In recent days, famous Christian evangelist Franklin Graham—the son of legendary Billy Graham—has faced a massive amount of backlash regarding his religious and political beliefs.
A petition has been started in the UK in an attempt to prevent Graham from participating in an upcoming event, “Lancashire Festival of Hope.” Graham is scheduled to speak about Jesus Christ in Blackpool, England in September of this year.
The petition, which has more than 7,500 signatures as of Tuesday afternoon, accuses Graham of preaching “hate speech,” and additionally, implies that he is racist and discriminatory against certain groups of people (ie: Muslims, LGBT, etc.).
“Franklin Graham engages in hate speech against minorities,” the petition begins. “He is due to speak in the UK, in Blackpool, in Sept 2018.”
The petition continues, “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.
“Speech likely to promote prejudice and hatred is grounds for the government to refuse a visa. Help us stop this man getting a visa to come here to spread his hatred.”
According to CBN News, Graham responded, "I'm not coming to preach hate, I'm here to preach about a savior—Jesus Christ who can make a difference in our lives if we put our faith and trust in him. I don't think I've been to any country where everybody was supportive—there's always churches or groups who don't like my theology or that we associate with this group or that group."
"I'm not coming to speak against anyone; I'm not there to speak against Islam or against gays," he continued. "I want to invite the Muslims to come, I want Christians to come, I want the gays to come and to listen what God has to say. It's an open invitation."
Graham’s ultimate goal: Share the Good News with British citizens. CBN stated that more than half of the country’s adults did not identify with any religion in a recent survey.
Graham boldly stated, "There is a need for someone to give a clear message and give an invitation inviting people to put their faith and trust in Christ. For many churches they say that's old fashioned, it doesn't work anymore. They think they've got to have a program to reach people and a lot of people have lost the urgency of preaching...God's word doesn't need help—just preach it and let God do the rest."
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