On Monday, June 2, a Jesuit priest from India was abducted by unidentified gunmen in Afghanistan’s western province of Herat. To date, the culprits and motives behind the abduction are unknown, but new light has recently been shed on the case. Local news in Afghanistan have not mentioned that the victim is a priest, only that he is an NGO official. Please pray for the safe return of the priest.
6/3/2014 Afghanistan (Asia News) – “The Consulate of India and the Government of Afghanistan are in contact to shed light on the kidnapping of Fr Alexis Prem Kumar SJ,” Fr Jeyapathy SJ told Asia News.
Principal at the Loyola College (Tamil Nadu, India), Fr Jeyapathy was charged by Fr Edward Mudavassery, Jesuit Provincial of South Asia, to speak to the media.
Fr Alexis, head of the Afghan section of the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS), was abducted yesterday in Herat. No one has yet claimed responsibility for the kidnapping.
“Alexis Prem Kumar SJ had gone to visit a school for the returnees in Sohadat village 25 km from Herat with the teachers. He was kidnapped from the school as he was about to return to Herat,” Fr Mudavassery said.
Fr Alexis, 47, belongs to the Jesuit Province of Madurai (Tamil Nadu). He has worked with the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) for more than ten years.
He joined the Society of Jesus in 1998, and worked with Sri Lankan refugees in Tamil Nadu for six years before arriving in Afghanistan four years ago.
In Kabul a source, anonymous for security reasons, told Asia News said that “local newspapers reported the news of the kidnapping but they did not say that it involved a priest. They refer to him as an NGO official.”