Religions for Peace: A Call for Peace in Israel and Gaza

Religions for Peace International

28 February 2024, New York, NY: After over 140 days of the Israel-Hamas war, Religions for Peace reaffirms its urgent call for peace in the Middle East—and, throughout the world.

Undisputedly, the attacks on Israeli and Palestinian civilians are horrific. The acts of murder, rape, capturing civilians, maltreating hostages, targeting residential areas, and restricting access to essential resources such as medical care, food and water are fundamentally inhumane. As both Israelis and Palestinians each grieve the loss of thousands of innocent lives, especially those of women and children, we are reminded that the prioritisation of political interests over the lives of human beings is wholly unacceptable and that combatting forces have the obligation to avoid civilian casualties in armed conflicts. Religions for Peace decries the violence and heinous acts of this humanitarian crisis. We stand in solidarity with all victims, who are paying the highest price. The violence must end.

It is, therefore, Religions for Peace’s fervent plea to all parties involved in this conflict to actively uphold the safeguarding of non-combatants, a mandate deeply rooted in various religious doctrines and enshrined within international law, and to take definitive action to negotiate peace. Religions for Peace urges all faith communities to amplify efforts to marshal the spiritual and moral strengths of their beliefs to unite in the pursuit of peace and life preservation; reject violent acts designed to exacerbate human suffering and derail peace; and uphold the protection of human life and the dignity of civilians as their highest priorities.

In this spirit, we urgently beseech all leaders across all religious and faith traditions to call for immediate action and strong measures to end this violence and to take essential steps in a process toward lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians in a land that is holy for many world religions. We call for:

  1. An immediate ceasefire, ensuring the efficient provision of humanitarian relief, including medical care, food and water, and guaranteeing the safety of displaced individuals and volunteer service providers;
  2. The release of all hostages, especially women and minors, in line with international humanitarian and human rights law;
  3. International peacekeeping efforts setting a new path toward lasting peace, to restart discussion of a viable two-state solution and healing for all people in the region.

As we mourn the loss of so many human lives, let us also harness the power of collective prayer to invoke the divine compassion that transcends boundaries. Religions for Peace invites you to join in our fervent prayers for the safety and well-being of all people in Gaza, the West Bank, Israel, and globally. Together, we can be the harbingers of peace, unity, and hope in a region that yearns for reconciliation and healing. Together, we can serve as people of conscience, as voices for the voiceless, and as champions of human rights, dignity and freedoms. ##

Religions for Peace, founded in 1970, is the world’s largest and most representative multi-religious movement advancing common action among the world’s religious communities for peace—peace for all people and for our planet. Religions for Peace works through its Interreligious Councils in nearly 100 countries in six regions, along with women of faith and youth networks, at the local, national, regional and international levels, and profoundly believes that every individual, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or background, deserves the fundamental human rights of peace and security.


Religions for Peace Myanmar
Religions for Peace Myanmar


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