Several of Iowa’s religious leaders today called for the U.S. to consider peace instead of war with Iraq. Bishops from the Catholic and Lutheran Churches and members of the Ecumenical ministries in Iowa representing several other religious denominations say the media have played up the support for war against Iraq while downplaying the antiwar sentiment. Lutheran Bishop Phillip Hougen says they decided it was time to speak out after hearing from many parishioners.He says they stand in a tradition that recognizes principles of “Just War”, as opposed to churches who advocate only peace, but he says those principles cause them to think very carefully and seriously before taking up arms against other people. Hougen says they’re not blind to what has happened in Iraq. He says they’re not naive to the problems posed by Saddam Hussein, but they pray that the U-N inspectors will be a way to avoid war, and not a prelude to war. Steve Ullestad (is president-elect of the Ecumenical Ministries board says they’re are many different views in the religious community whether or not war is proper in settling differences. He says there seems to be a consensus though, that war should be used as a last resort. He says religious leaders also are opposed to any unilateral military action, and they support measures in the United Nations to strengthen and maintain international peace. Tom Chapman, Chancellor of the Des Moines Catholic Diocese, read a statement from Des Moines Bishop Joseph Charron .The statement says: “Even for those who support Catholic just war tradition, war must the last resort.” The religious leaders will gather again Sunday for a “Prayer Service for Peace.”