Franklin Graham preaches in Glasgow, launches new fund to defend religious freedom in the UK

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Franklin Graham preaching at the OVO Hydro in Glasgow on Saturday 22nd June 2024.(Photo: BGEA)

Over 7,000 came to the OVO Hydro in Glasgow on Saturday night to hear American evangelist Rev Franklin Graham preach the Gospel as he announced the creation of a new fund to help Christians in the UK “who may be threatened into silence”.

Graham, who heads up the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) and Samaritan’s Purse, was in the UK this week for two more stops on his God Loves You tour.

“Maybe you’re here tonight and you’re wanting to know, who is Jesus?” said Graham.

“Jesus Christ is God’s Son and He came on a rescue mission to save you from your sins.

“The Bible tells us that God so loved the world that He gave His only Son that whosever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.”

Hundreds of people later came forward to give their life to Jesus. 

Over 320 Scottish churches partnered with the BGEA in the lead-up to Saturday’s event, and will continue to disciple those who made a commitment on the night. 

“Our church is in a very deprived area,” said Alex Gillies, pastor of Victory Christian Centre in Glasgow.

“We see depression, mental health problems, financial issues, we see it all. And it’s not just our church, it’s people all over Scotland. Nothing is going to help Scotland apart from Jesus.” 

Seeing so many people go forward to give their lives to Jesus was a great source of hope for pastors and churches in Scotland, he said, “because in the middle of all this chaos, people are seeking.”

“This gives us a lot of hope,” he said. 

Last weekend, Graham was in Birmingham where he preached before a crowd of over 8,000. He was joined at both events by guest worship artists Michael W Smith and Taya, formerly of Hillsong, and will return to the UK to preach again next year in London. 

The tour was originally planned for 2020 but was delayed due to Covid and legal action against seven venues that cancelled the BGEA’s event bookings. It was able to go ahead after the cancellations were successfully challenged.

The BGEA has now announced the creation of the Billy Graham Defence Fund to support religious freedom in the UK after receiving over half a million pounds in payouts from its successful legal challenges. They include separate legal action taken in 2018 over the unlawful removal of bus adverts promoting an evangelistic event held by Graham that year. 

Announcing the new fund, Graham said, “We took a stand for the Gospel and for freedom of religion in the UK. Now we’re going to use these funds that came from this battle against cancel culture to help other Christians who may be threatened into silence.

“There are so many problems in our society and people are looking for hope. We know that true hope can only be found in Jesus Christ, so we need to support one another in getting the Good News of Jesus Christ out, whatever it takes. It is my prayer that this will encourage Christians across the UK to keep living out and sharing their faith freely and boldly.”

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