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Kidnapped priest is one of only 2 in Yemen

March 16, 2016

Father Tom Uzhunnalil, the priest kidnapped during the March 4 terrorist attack on the Missionaries of Charity’s home for the elderly in Aden, is one of two priests who minister in Yemen, according to the Salesian order.

The Salesians are “the only Catholic priests working in the country” and minister to Catholic migrants from the Philippines, India, and Sri Lanka in four cities: Sana’a, Aden, Hodeida, and Taiz. The Missionaries of Charity have been present in the country since 1970.

As Yemen plunged further into chaos in recent years, three out of five Salesian priests left the country at the advice of the Indian government. “Despite the obvious threats to their safety the [Missionaries] of Charity of Mother Teresa and the two Salesian priests stayed back in a heroic of gesture of commitment and solidarity with the flock,” the order stated on one of its websites.

The New Indian Express reported that Father Uzhunnalil’s relatives, who live in India and the United States, remain hopeful he will be released.

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