A growing number of Christians in Metro Vancouver want to stop controversial U.S. evangelist Franklin Graham from leading a major crusade next month in the city. Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson recently met with evangelical, Catholic and mainline Protestant leaders to discuss concerns about the visit of Graham, who regularly denigrates Islam, homosexuals, Democratic party politicians, and atheists.
Provocative statements by Graham have become increasingly worrying to many Metro Vancouver Christians since the evangelist presided at the January inauguration of U.S. President Donald Trump, who criticizes Muslim immigrants, and after a lone gunman was charged last month with murdering six Muslims in Quebec. “The mayor is concerned about safety. The kind of statements Graham makes about Muslims and gays can really inflame the situation,” said Vancouver City councilor Tim Stevenson, who coordinated the meeting and is also the first openly homosexual person ordained by the United Church of Canada…Similar privacy concerns currently surround a petition circulating among clergy that calls on Festival of Hope organizers to find a replacement for Graham at the March 3 to 5 event, which is expected to draw more than 25,000 people.
“Franklin Graham’s recent public comments compromise Jesus’s mission of justice and love for all. For instance, he has said that all Muslims should be banned from the United States because Islam is a ‘very evil and wicked religion’ at war with the Christian West,” says the petition. “He dehumanizes the LGBTQ+ community, urging that gays not be allowed to enter churches or even come as guests into Christian homes.”
Graham’s crusade runs the danger of dividing the city’s ethnically diverse Christian population of roughly 850,000, since it continues to be actively promoted, including on bus ads, by dozens of prominent evangelical clergy, such as Norm Funk, Wayne Lo, Sandro DiSabatino, Daniel Chung, David Koop, Cheryl Koop, Darin Latham and Yani Lim.
Source: The Vancouver Sun