Renowned evangelist Billy Graham is asking Iran's president Hassan Rouhani for the release of Pastor Saeed Abedini from prison, pointing out that such an action might be perceived by U.S. leaders as a significant step in reducing tensions.
"On September 26, the one-year anniversary of Pastor Abedini's imprisonment, thousands will attend prayer vigils in more than 70 U.S. cities, calling on your country to release this husband, father and servant of God," Graham writes in a letter addressed to Rouhani and published on the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association website. "I join them by respectfully asking you to release Pastor Saeed Abedini from prison. Such an action would, I believe, have a positive impact in our nation, and might well be perceived by our leadership as a significant step in reducing tensions."
Abedini has been in Evin Prison in Tehran since his arrest last year, and was later sentenced to eight years in jail, supposedly for endangering national security. The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) recently launched the largest campaign in its history aimed at sending thousands of letters each week to Rouhani, petitioning for the U.S. pastor. The ACLJ, which represents his wife, Naghmeh, and their two young children in the U.S., says that Iran has targeted the pastor for his Christian faith. more >>
As many as three million people have decided to follow Jesus Christ thanks to the Internet ministry website SearchForJesus.net, The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) reported in a press release on Thursday.
"Historically, we have spread the hope of Jesus Christ to millions through citywide stadium events, and that continues to be a very effective platform. Nothing can replace that," said John Cass, BGEA's Director of Internet Evangelism.
"However, as people – not just in the U.S. but around the world – become increasingly digital, it only makes sense to adapt along with the technology. We've seen a remarkable response by meeting people where they are, at points in their life when they need the Gospel the most." more >>
Several faith-based relief effort crews from the Salvation Army, the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team and Convoy of Hope, a relief organization, have been dispatched to aid victims in several flood-stricken areas of Colorado, after torrential rains inundated a vast majority of the state nearly a week ago.
At least eight people have been killed by deadly flooding that swamped 17 counties, while over 500 continue to be unaccounted for, which state officials say could be an issue of "book-keeping and cross-referencing," according to ABC News. In addition, thousands have been forced to evacuate their homes while nearly an estimated 18,000 houses have been damaged.
Salvation Army response units have been in Colorado for days now and have provided over 10,000 meals to residents while they continue to establish short and long-term evacuation shelters that will remain open for the next 30 to 90 days. more >>
Evangelist Greg Laurie answered critics who have argued that "mass-evangelism," or what can also be described as huge Christian outreach events, are somehow an ineffective way of presenting the Gospel, by posting a list of reasons the method is still relevant.
"Some critics of what we do in the Harvest Crusades would say that 'mass-evangelism' is not really a valid way to reach people," writes Pastor Laurie.
Close to 2,000 churches in Canada have signed up to participate in the major "My Hope with Billy Graham" campaign, which will culminate in November, marking the preacher's 95th birthday.
"This type of large-scale event has not been done before, and that's why we're quite excited about the potential for this," said Dave Ingram, director of ministry for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association of Canada.
The BGEA website noted that efforts are being made to spread the Gospel from one end of the world's second largest country to the other, reflecting Canada's motto "from sea to sea." more >>
In anticipation of a nationwide evangelism event this November to coincide with his 95th birthday, renowned preacher Billy Graham released a letter through his association this week in which he says that America needs a spiritual awakening more than ever before.
"If ever there was a time this country needed the intervention of God, it is now," writes Graham in the letter published on the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association website. "We can and should pray for America as a whole, but remember that when God sets out to change a nation, He begins by changing people. It starts with individuals."
Graham said that there are a lot of things that his health and strength no longer permit him to do, but that there are still many things he can do, "and one of them is pray." He writes that he is praying fervently for "a fresh spiritual awakening in America." more >>