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Thousands Attend Funeral of Slain Taize Founder

Political and religious leaders have joined more than 10,000 mourners in the French village of Taize at the funeral of Brother Roger, an internationally renowned monk slain while participating in a prayer service last week.

German President Horst Koehler and French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy were in the congregation as the Vatican's top ecumenical official, Cardinal Walter Kasper, celebrated the funeral Mass. The service included prayers for a Romanian woman, being held by French police for fatally stabbing Brother Roger at a prayer service last week.

The monk, a Swiss-born Protestant theologian originally known as Roger Schutz, founded the Taize community in 1940 to provide a refuge for those fleeing the turmoil of World War II.

Originally focused on meditation and prayer, Taize developed into an international pilgrimage site with a goal of reconciling Christian denominations.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.