World church body urges Iraq leaders to reconcile

The World Council of Churches said Saturday it prays Iraqi leaders will pursue reconciliation in "a land of daily killings" following the execution of Saddam Hussein. "We hope against hope for an end to fear and death that marked Saddam Hussein's rule and that continue now from other hands," said the Rev. Dr. Samuel Kobia, general secretary of the body that brings together about 350 Protestant, Orthodox, Anglican and other churches representing more than 560 million Christians in over 110 countries. Kobia, a Kenyan Methodist, said it was significant that a leader had been held responsible for his crimes, but noted that the council opposes the death penalty. The Roman Catholic Church is not a member of the council but cooperates with it.