On 4 March gunmen entered the compound of the nursing home run by the Missionary Sisters of Charity, killing four nuns and members of the staff.
The Bishop of Cyprus and the Gulf, the Rt. Rev. Michael Lewis, has offered his condolences and prayers following the murder of 16 people including four nuns at the Mother Teresa’s Home in Aden last week. On 4 March gunmen entered the compound of the nursing home run by the Missionary Sisters of Charity, killing four nuns and members of the staff. A priest visiting the Home, Salesian Fr Thomas Uzhunnalil, is missing and is believed to have been abducted by the gunmen. A spokesman for the Missionaries of Charity, Sunita Kumar, said the four murdered nuns were Sister Anselm, 57, from India, Sister Margretta, and Sister Redinette, 32, from Rwanda and Sister Judith, 41 from Kenya. Other victims of the massacre included volunteer helpers, some of whom were from Ethiopia. None of the nursing home’s elderly residents were harmed. Kumar said that three gunmen in blue uniforms entered the retirement home when the four nuns were serving breakfast to the home’s elderly. “Seeing the armed men, the sisters ran for safety toward their convent and were shot in the open compound,” she said. On realizing that something was wrong, Sister Sally, superior of the convent, hid in a refrigerator. “She could not be found by the men who searched the entire home,” Kumar said. Kumar added that the attackers ransacked the convent, destroying statues, the tabernacle and the crucifix in the chapel. Bishop Lewis wrote: “Doubtless the murderers are from the pernicious ultra-fundamentalist fanatical puritan strand of Islam that encompasses IS or Da’esh and takes inspiration from the Wahhabi sect. Their actions will be met with revulsion by true Muslims, especially native Adenis, whose respect for the works of charity and service by Christians in their city is great.” He added: “Hearing of these killings in the middle of the season of Lent, those of us who have often visited the sisters and prayed with them will reflect that all Christians are called to walk with Christ the way of the cross, and that that Way is none other than the way of glory and the gate of heaven.’ On 25 March 2015 the chaplain of Christ Church Aden, the Rev. Velvet John reported that fierce fighting have forced the staff to leave Yemen and temporarily close the Anglican church and its hospital. Fr. John said: “The Houthi rebels have been in control of Yemen’s capital, Sanaa since September 2014. Among twenty one provinces, nine provinces were captured by Houthis.” Security analysts report the civil war in Yemen has evolved into a confrontation between Saudi Arabia and Iran, with no end to the fighting in sight. Bishop Lewis wrote: “ We join Bishop Paul Hinder, the Christians of the Yemen, and all who know God to be the God of mercy and compassion in praying for the eternal repose of the souls of these faithful departed servants of the Lord.”