On Saturday night, a crowd of ten thousand gathered at London ExCel for Franklin Graham’s 'God Loves You' event, surpassing last year's attendance by several thousand, according to organisers.
In an interview with Premier earlier in the week, Rev Graham expressed his mission of bringing the Gospel to Londoners.
“We're not asking for money; we don't take up an offering. All seats are free. And it's my goal, and my hope and my prayer that many people would trust Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour.”
Last year, he visited Liverpool, Newport, Sheffield, and London for the first time since his 2020 tour cancellation due to being banned from preaching at venues over his stance on homosexuality being labelled as homophobic.
Subsequently, he successfully pursued legal action against some venues and has since held events there. His upcoming engagement in 2024 at OVO Hydro Glasgow, one of the venues that initially cancelled him due to concerns about potential Islamophobic and homophobic comments, marks the conclusion of a three-year-long saga.
Asked about people’s concerns with his comments, he told Premier: “There are people who don't want to hear what God has to say, on some issues. And that one of the big issues is homosexuality. And of course, the Bible loves all of us. He loves the homosexual. But we cannot continue in homosexuality, if we come to God, we have to turn from that. And so we had a coarser group of people who were very upset that I would say that, but it's what God says. It's not what Franklin Graham says, I don't make up the rules. God who makes him he makes the rules.
“So it's just this group of people did not like and they went to the venue's and got the venues to cancel the contracts. Well, Covid came, we couldn't have had the meetings anyway. And it gave us time to get our solicitors and get ourselves organised. And we fought back, because it was a freedom of speech issue, and a freedom of religion issue. And so and we have won, in every case so far. And it's not just a win for Franklin Graham, that's not the course is a win for the church.”
The events are open to the public without charge and are done in collaboration with over 1,000 local churches.
Franklin Graham and the God Loves You Tour will be visiting Birmingham next year for the first time.