NEW DEHLI (Christian Examiner) – A Catholic priest whom many feared was crucified by a faction of the Islamic State in Yemen on Good Friday is apparently still alive, a Catholic group in India said Sunday.
A spokesman with the Conference of Catholic Bishops in India, citing reports from India's Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj, said Father Tom Uzhunnalil is well and negotiations for his release could begin soon.
Father Uzhunnalil was abducted by gunmen in Aden, Yemen, last month when gunmen stormed the nursing home where he was working. The terrorists killed 15, including four nuns. Pope Francis condemned the attack on the humanitarian aid facility.
On Easter Sunday Christoph Cardinal Schönborn, the archbishop of Vienna, announced to his congregation the Indian priest had been crucified. That report was then picked up in Austrian media and, subsequently, English-language media.
Although ISIS has most certainly crucified Christians before, it made no public claim that it would kill the priest. It also has not produced a video announcement of any such event – normally a staple of the Islamic State's propaganda efforts.