British parliamentarians, along with several thousand people who have signed a petition, are trying to ban the famous American evangelist Franklin Graham from entering their country. They claim that he has frequently engaged in "hate speech" against Muslims and LGBT people.
They are particularly upset that Graham, an evangelical Christian with very strong stances on LGBT, is scheduled to speak in the UK, in Blackpool, on September 2018.
“Unlike his father, Billy Graham, Franklin Graham engages in outspoken bigotry targeting refugees, Muslims and LGBT people. His father promoted unity and respect in communities but Franklin Graham’s extreme views promote prejudice and division,” the petition states.
According to LifeSite News, Franklin Graham has taken very strong stances against homosexuality, claiming that homosexual activity is contrary to biblical teachings. He has also called on Christians to boycott businesses that promote LGBT, and as a result, he has criticized Disney earlier this year for their remake of Beauty and the Beast.
Graham has come under sharp criticism for his position on abortion. The evangelist has indeed been highly outspoken on the life issue, claiming that all human beings, whether born or unborn, have a fundamental right to life. Planned Parenthood, he once said, is like a "death camp."
In contrast, Billy Graham has received widespread welcome across the Atlantic, most notably in the UK in 1954 when a crowd of 2 million people turned out for his "London Crusade."
Last week, the Daily Caller reported that many in the UK believe that Graham has promoted "prejudice" and "hatred" so severe that the government should refuse a visa. The petition claims that the preacher's comments on Islam were grounds for a ban, including the statement that Islam is at times a "violent religion" and that in certain situations Islam promotes what is "wicked and evil."
“The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association is working in partnership with local churches to hold this event next year in Blackpool. It will be a positive and encouraging event with music and also a message from Franklin Graham about the hope that can be found through a relationship with Jesus Christ. It will be free and everyone is invited to attend,” reads a statement by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association in a statement about the upcoming event.
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