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Fr. Tom Uzhunnalil says he never felt terrorized in captivity

Tuesday, Dec 12, 2017,11:01 IST By joji A A A

Mumbai | The prayers and forgiveness will lead people to peace and not war, guns and bullets, says Father Tom Uzhunnalil, the Catholic priest who was freed after being kept in captivity suspectedly by the ISIS for 18 months in strife-torn Yemen.
Uzhunnalil said terrorists are created by community and if the communities can be forgiving, there will be peace.
He was speaking here last night on the sidelines of Mother Teresa Awards, of which he was one of the recipients.
He said freedom is not just doing whatever one wants to do. “It is doing the right thing at the right time and the right place.”
“Freedom to love and forgive and prayer will lead us to true peace. Not war, not bullets, not rockets or guns, but the prayer is our greatest weapon. The Father of our Nation (Mahatma Gandhi) got us freedom not through bullets, but through satyagraha and prayers,” he said.
The priest from Kerala was abducted in March 2016 by Islamic State terrorists during a deadly attack on a care home run by Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity in the port city of Aden in war-ravaged Yemen. He was rescued in September this year.
Uzhunnalil said he never felt terrorised in captivity.
“If we surrender ourselves to God’s will, he will give us grace, understanding and calmness of mind to remain peaceful from within and rest will be taken care of. I never had any dreadful dreams, nightmares, fear, trembling, sweating or anything like that,” he said.
The priest was honoured with the Mother Teresa Memorial Award for his extraordinary service at the care home of the Missionaries of Charity.
He said the need of the hour is to forgive and love one another.
“Avoid situations that will instigate people to revolt in life. Terrorists are created by community, if the communities can be forgiving there will be peace,” he said.
Noted actor Priyanka Chopra and various organisations who have worked relentlessly in helping refugees with food, shelter, education and other essentials of life, were also presented the award at the function.