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The National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA (NCC) will participate in a significant multi-faith initiative alongside faith leaders, activists, and artists as part of a “Pilgrimage for Peace.” This initiative aims to advocate for an immediate release of the hostages, an urgent ceasefire in Gaza, and unrestricted humanitarian aid, spanning from Philadelphia, PA to Washington, DC, from February 14- 21, 2024. The announcement of the pilgrimage comes on the heels of news of recent failed negotiations for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.


NCC mourns the more than 1,200 Israeli lives lost on Oct. 7 and the over 27,000 lives lost in Gaza in this war. The danger is that violence has only led to more violence and may spread throughout the region. As participants in this pilgrimage, NCC affirms its commitment to continue the call for the release of all hostages, unhindered humanitarian aid, and a pathway to peace. The pilgrimage will begin on Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the Lenten Season, a 40-day period of prayer, fasting, and sacrifice, leading up to Easter, the holiest time of the liturgical calendar for Christians, to share the principles of peace, love, and justice, and amplify the urgent need for a peaceful solution to the war in Gaza.


“We grieve alongside the families in Israel and 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 the sacredness of all life,” said Bishop Vashti McKenzie, NCC President and General Secretary.


The Pilgrimage for Peace is scheduled to commence on Wednesday, February 14, starting with a press conference at 10 a.m. at Mother Bethel AME Church, located at 619 Lombard St., Philadelphia, PA. This event marks the beginning of a week-long journey dedicated to fostering dialogue, raising awareness, and advocating for a lasting resolution to the conflicts in the region. The Pilgrimage for Peace will conclude on Wednesday, February 21 with a rally at the White House.

For more information about the Pilgrimage for Peace, visit or contact [email protected].