A kidnapped Catholic priest who was reportedly crucified by ISIS is now reportedly alive, and efforts are underway to obtain his release.
According to The Christian Post, Father Tom Uzhunnalil was kidnapped by ISIS militants in March when they raided a retirement home in Yemen, run by the Missionaries of Charity. The militants killed 16 people in the raid and took Fr. Uzhunnalil captive.
Initial reports from Archbishop of Vienna, Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, indicated that Uzhunnalil had been crucified by ISIS on Good Friday. However, Schönborn has since acknowledged that he made that claim with false information.
"Cardinal Schönborn has already corrected his statement which he had made on the basis of the wrong statement of Archbishop Moras in Bangalore. Certain media in India are too nervous and curious and not aware that they are playing with the life of Fr. Tom. I cannot say more for the reason I gave in my first sentence (to protect the life of Fr. Tom)," stated Bishop Paul Hinder of Southern Arabia.
India’s External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj, has also confirmed that Uzhunnalil is still alive, as has Father Gyanprakash Topno, who said, "Father Tom is safe and efforts are on for his release as early as possible.”
Although glad that Uzhunnalil is yet alive, some Indian Congress members have called on the government to do more to protect Christians.
"So ISIS allegedly crucified Father Thomas Uzhunnali &BJP gov't did nothing. Why because he was a Christian?Mr. PM he was also a fellow Indian (sic)," said Congress member Manish Tewari, addressing the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, while Uzhunnalil was yet believed to have been executed.
Publication date: April 4, 2016