Franklin Graham returning to UK after legal victory over canceled events

Franklin Graham
Franklin Graham | Courtesy of Billy Graham Evangelistic Association

The Rev. Franklin Graham will be returning to the United Kingdom for his "God Loves You" tour a couple of years after he won a legal battle against a venue that canceled his events due to disagreeing with his biblically-based views on homosexuality.

The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, which Graham heads, announced on Thursday that they were adding two stops to the group’s “God Loves You” tour. These new stops include Aug. 26 at the ExCeL London convention center and June 22, 2024, at the OVO Hydro arena in Glasgow, Scotland.

The London event will feature musical guests, including 15-time Grammy winner CeCe Winans, three-time Grammy winner Michael W. Smith and Grammy-nominated, bestselling band the Newsboys.

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According to the BGEA, they are coordinating their evangelism efforts for their August gathering with nearly 1,000 churches located in the London metropolitan area.

“We are excited to return to London again this year and to have an opportunity to preach the Gospel in Glasgow,” said Graham in a statement shared with The Christian Post. “We are grateful for the thousands of Christians and hundreds of churches that have stood alongside us in recent years and continued praying for this tour to come to their cities.”

Graham also referenced the BGEA events held in the U.K. last year, as the “God Loves You” tour came to the British cities of Liverpool, South Wales, Sheffield and London in 2022.

“We saw hundreds of people turn to Jesus Christ in faith last year, and we believe this is God’s timing for many more people in London and Glasgow to hear the message of God’s great love for them,” Graham added.

London Baptists Regional Minister, the Rev. Hany Abdelmasih, said the 2022 tour was “a blessing to many people in London.”

“London is the place where you find the world, and it is also a place that needs the Good News of Christ proclaimed again and again. I look forward to what God will do through Rev. Franklin Graham and the 'God Loves You' tour this year,” Abdelmasih said in the statement shared with CP. 

In past years, Graham has occasionally encountered resistance from LGBT activist groups and venue hosts in the U.K., who have tried to shut down his events due to his views on homosexuality and Islam.

In early 2020, for example, before the COVID-19 lockdowns began, a couple of U.K. venues canceled their "God Loves You" tour events because of Graham’s moral views.

Last October, a Scottish court ruled that Scottish Event Campus Limited had violated the U.K. Equality Act when it canceled the BGEA events and ordered them to pay more than $111,000 (£97,000) in damages.

“I heard no evidence to suggest that Franklin Graham had intended to pursue a toxic or dangerous agenda at the event. On the contrary, it is not disputed that the event would have been an evangelical outreach event for up to twelve thousand people,” read the ruling, in part.

“That is not to say that his opinions are not offensive to some whether in Glasgow or elsewhere. However, the pursuer's right to engage a speaker at the evangelical event — in furtherance of a religious or philosophical belief — is protected by law.”

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