Father Thomas Uzhunnalil, a Catholic priest abducted from an old people’s home in Yemen by the Islamic State in March, has made an emotional plea to the Indian government and the church to save his life.

Uzhunnalil, 55, made the appeal in a five-minute video that was posted on YouTube and aired by news channels in his home state of Kerala on Monday. He looked haggard, with a long white beard, and spoke haltingly in English.

The priest, abducted when IS fighters stormed the old people’s home in the port city of Aden on March 4 and gunned down 16 people, including an Indian nun, accused the Indian government and the Pope of doing little for his release.

“If I were a European priest, I would have been taken more seriously by authorities and people and (they) would have got me released. I am from India and therefore, I perhaps am not considered as of much value. I am sad about this,” he said in a weak voice.

Uzhunnalil said a French woman reportedly kidnapped in the Yemeni city of Sanaa had been freed because she was a Westerner.

“Dear Pope Francis, dear holy father, as a father please take care of my life…I am very much depressed. My health is deteriorating, I may need hospitalisation soon, please come to my help quickly” he said in the video that was apparently released on Christmas Day.