Christians in the Arabian Peninsula give thanks to God for the safe release of Father Tom Uzhunnalil, a Salesian Priest from India, who was abducted in Yemen on 4th March 2016.
In a statement issued on 12th September, the Apostolic Vicariate of Southern Arabia confirmed that Father Tom had been freed and offered thanks to all who have upheld him in prayer over the last 18 months. Oman’s Ministry of Information announced that Omani authorities had played a role in securing his release, through liaison with parties in Yemen.
Father Tom was abducted during a raid by a group of gunmen on a care home near Aden in which 16 people were killed. There had been uncertainty about his whereabouts and condition since the abduction. The care home in Aden raided by the gunmen was operated by sisters of the Missionaries of Charity. The 16 people 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 was staying at the care home at the time of the raid.
The context in Yemen continues to be one of humanitarian tragedy due to ongoing violent conflict, food shortage and a cholera epidemic.
Please give thanks to God, and pray that:
a. Father Tom will know the Lord’s peace and restoration as he takes time to recover from his ordeal
b. he will know the Lord’s physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual strength and healing
c. those bereaved and traumatised by the murders at the care home will know the Lord’s comfort
d. the perpetrators of the murders and abduction will come to repentance and new life in Jesus
e. all Christians in Yemen will know the Lord’s protection and guidance in every aspect of their life and witness
f. peace and justice will be restored in Yemen, and humanitarian aid will reach all who are in need