Evangelist Franklin Graham is pushing forward with his plans to travel throughout the UK this month for his “God Loves You” tour, despite opposition from LGBTQ activists and their allies over his biblical beliefs. While in Liverpool on Saturday, Graham asked the crowd if their life had meaning and purpose, then encouraged them to seek a relationship with our Lord and Saviour. “We have a vacuum, an emptiness inside each of us, in our souls that only God Himself can fill. God made us. God created us in His own image, the Bible says. Did you know that God has a plan and purpose for your life?”
Graham, who is the president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) and the Samaritan’s Purse humanitarian ministry, will be in South Wales on Saturday and Sheffield on May 25.Ahead of the God Loves You tour, Liverpool Mayor Steve Rotheram said ads promoting the event should not be displayed on buses throughout the city and slandered Graham as a “hate preacher.”
CBN News previously reported that anger has been directed toward Graham because of his biblical beliefs on marriage and sexuality. In a statement to CBN News, BGEA noted that signs promoting the tour simply ask people if they are “looking for something more.”
“There is nothing offensive in these advertisements. The objection is to Rev. Franklin Graham and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association based on our Christian beliefs. Unfortunately, this opposition is familiar and predictable,” the statement reads.
This is not the first time a city in the United Kingdom has rejected an appearance by Graham to preach the gospel because of his Christian views.
An uproar ensued when ads displayed on buses in Blackpool during Sept. 2018 promoted the Lancashire Festival of Hope where Rev. Graham was scheduled to speak. The Blackpool Borough Council and Blackpool Transport Services Limited took the signs down, which said, “Time for Hope,” citing that members of the community complained about Graham’s association with the festival.
In April 2021, a judge ruled that Graham was discriminated against when the ads were pulled from the buses. The court recognized that Blackpool’s Council cared more about not displeasing the LGBTQ community than about religious freedom when it banned Graham from preaching the gospel.
During an interview with BBC News’s Aleem Maqbool, Graham said he just wants everyone to know that fulfilment in life is found in God. “I want people to know that God loves them. We have trials and storms that we go through in life, but Jesus Christ is our anchor. If we put our faith and trust in Him. He will get us through those storms of life—He loves us and cares for us.”