Festival defends Franklin Graham invitation amid protests

Sat 03 Sep 2016
By Antony Bushfield

The people behind a Christian festival in Vancouver are defending the invitation to evangelist Franklin Graham amid mounting objections to his attendance.

The Festival of Hope will take place in March 2017 but has been under intense pressure from a number of groups who say Graham is "intolerant".

An open letter signed by a number of church leaders objected to what they call the "incendiary and intolerant" attitude of Franklin Graham, the son of 97-year-old retired televangelist Billy Graham.

Photo: Facebook


Pastor Giulio Gabeli from Westwood Community Church Vancouver is organising the event and defended Mr Graham's invitation.

He told Premier Gospel: "It's a very little group [against having Franklin Graham attend], I want to present very clearly that there are hundreds and hundreds of churches, ministries and organisations that are supporting the Festival of Hope coming to Vancouver."

He went on: "We felt very clearly that the support is so broad, it's so strong, that three, four individuals that have a difficult time with Franklin Graham really should not in any way overshadow the strong support and the request of... hundreds of ministries and organisations that are looking forward to the Festival of Hope.

"When Franklin Graham comes to Vancouver, his sole purpose is to present a Gospel message - presenting very clearly that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life.

"All I know is Franklin Graham is coming to the Festival of Hope and he's bringing a clear Gospel message."

Listen to Premier's Damilola Okeke speak to Pastor Giulio Gabeli here:

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