in the Gulf country, Oman Observer, reported that the priest thanked God as well as his brothers and sisters and all relatives and friends.

Cardinal Baselios Cleemis, the Major Archbishop of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church, told the Catholic news website Crux today: ‘God has answered our prayers. We thank the Government of India. The Honorable Minister of Foreign Affairs took personal interest in securing the release of Fr Tom.’

And Sister Mary Prema Pierick, the superior general of the Missionaries of Charity, said she was overwhelmed by the good news. (source)

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  • Good news.

    • Higlac

      Thanks and praise be to Almighty and Most Holy God, the Holy Strength and Holy Immortal, that He Saw fit to Deliver His Servant out of the jaws of that ultra-Satanic Islamic lion!!!! Te Deum laudamus, te Dominum confiteor!!!…

      • Kevin Nicholson

        “We praise you as Lord!!!…”

  • Julie LaBrecque

    Praise, glory and thanks to the Most High!!!!!

  • Grandmere

    God can soften the heart of a Sultan. We must never give up hope.

    • Kamau41

      Absolutely!!

    • Indian Christian Crusader

      Oman follows Ibadi tradition of Islam, they are a very gentle and moderate country and neutral, despite being oil rich they are a very good country compared to most other Arab nations. Oman has also never fought a war with Israel and Israeli president once visited Oman.

  • Kevin Nicholson

    Lord, purify the souls of the 15 martyred and rain down your justice.
    Thank-You Holy Spirit for your mercy on our souls.
    Amen.

  • Kamau41

    This is absolutely such great news indeed…Glory be to God that our prayers were answered for Fr. Tom Uzhunnalil’s release.

    May God’s guiding hand, along with all of the Heavenly Angels/Saints, continue to guard and protect him.

  • Grace Ziem

    We thank God for his release and pray for his safe return.

  • Grace Ziem

    According to The Indian Express, no ransom was paid. This was confirmed by another site. Please give us your source of information.
    http://indianexpress.com/article/india/no-ransom-paid-for-kerala-priest-release-govt-4842683/

  • jimmy

    my mom was telling me about this the other day, this is great news that he has been released, I wish him a speedy recovery and good health because god has kept him alive for a reason.