Kidnapped Priest Tom Uzhunnalil to Receive Mother Teresa Award for Social Justice

by Samuel Smith/CP, |

The Indian priest who was kidnapped and held hostage by Islamic extremists in Yemen for over 18 months before he was released last month will be awarded the Mother Teresa Award for Social Justice.

The Harmony Foundation in Mumbai has named Father Tom Uzhunnalil as this year's recipient of the Mother Teresa Award for Social Justice.

Abraham Mathai, the founder of the Harmony Foundation, told that that Uzhunnalil, a Salesian priest, earned the award because he decided to continue his ministry in Yemen despite having the chance to leave the country.

Mathai explained that Uzhunnalil is a prime example of the theme of this year's award ceremony: "Compassion Beyond Borders — a compassionate response to the refugee crisis."

"[Uzhunnalil] had the option of leaving Yemen in 2015 but he chose to stay and provide humanitarian aid in the midst of such terror," Mathai said.

Uzhunnalil was captured by Islamic terrorists who attacked a Missionaries of Charities retirement home in Aden where he worked as a chaplain in March 2016. In the attack, 16 people were killed, including four nuns. The attack was claimed by the Islamic State.

Read more about Father Tom Uzhunnalil at The Christian Post.