Days in captivity deepened my faith: Father Tom Uzhunnalil

Narendra Modi greets Father Tom Uzhunnalil, who was rescued from captivity in Yemen, in New Delhi.   | Photo Credit: PTI

God and the “inner goodness” of his captors were to be thanked for the fact that he was still alive, Father Tom Uzhunnalil, the 59-year-old Catholic priest who was abducted in Yemen in early March 2016, said here on Thursday. The episode, in fact, he said, had “deepened” his faith and brought him “closer to God”.

“There is goodness in everybody; had that not been the case they would have killed me... I feel God wants me to pray for my captors, for their change of heart and for peace in the world,” Father Uzhunnalil said of those who held him in confinement for 18 months. The captors were presumably rebel fighters participating in the civil war that broke out in Yemen a year prior to the priest’s abduction. They may have gained his custody from another militant group.

Following the inner call

The Father, who belongs to the Congregation of the Salesians of Don Bosco and hails from Ramapuram in Kerala’s Kottayam, also met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj earlier during the day to thank them for their support.

He was in India when civil war broke out in Yemen in 2015. But he followed his “inner call” and decided to “ensure his presence” there. “My mission must have been to look after those sisters who were looking after the sick and the ailing even in the war situation of that country with great difficulty,” he said.

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Printable version | Oct 20, 2021 10:27:22 AM |

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