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IN BRIEF

Kenyan to Lead World Council of Churches

August 30, 2003|From Times Wire Reports

GENEVA — The World Council of Churches this week chose the Rev. Samuel Kobia of Kenya as its leader, the first African to head the 55-year-old organization of Protestant, Anglican and Orthodox churches.

"To inspire the world, we need inner strength," Kobia told the 158-member Central Committee after his election. "Our strength lies also in our unity."

Kobia, currently the council's special representative for Africa, will succeed the Rev. Konrad Raiser of the Evangelical Church in Germany as the body's secretary general next January. Kobia, 56, is an ordained minister in the Methodist Church in Kenya.

The council includes 341 member churches in more than 100 countries; it aims to promote unity and dialogue among the world's denominations.

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