ICC Note: Amidst reports that the Islamic State (ISIS) had crucified an Indian priest in Yemen on Good Friday, sources close to the story say they believe he is still alive. Internet blogs reported that ISIS had murdered Tom Uzhunnalil in the same way that Jesus Christ died on the day that we remember His death, rumors that even an Austrian Cardinal originally confirmed. Now, Bishop Paul Hinder who serves in Saudi Arabia claims he has reason to believe Uzhunnalil is still alive. ISIS has yet to claim responsibility, but reportedly holds Uzhunnalil captive. International Christian Concern (ICC) calls for his immediate release and asks all concerned readers to pray for boldness and strength for Uzhunnalil as he faces intense persecution.
By Mary Rezac
3/29/16 Yemen (Catholic News Agency) – Several blogs and media outlets are reporting that Fr. Tom Uzhunnalil was crucified by ISIS on Good Friday.
There has been no confirmation of the event by friends, family or Fr. Uzhunnalil’s community. The original reports were based on a statement Austrian Cardinal Christoph Schönborn of Vienna allegedly made during Easter vigil services.
Bishop Paul Hinder of Southern Arabia (a region in Saudi Arabia, the country just north of Yemen where Fr. Uzhunnalil was kidnapped), told CNA on Monday that he has “strong indications that Fr. Tom is still alive in the hands of the kidnappers,” but could not give further information in order to protect the life of the priest. Bishop Hinder added that Cardinal Schönborn has since corrected his alleged statement, which was made on the basis of an incorrect statement from Archbishop Moras in Bangalore.