Religious leaders sign letter opposing Franklin Graham’s participation in the Festival of Hope.
A number of Catholics and Evangelical Christians have openly declared their opposition to celebrated televangelist Franklin Graham's participation in Vancouver's “Festival of Hope” due next March. The leaders have said that Graham's views are extremely bigoted and racist and his teachings are full of hate speech and spark religious intolerance. As such, the leaders believe that he should not be given such a large platform to preach his views from.
Graham is infamous for his absolute intolerance towards homosexuals and Muslims. In-fact, he has often made his opinions very clear in his preaching. The opposing leaders believe that as a spiritual leader he should not involve in such public acts of hatred that can cause further estrangement from the church and mistrust and divides between faiths. Labeling the controversial leader as “incendiary and intolerant', the Catholics and Evangelical leaders have unitedly launched a campaign against his participation in the three-day festival that will be organized by the Mega Churches in Vancouver.
The church leaders wrote a letter. The letter calls Graham a polarizing figure whose 'ungracious and bigoted' opinions have the potential to create some very serious consequences and will paint a negative picture of Christianity in Vancouver. The letter further states that the leaders denounce Graham's 'incendiary and intolerant' remarks which they feel he reiterates 'unapologetically', without any hesitation.
— Hany Boghossian (@HanyBoghossian) April 1, 2016
Graham has frequently called homosexuals as 'the enemy' and claims that Gay people will spend all eternity in hell if they do not repent from what he calls their 'sinfulness'. As for Muslims, the televangelist has openly applauded the views of Trump and full-heartedly supports the presidential candidate's decision to band Muslim immigrants. He has even gone to the extent of calling Islam a 'very wicked religion'. With a revenue of more than $ 1 million a year, Graham heads the organization, The Samaritan's Purse. Recently, he was in news for sacking Canadian volunteer working with the organization after she refused to sign a document which opposed abortion and gay rights.
Defending Graham, supporters have clarified that the evangelist will be participating only to preach, and not to involve in delivering hate speeches. George Wong, one of the pastors supporting Graham says that promoting hatred is not their aim at all. A spokesman at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association Headquarters insists that the evangelist will not cancel out on his plans just because a few groups have showed opposition to his participation.