Over 2,000 churches across the United Kingdom are supporting the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) to share the Gospel in multiple cities starting in May. That number has steadily increased in the past weeks, according to BGEA, after Rev. Franklin Graham’s events were canceled because of his viewpoints on gay marriage, according to published reports.
“Over the past few days, we have been made aware of a number of statements which we consider to be incompatible with our values,” a statement by the Liverpool City Region read in January. “In light of this, we can no longer reconcile the balance between freedom of speech and the divisive impact this event is having in our city. We have informed the organizers of the event that the booking will no longer be fulfilled. We are proud to represent all communities and will continue to move forward with our aim as a business to drive profile, major events, and economic impact for Liverpool City Region.”
A group called the “Liverpool Labour LGBT Network” called the son of the late preacher Billy Graham a homophobic “hate preacher.” They feared that a high profile event gaining so much traction “may incite hateful mobilization and risk the security of our LGBTQ+ community,” the group wrote. Franklin Graham posted an open letter to the LGBTQ community on Facebook, informing them that he didn’t have any intentions to condemn but to share the Gospel of Christ.
“I am coming to share the Gospel, which is the Good News that God loves the people of the UK, and that Jesus Christ came to this earth to save us from our sins. The rub, I think, comes in whether God defines homosexuality as sin. The answer is yes. But God goes even further than that, to say that we are all sinners…”
Here are words of support for the Graham Tour, set to begin in Glasgow, Scotland, and end in London in October.
“The importance of bringing Franklin Graham to Newport [near Cardiff] is not about hate but the absolute opposite. It is about the power of God’s love through Jesus Christ to rescue us from the power of darkness. … Imagine standing before God and saying, ‘I stopped people having the right to hear your message of the Gospel. You sent your son, but I stopped the people hearing the message.’”
“On behalf of this nation, our church … wants to apologize to Franklin Graham and to ask for forgiveness for rejecting him and rejecting the standard of God he stands for. We choose to honor and welcome Franklin Graham into the UK, we choose to welcome the Gospel he carries, and we choose to welcome God and His standard into this nation.”
—Lydia and Jonathan
“I listened to Franklin on Radio Scotland today and would like to add my name to any list supporting his visit to Glasgow. I have e-mailed [name omitted] and told him I strongly disagree with his protest, I’ve also called the venue who are reviewing Franklin’s visit. I am appalled and ashamed that a city who used to have a motto ‘Let Glasgow Flourish by the Preaching of The Word and the praising of His name’ has come to this.”
When Billy Graham made his first trip to the UK in 1954, many objected to his visit. However, thousands had come to know Jesus Christ, and many today still share how God changed their lives during those Crusades.