taking the words of Jesus seriously

As Mary wept over Christ’s body, this Lenten season we are all mothers in Gaza weeping over the dead — over 30,000 killed since October 7, 2023 — senselessly from us by bombs and bullets and indifference. Like the people of Gaza today, Jesus was born as a refugee, in the middle of a genocide in an occupied land.  This Palm Sunday to Good Friday, we will demonstrate with our bodies and prayers the urgent cry for a ceasefire. As Christ said: “Blessed are the peacemakers for they are the children of God.”  Not in our name, not in the name of our Savior Christ, the Prince of Peace!

Between March 24 (Palm Sunday) and March 29 (Good Friday), when Christians around the world remember the crucifixion of Jesus, followers of Jesus and friends will walk 20 miles (almost the length from Gaza City to Rafah), approximately four miles per day; observing the ‘Stations of the Cross’ on each day. Walking from The Liberty Bell to Lockheed Martin, the world’s largest weapons contractor, participants will reflect on Jesus’ Passion and Death and our nation’s complicity in decades of bombings in Gaza, including the current carnage. The Philadelphia pilgrimage is part of the global ‘Gaza Ceasefire Pilgrimage’ movement.

At Lockheed Martin, Philadelphia-based and national theologians and activists, including Shane Claiborne, Lisa Sharon Harper, Ariel Gold, Linda Sarsour, Rev. Mark Thompson, and others will, filled with the spirit of God and an unflinching commitment to nonviolence, engage in prayerful direct action calling on God to stop the flow of machines of death from the U.S. to the world. This spiritual act of resistance aims to send a message urging the Biden administration to call for a ceasefire and stop or condition weapons exports to Israel being used to kill and maim civilians and violate human rights.

We call for: 

An immediate and permanent ceasefire
Unfettered and robust entry of humanitarian aid
The immediate release of all hostages
An end to Israel’s systems of occupation and apartheid
The elimination/restriction of U.S. military assistance to Israel such that it does not fund violations of human rights, including collective punishment and the targeting of civilians

When: Sunday, March 24 (Palm Sunday) through Friday, March 29 (Good Friday)

Where: From the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, PA to Lockheed Martin headquarters in King of Prussia, PA

Convened by: Red Letter Christians, Freedom Road, Fellowship of Reconciliation, the Society for Faith and Justice, Rainbow PUSH Coalition, and more.


Core Convictions of the Gaza Ceasefire Pilgrimage, Philadelphia (in alignment with The International Gaza Ceasefire Pilgrimage):


We oppose all forms of hatred, racism, and discrimination, including antisemitism, anti-Arab racism, Islamophobia, and homo and trans-phobia. We affirm the truth that all people, regardless of race, ethnicity, sexuality, gender identity, or nationality are created in the image of God. “Our battle is not against flesh and blood” but against the Powers of domination, oppression, and violence.

We believe in and adhere to nonviolence in strategy, principle, and philosophy. As communicated by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who got his inspiration from Jesus Christ and his techniques from Mohandas K. Gandhi:

Principle one: Nonviolence is a way of life for courageous people. It is active nonviolent resistance to evil. It is aggressive spiritually, mentally and emotionally.

Principle two: Nonviolence seeks to win friendship and understanding. The result of nonviolence is redemption and reconciliation. The purpose of nonviolence is the creation of the Beloved Community.

Principle three: Nonviolence seeks to defeat injustice, not people. Nonviolence recognizes that evildoers are also victims and are not evil people. The nonviolent resister seeks to defeat evil, not people.

Principle four: Nonviolence holds that suffering can educate and transform. Nonviolence accepts suffering without retaliation. Unearned suffering is redemptive and has tremendous educational and transforming possibilities.

Principle five: Nonviolence chooses love instead of hate. Nonviolence resists violence of the spirit as well as the body. Nonviolent love is spontaneous, unmotivated, unselfish, and creative.

Principle six: Nonviolence believes that the universe is on the side of justice. The nonviolent resister has deep faith that justice will eventually win. Nonviolence believes that God is a God of justice.”

As we express our solidarity with the Palestinian struggle against settler-colonialism, we are cognizant of and in solidarity with First Nation peoples of the Philadelphia area, the Lenni-Lenape People of Lenapehoking and the Poutaxat (Delaware Bay). We seek the blessing and collaboration of the First Nations Peoples of the land on which we walk and recommit ourselves to the work of healing-justice for all indigenous people.

We engage in the Gaza Ceasefire Pilgrimage as an act of repentance and lamentation for our collective sins of omission by not taking action for Palestinian liberation and our collective sins of commission by allowing ourselves, our houses of worship, and our government to support and contribute to 75 years of oppression of Palestinians and a genocide occurring in real-time in front of our eyes.

We welcome our Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, agnostic, atheist, and other allies. We affirm the interconnectedness of our different faiths as we seek together to eliminate the war, violence, and hatred that are abominations in the eyes of our collective God.



Day 1: Sunday, March 24, 2 PM – 4 PM, walk from the Liberty Bell to the Philadelphia Zoo – 2.7 miles

Day 2: Monday, March 25, 10 AM – 12 PM, walk from the Philadelphia Zoo to the Historic African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas – 3.3 miles

Day 3: Tuesday, March 26, 10 AM – 12 PM, walk from the Historic African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas to Bryn Mawr Metro Station – 4.3 miles

Day 4: Wednesday, March 27, 10 AM – 12 PM, walk from Bryn Mawr Metro Station to Wayne UMC – 4.2 miles

Day 5: Thursday, March 28, 10 AM – 12 PM, walk from Wayne UMC to Berwyn Station– 3.9 miles

Day 6: Good Friday, March 29, 11 AM – 11:30 AM, walk from the King of Prussia Mall to Lockheed Martin – .6 miles.
Day 6: Good Friday, March 29, 12pm – 1pm, Good Friday service outside Lockheed Martin plant
Day 6: Good Friday, March 29, 1 PM – Prayer outside Lockheed Martin plant


Why Lockheed Martin: 

Lockheed Martin supplies the Israeli government with a wide variety of weapons, including fighter jets, attack helicopters, and missiles. Many of these weapons are given by the U.S. to Israel through the almost $4 billion Israel receives annually in Foreign Military Financing.

Since the 1970s, Lockheed Martin’s F-16 has been the Israeli Air Force’s “most important fighter jet,” taking part in all of Israel’s major military assaults on Gaza. The newer Lockheed Martin F-35 is the most advanced warplane used by the Israeli Air Force.

Between 2004 and 2009, Lockheed Martin supplied Israel with at least 102 F-16 fighter jets. Between 2016 and 2021 they supplied Israel with at least 50 F-35 fighter jets.

Lockheed Martin also provides Israel with its M-270 Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS), a mobile system that fires a torrent of surface-to-surface rockets. The Israeli military used the MLRS to fire cluster munitions during the 2006 Lebanon War in attacks that Human Rights Watch deemed to be of “an indiscriminate and disproportionate character, in violation of international humanitarian law.”

During the 2008–2009 assault, Israeli F-16s were used to target civilians, civilian homes, and refugee camps. The attacks killed numerous Palestinians, including 22 members of a single family, 12 of whom were children under the age of 10.

During Israel’s 2014 attack on Gaza, Lockheed Martin Hellfire missiles were used to kill at least 51 people, including 24 children.

During the 2021 offensive, F-16s—described as the “mainstay of the bombardment”—were documented, for example, bombing Gaza City’s Rimal neighborhood, as well as residential buildings and the offices of news organizations, including Al Jazeera and the Associated Press.

Israel’s current war on Gaza, which heavily relies on Lockheed Martin weaponry, has killed almost 30,000 people, about a third of which have been children.

In December 2023, as Israel was two months into carrying out genocide in Gaza, the U.S. rushed Israel F-35 weapons capabilities and spare parts to the country. In January 2024, the U.S. and Israel reached a deal to supply Israel with large number of F-35 and F15 fighter jets as well as Apache helicopters.

On February 12, 2024, The Dutch Court of Appeal in the Hague ordered the Netherlands government to stop exporting F-35 fighter jet parts to Israel due to there being “a clear risk that serious violations of humanitarian law of war are committed in the Gaza Strip with Israel’s F-35 fighter planes.”


From the organizers of the pilgrimage: 

“One of the central convictions of Christianity is that there is a God who is near to the suffering, to the poor, to all those who are victims of violence.  When asked where God is amid the violence in Gaza, Palestinian theologian Munther Isaac responded: “God is under the rubble.”  On Good Friday, Christians around the world remember in a special way that Christ is God’s act of solidarity, as he endured the most horrific violence on the cross, and subverted it with love, forgiveness, and an empty tomb.  It is Christ who said, “Blessed are the peacemakers for they are the children of God. It is Christ who rebuked his own disciples when they wanted to call down “fire from heaven” on the people of Samaria. And it is Christ, who scolded Peter when he resorted to violence, saying to Peter, “Those who live by the sword, die by the sword… put the sword away.”  As many fellow Christians bless the bombs falling on Gaza, bombs made at Lockheed Martin… we say NO, not in our name, and not in the name of our Savior.  As many Christians try to defend the violence of Israel being done in planes made by Lockheed Martin, we are calling for a ceasefire, and an end to the violence in the name of Christ, the Prince of Peace.”

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