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WCC statement on the execution of deposed Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein

30 December 2006

30 December, 2006



At the death of Saddam Hussein, our thoughts and prayers go out to the people
of Iraq. We pray to God to grant this suffering nation the mercy, justice and compassion
that it has long been denied. We hope against hope for an end to the fear
and death that marked Saddam Hussein's rule and that continue now from other
hands.

That a leader has been held responsible for one of his crimes is significant. However,
the World Council of Churches is opposed to the death penalty. Each taking of a
person's life is a part of a larger tragedy and nowhere is this more apparent than
in a land of daily killings.

We pray that those who hold power in Iraq now and in the future will create a
new heritage of government for its people. May Iraq's leaders pursue reconciliation
and mutual respect among all its communities. May Iraq's people be freed
from violence and demagoguery, and be able to live where power is held to account
and shared under the rule of law. May all parties and all authorities in Iraq now
work to stay the hands of any that are tempted to use violence for political gain
and all who put themselves above the law.

Iraq and its neighbours need peace, the peace that comes with justice for all.

Rev. Dr. Samuel Kobia
General Secretary
World Council of Churches