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Free at Last, Free at Last.

The Archbishop Reacts to News Alan Johnston Has Been Released

Wednesday 4th July 2007

Dr John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York, has expressed his joy and thankfulness at the release from captivity of BBC Journalist Alan Johnston.

Speaking this morning the Archbishop said:

"I am overjoyed that the prayers and hopes of so many people have been answered with this wonderful news. Most of all I am delighted for Alan and for his family who have endured a terrible wait but whose hope has finally been fulfilled.

"Our prayers which have been so marvelously answered in Alan's release must continue for all those who still remain in captivity. We must continue to hope and pray for those Israeli soldiers, Palestinian activists and Iraqi citizens who remain in captivity, just as we continue to pray for peace in the wider region.

"Alan is free at last, free at last. The goodness and mercy of God has triumphed over man's inhumanity to man. For that we should all be thankful."

The Archbishop, who has held prayer vigils and led appeals for the freedom of Alan Johnston, will celebrate a service of communion at mid-day today at the chapel in Bishopthorpe Palace, where special prayers of thanksgiving will be offered celebrating the release of the journalist.

The Archbishop also called upon all Psalm Drummers to "get out their drums and play to celebrate freedom". The Archbishop's call follows the special drumming service held at Bishopthorpe Palace to mark Alan Johnston's 100th day of captivity.

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