Christians in the Arabian Peninsula request continued prayer for Father Tom Uzhunnalil, a Salesian priest from India who was abducted in Yemen on 4th March 2016. Father Tom was abducted during a raid by a group of gunmen on a care home near Aden in which sixteen were killed. There has been uncertainty about his whereabouts and condition since the abduction.
On 24th December a video was posted on YouTube purporting to be of Father Tom making an appeal for action to secure his release. In a statement dated 27th December, the Apostolic Vicariate of Southern Arabia noted that the source, date and authenticity of the recent video remain unconfirmed. However, the Vicariate noted that the person in the video bears a ‘close likeness’ to Father Tom, referred to other indications that he is still alive, and emphasised that various efforts to secure his release are ongoing. Bishop Paul Hinder, Apostolic Vicar of Southern Arabia, has led calls for continued prayer for Father Tom’s safe release.
The care home in Aden, raided by the gunmen, was operated by the Sisters of the Missionaries of Charity. The sixteen killed in the attack included four missionary sisters (two from Rwanda, one from India and one from Kenya) and several of their helpers (including some from Ethiopia and some Yemeni Muslim staff). Father Tom, who has served in Yemen for more than four years, was staying at the care home at the time of the raid.
MAY BE CIRCULATED TO GENERAL MAILING LISTS AND OUTSIDE ORGANISATIONS, AND QUOTED FROM FREELY IN REPORTS CITING “MIDDLE EAST CONCERN” AS THE SOURCE OF THE INFORMATION.
Please pray that:
a. Father Tom will know the Lord’s presence, peace and protection, and that efforts to establish his whereabouts and to secure his release will soon be successful
b. all bereaved and traumatised by the murders at the care home will know the Lord’s comfort and healing
c. the perpetrators of the murders and abduction will know the Spirit’s conviction of their sin, and seek the Father’s forgiveness and new life through the Son
d. Christians in Yemen will know the Lord’s protection and guidance in every aspect of their life and witness
e. peace and justice will be restored in Yemen, and humanitarian aid will reach all who are in need