Last year, we reported that a Catholic priest who was kidnapped on Good Friday by Muslim terrorists, Fr. Tom Uzhunnalil was in the custody of Yemini security forces and was going to be released. Since that time no further reports emerged until now-
It turns out that he was never released, he is still in captivity from terrorists, and in a recent video released by the terrorists it shows him still in captivity and asking Pope Francis to help him:
Uzhunnalil was abducted by Islamic militants at a home run by the Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity group in the southern Yemeni city of Aden, in an attack which resulted in the deaths of 16 people.
While it was first believed that the priest was taken by members of the Islamic State, Indian officials said in May that Uzhunnalil was “safe” in Yemen, and that they were negotiating for his release with anti-government forces.
A relative of Uzhunnalil, identified as Augustine, told The News Minute that there has not been much progress in regard to his release, however.
“There is no government there and so our government is finding it tough to hold talks,” Augustine said. “We don’t believe he has been taken away by Islamic State, but perhaps by a smaller group.”
Another video was released in July of a seemingly frail and weakened Uzhunnalil in July, though there was conflicting information on whether the video really was of the kidnapped priest or not.
The latest video of Uzhunnalil also shows him appearing “very weak and at times was gasping for breath” as he makes his plea to Francis.
The footage shows the priest expressing his discontent that “nothing has been done seriously” to rescue him.
“Reports have been there in the news that everything is being done to release me quickly. But in reality nothing seem to have happened. I am very sad and depressed. I request also my fellow Christians in India, the bishops and priests, to do their might to help me to get released and save my life,” Uzhunnalil says.
There was even a rumor back in March that the Indian priest was set to be crucified by IS on Good Friday, but the information also proved false.
Francis has pleaded with Uzhunnalil’s captors to release him, and in April said that he renews his appeal “for the liberation of all persons seized in areas of armed conflict,” but so far the priest’s fate remains in question. (source)
Please keep him and all persecuted Christians under Islam in your prayers. They do make a tremendous difference, and in situations like these where there are difficult political, geographical, and technical issues that require tremendous efforts to overcome, it is often times all that one can do.
“The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’ (Matthew 25:40)