While several venues have canceled events planned for Franklin Graham in the United Kingdom, citing objections to his views on homosexuality, the evangelist is not calling off his eight-date tour of the country and has instead asked his supporters to pray that the doors remain open for the Gospel.
Graham, the son of the late evangelist Billy Graham, was booked to speak at the International Convention Centre Wales in Newport on June 14, but the event has been canceled, according to WalesOnline.
Jayne Bryant, Assembly Member for Newport West, said Graham has “a long record of preaching hate, prejudice and intolerance” and called for the event to be canceled due to her concerns and those raised by LGBTQ charity Pride Cymru.
Earlier, Liverpool ACC and Glasgow SEC also pulled out of hosting events for Graham. So did Sheffield City Trust for a planned event at Sheffield Arena.
Despite some cancellations, Graham, who leads the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, said on Saturday that he’s “looking forward to preaching the Gospel across the UK in late May & June.”
“Hundreds of churches are praying & planning to be a part of these evangelistic outreaches. People everywhere are searching for something to fill the void in their lives. Jesus Christ is the answer.”
Earlier last week, Graham wrote to the U.K.’s LGBTQ community, explaining his stand.
“It is said by some that I am coming to the UK to bring hateful speech to your community. This is just not true. 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,” he wrote on his Facebook page.
“The rub, I think, comes in whether God defines homosexuality as sin. The answer is yes,” he continued. “But God goes even further than that, to say that we are all sinners—myself included. The Bible says that every human being is guilty of sin and in need of forgiveness and cleansing. The penalty of sin is spiritual death—separation from God for eternity.”
“That’s why Jesus Christ came. He became sin for us. He didn’t come to condemn the world, He came to save the world by giving His life on the Cross as a sacrifice for our sins. And if we’re willing to accept Him by faith and turn away from our sins, He will forgive us and give us new life—eternal life—in Him.
“My message to all people is that they can be forgiven and they can have a right relationship with God. That’s Good News. That is the hope people on every continent around the world are searching for. In the UK as well as in the United States, we have religious freedom and freedom of speech. I’m…