Media Release:Canadian church leaders walk to Parliament Hill for sustained Gaza ceasefire, May 22

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(Unceded Algonquin Territory [Ottawa, ON]) – In a call for a lasting and just peace in the Middle East, leaders from several national churches will converge on Parliament Hill on May 22, at the end of a Week of Action May 15-22, urging for a ceasefire in Palestine and Israel. They are part of the Gaza Ceasefire Pilgrimage: Canadian Churches for Just Peace, an initiative organized by KAIROS Canada and its member churches, and builds on the Gaza Ceasefire Pilgrimage.

After walking some distance in their own communities, leaders will finish their pilgrimage by walking 1.5 kilometres in Ottawa to Parliament Hill on May 22, where there will be prayers for a just peace for all in Palestine and Israel, speeches, a press conference at 11:30 a.m. at the Press Gallery and meetings with Parliamentarians.

Confirmed leaders to attend are: Rev. Dr. Carmen Lansdowne, Moderator of the United Church of Canada; Rev. Susan Johnson, National Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada; Leah Reesor-Keller, Transitional Executive Director, KAIROS Canada; the Rt. Rev. Andrew Asbil, Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Toronto, and the Rev. Doug Klassen, Executive Minister, Mennonite Church Canada. Also attending are the Rev. Ian Ross-McDonald, General Secretary, The Life and Mission Agency, The Presbyterian Church in Canada, and the Rev. Dr. J. Dorcas Gordon, Principal Emerita, Knox College, The Presbyterian Church in Canada who have just returned from a visit to Palestine.

The participating churches and Christian organizations call on the Government of Canada for:

  • An enduring and sustained ceasefire. 
  • Immediate flow of life-saving food, water, aid, fuel and humanitarian assistance.
  • Release of all captives.
  • End all arms transfers to Israel.
  • Ending occupation so a just peace can begin. 

Across Canada, through April and May, congregations and communities of faith mobilized for a just peace in Palestine and Israel. Participants walked or rolled together in their home communities for all or part of 41 kilometres – the length of the Gaza strip.

“I welcome the opportunity to walk and pray for a just peace in the land we call Holy, and to publicly call for a ceasefire and the immediate flow of humanitarian aid.” – The Rev. Susan C. Johnson, National Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada.

“As a national community of churches, we are lifting up the people of Gaza, and all who live in Israel and Palestine, and praying for peace with justice for all. I call on Canada to live into its commitments to uphold human rights so that everyone can live in safety and with dignity. On May 22, I am joining fellow faith leaders and people of faith and conscience from across Canada to say with our words and with the presence of our bodies that we must stand up to witness for a ceasefire and a just peace.” Leah Reesor-Keller, Transitional Executive Director, KAIROS Canada.

“We believe that all people are made in the image of God. And we believe in the power of prayer to alleviate human suffering and conflict. I am grateful to walk in this prayer vigil with my sisters in faith, for the people of Gaza, for the hostages, and for a sustained ceasefire and a just peace.” – The Right Rev. Dr. Carmen Lansdowne, Moderator, The United Church of Canada.

“Even in this time of violence and pain, we hold the belief that a different future, free from injustice and violence, is possible. Lasting peace and reconciliation will be realized when both past and ongoing injustices are acknowledged and addressed, ensuring freedom, dignity, equal rights, and justice for all people living in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory. Let us work together to make this vision a reality.” – Canadian Friends Service Committee (CFSC) and Quaker Joint Statement.

“As the Executive Minister of Mennonite Church Canada, I represent those in the Mennonite faith community who are committed to loving neighbour and standing in solidarity with those least understood and most at risk. The Mennonite tradition claims non-violence and justice as core faith values. Non-violence means crying out and advocating for those in the throes of war, civilians, hostages, and even soldiers who are caught up in the machinery of destruction.” – Rev. Doug Klassen, Executive Minister, Mennonite Church Canada


Gaza Ceasefire Pilgrimage: Canadian Churches for Just Peace is an initiative organized by KAIROS Canada and its member churches. It’s part of the Gaza Ceasefire Pilgrimage, a network of autonomous Christian groups with shared perspectives who are engaging in a prayerful show of solidarity in cities around the world.

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Cheryl McNamara (she/her)

Communications and Advocacy Coordinator, KAIROS Canada, 416–875-0097,

The KAIROS Toronto office is on the traditional territory of the Huron-Wendat, Seneca and Mississaugas of the Credit Indigenous Peoples.

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