Waite, Terry (1939–)

While secretary for Anglican communion affairs for the archbishop of Canterbury, Terry Waite negotiated the release of several British hostages in Tehran, Iran, and Libya before being taken hostage himself during the Lebanon hostage crisis.

The archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Robert Runcie, recruited Waite to be his adviser in 1980. The Anglican Church had no history of intervening in international political affairs, and Waite's role as a hostage negotiator in the Middle East was not part of the job description. Within a year of Waite's appointment, however, three British missionaries were taken hostage in Tehran. The archbishop appealed to the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini as a fellow religious man, and sent Waite as his envoy to negotiate the release of the hostages. Waite's success transformed him from a relatively unknown religious representative to a British personality. On Christmas 1984, Waite was received by Colonel Muammar ...

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