Worldwide rallies for peace in Gaza

As the crisis continued in Gaza over the weekend, peace rallies were held in cities around the world.

In London on Saturday, members of Pax Christi, Quakers, Anglicans, Methodists, Friends of Sabeel and other Christian groups gathered for a silent witness in Hyde Park before the start of a massive national rally.

In spite of sub-zero temperatures, organiser estimated that around 100,000 participants from around the country took part. The crowds included thousands from the British Muslim community as well as representatives from several Jewish groups. Speakers included human rights advocate Bianca Jagger, singer Annie Lennox, actress Juliet Stevenson, Michael Rosen, Jeremy Corbyn MP, Brian Eno and the Rev Garth Hewitt, canon at St George's Anglican Cathedral in Jerusalem.

At one point during the rally in Hyde Park, names of some of the children who have been killed in Gaza were read out.

Pax Christi has called on its members and churches aound the country to pray for peace in Palestine and Israel and is continuing in its work to offer solidarity to peacemakers in the region and in the UK.

Director Pat Gaffney said: "The people of Gaza continue to carry the terrible burden of military violence. These 15 days have compounded the humanitatian crisis that was created by the seige of Gaza. In February Pax Christi will send a delegation to the West Bank."

Peace Sunday takes place on 18 January. 'Combating poverty: building peace' is the theme chosen by Pope Benedict this year. For liturgy resources and activity materials for Peace Sunday and the text of the World Peace Day message see: For more information call: the Pax Christi office 020 8203 4884.

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