The 4 last march, the Indian Salesian priest Tom Uzhunnalil was kidnapped by an armed group, during the terrorist attack on the house of the Missionary Sisters of Charity, in Aden, Yemen. Father Tom was kidnapped by his captors during the attack which left 16 people dead, including 4 nuns.
An the course of Holy Week, terrible rumors spread about the possible crucifixion of the Salesian priest. They eventually turned out to be false. Since the kidnapping, no proof of life has reached his relatives, apart froma photo posted on his Facebook profile last July, on which he already seemed very weak. Questions about the place, the conditions of detention or his state of health remained unanswered, until the publication, on Christmas Eve, of a video featuring a man resembling Father Tom.
An investigation is underway to try to authenticate the video. According to the site Asia News, the Apostolic Vicariate of South Arabia issued an official statement.
“The person in the video looks a lot like Father Tom Uzhunnalil. However, the source of the video, the date of its implementation and the environment in which it was filmed are unknown. "
In the video, Father Tom seems emaciated and desperate to ever see freedom again. During a speech visibly prepared and potentially delivered under duress, he addresses the Indian authorities, Pope Francis, and the bishops. He implores a mediation which will lead effectively to his release.
“If I were a European priest, I would have been taken more seriously. I am from India. I may not be viewed in the same way… Dear Francis, dear Holy Father, as a father, please take care of my life. I'm depressed. My health is deteriorating… I am very sad that nothing has been done seriously. "
“I am originally from India and not considered. Dear people, I beg you, ask, pray with all your might so that my life will be saved. I'll need hospitalization soon. Please help me quickly. "
Pray for Father Tom Uzhunnalil
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