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Canadian Christians boycott Franklin Graham

by Hannah Tooley

A number of evangelical Protestants and Roman Catholics in Metro Vancouver are against the three-day Festival of Hope that will take place in March 2017.

Franklin Graham is the son of 97-year-old retired televangelist Billy Graham.

The letter, signed by a number of church leaders, objected to what they call the "incendiary and intolerant" attitude Franklin Graham portrays.

Marjeta Bobnar of the Catholic archdiocese, City in Focus president Tom Cooper, Tenth Church pastor Ken Shigematsu, Calvary Baptist pastor Tim Dickau and First Baptist pastor Tim Kuepfer all put their name to the letter. 

It said: "Rev Graham is a polarizing figure. His ungracious and bigoted remarks have the potential to generate serious negative impact on the Christian witness in Vancouver.

"We ... denounce the frequent incendiary and intolerant statements made by Rev. Graham, which he unapologetically reiterates."

Photo: Facebook

In the past Mr Graham has criticised LGBT people, speaking in 2014 he said: " 'Can God forgive me? Or can I go to heaven as a gay person?' Absolutely. But the same for any of us. We have to repent of our sins in turn. A person cannot stay in adultery and be accepted by God."

He has also branded Islam a "wicked religion", arguing Muslims should not be allowed to enter the USA.

Other groups are endorsing Mr Graham's visit. Willingdon Church, Westside Church, Coastal Church, Broadway Church, Glad Tidings Church, Holy Trinity Church and Richmond Pentecostal Church have told The Vancouver Sun they look forward to Mr Graham's arrival.

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