SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Bruce Olsen, managing director of public affairs for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has released the following statement from Church headquarters:

It is with heartfelt gratitude that we announce the safe return of our four young missionaries who were abducted last Saturday morning while serving in Nigeria. We are grateful for the prayers offered on their behalf.

The missionaries, all serving in their native Nigeria, are doing well. Their spirits are high and they are expected to return shortly to the work they love. Their dedication and faithfulness is an example of why our missionaries are so well respected in Nigeria, and throughout the world.

The safety of missionaries, who sacrifice so much, is of great concern to all of us and every effort is made to keep them safe from harm. The Port Harcourt Mission remains in operation and local Church leaders will continue to monitor the safety of missionaries in the area, taking appropriate precautions.

We are again thankful for the efforts of local community and Church leaders who have worked together to bring this event to a safe and peaceful conclusion.