PONTIAC, Mich. (FOX 2) - In Metro Detroit, religious leaders came together Wednesday to call for a cease-fire in Gaza – demonstrating their shared commitment to promoting peace.
"It is not easy to address a conflict with deep-rooted historical complexities, but we cannot let the cycle of suffering continue," said Rev. Dr. Keyon S. Payton. "By supporting a cease-fire, we send a powerful message that the pursuit of peace transcends political affiliations."
During a joint address at the New Bethel Missionary Baptist Church in Pontiac, Payton and Imam Mohammad Ali Elahi with the Islamic House of Wisdom urged those in positions of power to collaborate and find a resolution that would allow innocent Palestinian men, women, and children to safely flee the war-torn area.
"We are here, this morning, to condemn this massacre, this apartheid, this terrorism against Gaza, this genocide," Elahi said. "The civilians must be safe."
The two spiritual leaders are collaborating with additional clergy and community activists from Michigan to urge state elected officials to hold more politicians responsible.
While it is not Sunday services, Payton used his platform to preach a message of unity between Jewish and Muslim communities.
Peyton said he condemns Hamas' Oct. 7 attack on Israel, but "violence does not demand that we respond in a violent way."
"I understand the importance of having others who understand my plight – to stand in solidarity with me in my time of crisis," he continued. "And it’s important for me to be able to stand in support of those who are also suffering."