Thomas Uzhunnalil, a Catholic priest from India, was reportedly crucified by ISIS militants on Good Friday, a few weeks after he was kidnapped by the militants in Yemen. According to the Washington Times, Reverend Thomas Uzhunnalil was a Salesian priest who was associated with Mother Teresa’s organization, Missionaries of Charity. Father Thomas was part of a nursing home run by the organization in Yemen.
On March 4, the nursing home was raided by ISIS fighters who also killed 16 Christian nuns and nurses there. Father Uzhunnalil was kidnapped by them on the same day. His kidnappers later announced that he would be killed by crucifixion on the eve of Good Friday. The reports of Father Uzhunnalil’s crucifixion is not fully confirmed, with several people still not believing the news.
The death of Father Thomas Uzhunnalil was however confirmed at the Easter Vigil Mass by Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn of Vienna. His death was carried out by the same method used to kill Jesus on the day Christians across the globe mark as Good Friday.
We have embedded a few tweets that talk about the crucifixion on social media.
Reports that Fr. Thomas Uzhunnalil was crucified are unconfirmed. Let’s keep praying for him until we know for sure that he is a Saint.
— Gary Paul H ن (@enternoon) March 28, 2016
— The Christian Post (@ChristianPost) March 28, 2016
Everyone please say a prayer for Father Thomas Uzhunnalil, who was crucified by ISIS on Good Friday. Rest in peace father.
— Josh #NeverTrump (@jhewitt1280) March 28, 2016
Hope the reports are untrue that kidnapped Father Thomas Uzhunnalil has been crucified by ISIS. Unfathomable situation.
— Kate (@Boster_clack) March 28, 2016
The crucifixion of Father Thomas Uzhunnalil is seen as a crackdown by ISIS on Christians living in the Middle East. Since the rise of the ISIS in parts of Iraq and Syria, there have been several instances of the ISIS’ brutality on Christians living in the region. This had led to a huge drop in the population of Christians living in the region. Thirty years ago, there were more than 1.4 million Christians living in Iraq alone — a number which has sharply decreased by 2016, an Al Jazeera report confirms. According to estimates provided by the Hammurabi Human Rights Organization, an Iraqi research think tank, the number of Christians in Iraq had dropped to fewer than 400,000 as of 2015.
Several Christians threatened by the ISIS’ hardline version of Islam, which shows zero tolerance to other religions, have fled to neighboring countries — including parts of Syria that have been unaffected by the ISIS invasion. This is the second time Christians from the Middle East have turned refugees. Earlier, several Iraqi Christians fled to neighboring Jordan and Lebanon during the Iraqi civil war that took place between 2005 and 2007. While several Christians returned to Iraq just before the rise of ISIS, they have now been forced out of their country once again.
The report of Father Thomas Uzhunnalil’s brutal crucifixion comes just a few weeks after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry accused ISIS of committing genocide against Iraq’s Yazidi minority, Shia Muslims and Christians.
In related news, it was just yesterday that the Inquisitr reported about another attack against Christian minorities — this time in Pakistan. On Sunday, more than 70 people, several of them Christian women and children, were killed in a suicide bomb attack that took place in Pakistan’s second largest city, Lahore. The attack took place at a park that was frequented by Christian families celebrating Easter.
[Image via Pixabay]