Not stand by while the Christians of the Middle East are being attacked.
Pray the protection of Psalm 91 over my brothers and sisters facing dangerous circumstances around the world.
In early March this year, militants attacked a Catholic retirement home in Yemen and murdered 16 people working there. In that attack, Father Thomas Uzhannil was kidnapped and is still being held prisoner. One of the nuns who survived described the brutal attack in an emotional visit with Father Tom’s family.
Originally, it was believed that ISIS was responsible for the attack and kidnapping of the priest, but later news reports indicate he was taken by a different anti-government militant group. The priest’s older brother, Matthew, said in April that he is very worried but trusting God. “Leave everything in God’s hands and trust in him. Everything is secure in God’s hands.”
Father Tom is originally from India, and his government has been working with the Vatican and the FBI to negotiate his release from the rebel group holding him in Yemen. Over eight months after his capture, the negotiations appear to have stalled. News about his condition is scarce, although we believe he is still alive. In November, the Salesian Catholic congregation that sent Father Tom to Yemen released another appeal to pray for his release.
Open Doors International estimates there are only a few thousands Christians living in Yemen, a country that has been in turmoil since 2012 as the rival Sunni terror groups Al-Qaeda and Islamic State fight Iranian-backed Shiite rebels for control. Yemen’s president and government were forced to flee the country in 2015, leaving the population at the mercy of the fighting militant gangs. In addition to severe religious persecution, Yemeni Christians are also facing a humanitarian crisis and extreme food shortage that affects the entire country.
Father Tom and the suffering Christians of Yemen are on our hearts during this holiday season. Please remember to lift them up in prayer today and during the rest of the year.
- For Father Tom’s safety and quick release from his kidnappers.
- For Father Tom and his family to be filled with supernatural peace and faith as they wait.
- For a peaceful end to the civil war and humanitarian crisis in Yemen.
For the protection and spiritual strength of all Christians living in Yemen.