Conflicting Reports of ISIS Crucifying Indian Priest in Yemen

There has been no official confirmation of this gruesome act as yet.

2 min read
(Photo: The News Minute)

Two of UK’s leading newspapers – the Daily Mail and the Independent on Monday reported the alleged crucifixion of Father Tom Uzhunnalil, a Catholic priest, on Good Friday. He was abducted by a terror group in Yemen earlier this month.

Nothing has been officially confirmed though, as a few online Indian news portals say that neither the Catholic Church nor the central government has confirmed the same.

The Washington Times reported that the news of his crucifixion on 25 March,

using the same method used by the Romans on Jesus and marked on Good Friday every year, was confirmed at the Easter Vigil Mass by Cardinal Christoph Schonborn of Vienna.

However, Abu Dhabi archbishop, Paul Hinder, on Monday dismissed reports of Father Tom’s execution and said they were untrue, Manorama reported.

The archbishop was earlier in Yemen and later relocated to Abu Dhabi.

The news comes days after a social media post by a religious group claimed that Father Tom would be tortured and crucified by the ISIS on Good Friday.

A Facebook post last week by the Franciscan Sisters of Siessen, based in South Africa, claimed,

Was informed that the Salesian priest, Father Tom who was kidnapped by ISIS from the Missionaries of Charity Home in Yemen is being tortured and is going to be crucified on Good Friday.

The post, which was reportedly shared more than 100,000 times, has now been deleted.

Father Uzhunnalil, who hails from Kerala, was kidnapped on 4 March in the course of an attack on a convent and nursing home run by the Missionaries of Charity in the strike-torn region.

Sixteen persons, including four nuns of the Missionaries of Charity, two staff members, and eight nursing home residents were reported to have lost their lives in the attack.

Father Uzhunnalil was reportedly praying in the chapel of the convent at the time of the attack and was kidnapped by the attackers. The MEA on Saturday confirmed his abduction and said that they were making all efforts to secure his release.

Although Father Uzhunnalil is a native of Pala in Kottayam district, many of his close relatives are settled abroad, and none presently live at the family’s ancestral home.

He had come home last September, but had no plans to leave Yemen even though there had been many threats. One of his uncles, who is also a priest was in Yemen, may have influenced Tom’s decision to work there. 
Advocate Augustine, Fr Uzhunnalil’s cousin

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