Multifaith coalition leads Pilgrimage for Peace calling for permanent ceasefire in Gaza

CPT joins a coalition of multifaith organizations in a Pilgrimage for Peace from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C.
three people hold a sign that reads Pilgrimage for Peace as they march, with dozens of people behind them.



Washington, D.C., February 13, 2024— Faith for Black Lives, National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA, Rabbis for Ceasefire, the Council on American-Islamic Relations Philadelphia Chapter (CAIR-Pennsylvania), Fellowship of Reconciliation, Hindus for Human Rights, and more than forty partners will embark on a Pilgrimage for Peace calling for a ceasefire in Gaza to save lives. From February 14 to 21, 2024, more than 200 faith leaders, activists, and artists will march from Philadelphia, PA, to Washington, DC to urge President Biden and Congress to act.

“We grieve alongside the families in Gaza, and we urgently call for a cessation of hostilities. It is our hope that this pilgrimage will amplify our collective voice for peace and justice,” said Bishop Vashti McKenzie, President and General Secretary of the National Council of Churches USA.

“We mourn the over 27,000 Palestinian lives lost in this war and affirm our commitment to the release of all hostages and a pathway to peace”, said Rev. Stephen A. Green, Chair, Faith for Black Lives. “This pilgrimage emerges from a rich tradition of nonviolent moral action and is committed to sharing the principles of peace, love, and justice as we seek to awaken the conscience of the nation.”

Rabbi Alissa Wise, Lead Organizer of Rabbis for Ceasefire, said “Our interfaith coalition shares a commitment to the sacred obligation to protect human life. That is the root of our call for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza. As rabbis, we are grateful to link arms with Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Native American, and other spiritual leaders with whom we share a vision of a redeemed world. Jews, Palestinians, and all of our communities will find safety not in isolation, but through solidarity rooted in our commitment of life, justice, and dignity for everyone.” 

Dr. Ahmet Selim Tekelioglu, Executive Director of CAIR-Philadelphia, said, “As a Muslim-American, I am proud to support and join in this Pilgrimage for Peace where we come together as people of conscience and faith to follow in the foot-steps of the giants of our communities who stood up of for human dignity for all during the Civil Rights movement and beyond. Through the pilgrimage, we will stand against the dehumanization of Palestinians and against our tax dollars being used to fuel more civilian deaths.”   

“Hindus for Human Rights grieves with the families and individuals in Gaza and calls for an urgent and immediate ceasefire. The hindu values of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” meaning the world is one family is more relevant today than ever. This pilgrimage represents the hindu values of Ahimsa (non violence), Shanti (peace) and Nyay (Justice) which the people in Gaza need from us and may this effort reach the right ears,” said Vijayendra Kadalabal, Board Member or Hindus for Human Rights. 

The Pilgrimage for Peace will launch on Wednesday, February 14, with a press conference at 10:00 a.m. at Mother Bethel AME Church, located at 419 S 6th St., Philadelphia, PA. Afterwards, the pilgrims will journey to Independence Hall to start the 150-mile pilgrimage.

The Pilgrimage for Peace will conclude on Wednesday, February 21, with a rally at the White House. 

The pilgrimage will journey through:

* Philadelphia, PA and Chester, PA
* Chester, PA and Wilmington, DE
* Wilmington, DE and Newark, DE
* Newark, DE and Perryville, MD
* Havre de Grace, MD and Joppa, MD
* Joppa, MD and Baltimore, MD
* Baltimore, MD and Laurel, MD
* Laurel, MD and Washington, DC

List of Co-sponsors:

Progressive National Baptist Convention, Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, Black Church Center for Justice and Equality, Until Freedom, First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia, Make It Plain, Kol Tzedek Synagogue, Germantown Mennonite Church, Israel/Palestine Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), FOSNA, IfNotNow, Cultural Survival Quarterly, Tikkun Olam Chavurah, Jewish Voice for Peace – Philadelphia, CRS, National African American Clergy Network, If Not Now Philly, Fellowship of Reconciliation, Hinenu: the Baltimore Justice Shtiebl, Kairos Center for Religions, Rights, and Social Justice + Freedom Church of the Poor,  US Campaign for Palestinian Rights (USCPR), Global Gaza Ceasefire Pilgrimage, and American Friends Service Committee, Delawareans for Palestinian Human Rights, Jewish Voice for Peace, Batrice and Associates, Arab American Institute Foundation, Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, Pax Christi USA, WILPF-Greater Philadelphia Branch (Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom), Synagogues Rising, Freedom Road Community Peacemaker Teams, Peace, Justice, Sustainability NOW!, Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ), Christian-Jewish Allies for a Just Peace in Israel/Palestine Jewish Voice for Peace Baltimore, CAIR Maryland, Association des Dynamiques des Jeunes Marocains, Nonviolence International, New Synagogue Project, Middle Church, Unitarian Universalists for Justice in the Middle East, Dream Defenders, Friends Committee on National Legislation, Faith Strategies African Methodist Episcopal Church, Judson Memorial Church, Rabbis for Ceasefire, American Baptist Home Mission Societies, and others.

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