Jesuit Father Alexis Prem Kumar in 2013. (Photo: Jesuit Refugee Service)
Indian Jesuit Released after Eight Months in Captivity in Afghanistan
February 22, 2015 — After more than eight months
in captivity, Jesuit Father Alexis Prem Kumar has been released from Afghanistan and has returned to his native India. Fr. Prem was
serving as country director in Afghanistan for Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) when he was abducted by a
group of unidentified men on June 2, 2014.
JRS said in a statement that it is “immensely grateful to the Indian
government for its role in achieving his release.”
eight months have been a long and difficult period of uncertainty for Fr.
Prem's family, friends and colleagues. You cannot imagine our relief that he is
now home, safe and sound. We are aware of the tireless efforts at many levels
to achieve his release, and we are grateful for the consolation we have
received from the prayerful support of countless friends — including those of the school children from
the school where he was kidnapped," said Jesuit Father Peter Balleis, JRS
Fr. Prem was taken
by a group of men in western Afghanistan while on a visit to a JRS-supported
school for refugees. JRS has worked in Afghanistan since 2005, and even during
the difficult months of Fr. Prem’s captivity,
JRS continued to run its programs in the country to ensure that Afghan students
had access to quality education.
Before moving to
Afghanistan five years ago, Fr. Prem worked for JRS serving Sri Lankan refugees
living in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu.
"Our attention now turns to the welfare of
Fr. Prem. All of us will do whatever we can to ensure that Prem receives the
necessary attention and support from his family, his Jesuit brothers in the
Society of Jesus, and his many friends and colleagues in JRS," said Jesuit
Father Stan Fernandes, JRS Regional Director in South Asia.[Source: Jesuit Refugee
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