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Franklin Graham announces new fund for religious freedom in United Kingdom


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First on Fox: Christian evangelist Franklin Graham announced the creation of the Billy Graham Defense Fund on Saturday, June 22, while preaching on his “God Loves You” tour in Glasgow, Scotland. 

Speaking to a crowd of more than 7,500 people at the OVO Hydro arena in Glasgow, Graham said the fund will help promote religious liberty in the United Kingdom and is in part funded by the legal winnings awarded to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Fox News Digital learned from the association.

Graham is president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan’s Purse, which were founded by his father, the late Billy Graham. 

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“We took a stand for the Gospel and for freedom of religion in the U.K. Now we’re going to use these funds that came from this battle against cancel culture to help other Christians who may be threatened into silence,” said Franklin Graham.

In 2020, he was dropped by every venue for his planned tour of the United Kingdom.

Franklin Graham announced the creation of the Billy Graham Defense Fund while preaching in Glasgow, Scotland, on June 22. The fund will support religious liberty in the United Kingdom.  (Billy Graham Evangelistic Association)

The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association filed suit against the original tour venues, saying that the cancellations were due to religious discrimination. 

“As of this week, all of the legal disputes with the originally scheduled tour venues have been resolved in ways BGEA considers favorable,” said the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association in materials shared with Fox News Digital. 

“This is a victory, not just for us, but for all Christians and churches across the U.K.,” said Graham. 

Graham hopes that others in the United Kingdom will be enabled to preach their faith without fear. 

The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association received approximately $650,000 from its legal cases in the United Kingdom, said a media release. 

The organization also filed suit in 2018 after Franklin Graham’s ads were removed from buses in Blackpool, England. 

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A judge ruled in favor of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, and the town of Blackpool apologized in 2021, according to the release.

With the new fund, Graham hopes that others in the United Kingdom will be able to preach their faith without fear. 

three bagpipers with 'God Loves You' in background on blue

Bagpipers played at the “God Loves You Tour” stop in Glasgow, Scotland, on June 22. The free event also featured several Christian recording artists. (Billy Graham Evangelistic Association)

“There are so many problems in our society and people are looking for hope,” he said. 

“We know that true hope can only be found in Jesus Christ, so we need to support one another in getting the Good News of Jesus Christ out, whatever it takes.”

Graham continued, “It is my prayer that this will encourage Christians across the U.K. to keep living out and sharing their faith freely and boldly.”

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Saturday’s stop in Glasgow was Graham’s second event in the United Kingdom on this tour. 

On June 15, Graham preached to 8,300 people in Birmingham, England. 

Graham was joined on the tour by musicians Michael W. Smith, Taya, Dennis Agajanian and the Tommy Coomes Band, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association told Fox News Digital. 

Both events were free of charge. 

venue crowd at God Loves You Tour

More than 320 churches partnered with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association for the event this weekend. Pastor Alex Gillies of Glasgow told the organization that events like these are sorely needed in Scotland.  (Billy Graham Evangelistic Association)

More than 320 churches in the area partnered with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association for the event, said the release, and more than 100 buses brought attendees to Glasgow to see Graham and hear the message of the Gospel. 

“Maybe you’re here tonight and you’re wanting to know, ‘Who is Jesus?’” Graham told the crowd in Glasgow, as shared with Fox News Digital.

“Nothing is going to help Scotland apart from Jesus.”

“Jesus Christ is God’s Son and He came on a rescue mission to save you from your sins. The Bible tells us that God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life,” he said.

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Alex Gillies, pastor of Victory Christian Centre in Glasgow, along with his wife, Charlotte, said that Scotland is in desperate need of a message like the one Graham delivered. 

Franklin Graham at NRB in Orlando

Franklin Graham and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association are set to return to the U.K. in 2025, where Graham will preach in London.   (Franklin Graham/Samaritan’s Purse)

“Our church is in a very deprived area. We see depression, mental health problems, financial issues – we see it all,” the couple told the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association after the event.

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“And it’s not just our church, it’s people all over Scotland. Nothing is going to help Scotland apart from Jesus,” they said. 

Events like these, they said, “give pastors and churches like ours hope, because in the middle of all this chaos, people are seeking [Christ]. This gives us a lot of hope.”

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Franklin Graham and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association are set to return to the United Kingdom in 2025, the organization told Fox News Digital, where Graham will preach in London.  

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