Seoul stadium overflows for 50th anniversary of Billy Graham’s historic Korea crusade

By Anugrah Kumar, Christian Post Contributor

A crowd of about 70,000 people overflowed the Seoul World Cup Stadium on Saturday as Franklin Graham, president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, gave a passionate sermon on the 50th anniversary of his father Billy Graham’s historic outreach in Seoul.

Graham’s address occurred on a significant day, mirroring an event that drew 1.1 million people to Yoido Plaza on June 3, 1973. Known as Billy Graham’s largest crusade, attendees predominantly made the journey on foot, showing an extraordinary devotion and eagerness to engage with the spiritual message.

The Korean churches and Dr. Billy Kim, the pastor who translated for Billy Graham during the original 1973 outreach, extended the invitation to Franklin Graham. The event sought to offer solace and inspiration, echoing the profound effect of the original gathering.

“Korea has changed so much in 50 years. The world has changed, but God’s love for you has not changed,” Franklin Graham told the crowd. “God made you, He created you, and He loves you. He sent His Son Jesus Christ to save you from your sins. If you’re willing to accept that by faith, believe in His name, and turn from your sins, your soul will be safe and secure in His hands for eternity.”

The event was attended well beyond the stadium’s capacity, according to BGEA. Thousands made life-changing decisions for Christ, BGEA told The Christian Post in a statement.

Graham expressed his deep honor and humility at being part of this monumental occasion, highlighting his father’s lasting impact on Korean churches and the role the 1973 crusade played in his personal spiritual development.

“The last time my father saw Dr. Billy Kim, he told him, ‘Let’s have one more crusade in Korea,’” Graham told the crowd, and shared that his father would have been excited and thankful about the event.

“I love the people of Korea. This is a strong and beautiful country, and the people are so sincere and generous,” he said. “They have always made me feel right at home, and I am looking forward to being with the people of this nation. I’m coming to Seoul at a time that has been difficult for many people. The pandemic was very challenging. People need to know there is hope. So many are anxious about the future and don’t know where to turn. I want them to know that God has a plan and a purpose for our lives.”

“There’s no nation in the world quite like Korea, but all the money and all the technology doesn’t fill the vacuum in the human heart. People want to know, ‘Who am I? Why am I here? What’s the purpose and the meaning for my life?’ People are searching, and they don’t even know what they’re searching for, but something is missing. Only God can fill that vacuum. I’ve come to preach a simple message of God’s love for the Korean people, and I want everyone to know how they can have a personal relationship with God through faith in His Son Jesus Christ.”

On Friday, Franklin Graham’s son, Will Graham, an evangelist and the BGEA’s executive vice president, addressed a youth rally at SaRang Church — a 60,000-member Presbyterian church in Seoul — which drew 6,500 people.

Will Graham preached at the Yoido Full Gospel Church in Seoul on Sunday, according to BGEA. The church holds the distinction of being the world’s largest, setting a fitting stage for the continuation of the Graham family’s spiritual mission in South Korea.


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