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Local Gaza Ceasefire Pilgrimage was one of 173

Gaza Ceasefire Pilgrimage in Spokane - March 30, 2024


More than 100 people participated in a Gaza Ceasefire Pilgrimage on Saturday, March 30, from Gateway Park in Liberty Lake along the Centennial Trail to First Presbyterian Church in downtown Spokane, a walk of about 25 miles, equivalent to the length of the Gaza Strip.

Held on Holy Saturday at the end of Lent, the group joined a global movement walking in prayerful solidarity with the Palestinian people of Gaza.

At a time Christians wait with grief, lament and hope, participants walked to dismantle antisemitism and islamophobia, which are on the rise in the U.S.

The pilgrimage was organized with the goal of a lasting, just peace for Israelis and Palestinians. It mirrors the journey many in Gaza have been forced by violence to take.

Along the way in the local walk, there were sacred pauses.

"Emmaus Church chose to sponsor and participate in the Gaza ceasefire pilgrimage because we believe Jesus has called us to walk the way of peace," said Mark Finney, pastor of Emmaus and executive director of Thrive Center in Spokane. "As millions suffer and starve in Gaza and increasing violence threatens the safety of people across the Middle East, we stand in solidarity with all those who grieve, and we call on our government leaders to use their influence to end the bloodshed and free all hostages."

Pilgrimages were held in 173 cities in 19 countries. The idea was started in February at the start of Lent by an Australian, James Harris, who walked the distance of Gaza and raised $5,000 for relief through Palestinian Christians in Australia. The idea spread.

Jer Swigart, director of Global Immersion, a faith-based peace organization, was lead organizer of Spokane's walk.

The walks' goals were a cease fire in the Israel-Hamas war, more humanitarian aid, an end  to Israel's occupation of Gaza and the West Bank and secure regional peace through release of hostages and political prisoners.

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Copyright@ The Fig Tree, May 2024