A Lebanese magazine reported Friday that Anglican church envoy Terry Waite, believed held by pro-Iranian fundamentalists in Beirut's southern suburbs, is ill.

The weekly Ashiraa magazine, which first broke the news of secret U.S. arms dealings with Iran, quoted "well-informed sources" as saying that "the health of Terry Waite has recently deteriorated.""The captors brought a doctor to treat him for a disease in his stomach . . . This sudden deterioration in Waite's health may become a reason to speed up his release."

There have been mounting reports in Beirut that Waite's release was imminent. The leftist As-Safir newspaper has recently said that the plight of foreign hostages could end soon and that Waite would be the first one to be freed.

Waite, 47, a hostage-negotiator and special envoy of the Archbishop of Canterbury Robert Runcie, disappeared in west Beirut on Jan. 20, 1987, as he attempted to gain the release of U.S. hostages in Lebanon.

Waite is among 16 foreign hostages believed held in the mainly Shiite southern suburbs of Beirut - a hotbed for the Hezbollah militants.