If you see anything around the internet about “Pray for FrTom” it’s safe to say the prayers failed once again to prevent a brutal murder in the name of god. ISIS pre-claimed responsibility for the crucifixion of Friar Thomas Uzhunnalil that would take place on the same day that Jesus Christ was supposedly murdered before his rebirth on Easter Sunday.
The priest was kidnapped in Yemen earlier in the year by terrorists that were linked to ISIS through a raid on a home for the elderly, which resulted in 15 deaths on March 4th.
The terrorist group sent messages to major religious groups stating that Uzhunnalil would be put to death as Jesus was, on Good Friday. Archbishop of Vienna, Christoph Cardinal Schönborn reportedly told his congregation that the priest was dead during Easter Mass.
A spokesperson for the church said that, while the Archbishop did say that the priest had been executed, there was not hard evidence to back this claim. It seems the Archbishop wisely took ISIS’ word for it. Still, it was widely reported in Austria that the priest was dead.
Archbishop Vienna’s spokesperson said this to the media:
“The cardinal based his statements on news published on Arabic language web sites. The validity of this information has, however, not been confirmed. The cardinal doesn’t himself have any sources that have confirmed the death of Father Tom. Thus, for the time being, there’s still basis for hope that Father Tom is alive.”
Officials in Yemen have said this:
“According to our information, the extremists who attacked the elderly care home in Aden have kidnapped priest Tom Uzhunnalil, a 56-year-old Indian, who was taken to an unknown location.”
“We are aware that no group has yet claimed the criminal attack… but information points to the involvement of Daesh.”
A spokesman for the Salesians’ Bangalore province had this to say to the media:
“But even today we do not know who has taken him and what their motives are because no one has claimed responsibility.”
Pope Francis is reportedly ‘shocked and profoundly saddened’ to hear of ‘this act of senseless and diabolical violence.’ However, this is daily life for people living anywhere near the workings of terrorist groups, and it is religion that we have to thank for it. Without the indoctrination of evil religious rhetoric, terrorists may be very different people.