Franklin Graham’s Vancouver crusade seems to have been a great success.
Mission accomplished: 2,318 people made a commitment to Christ.
Received via email:
What an amazing weekend at the Greater Vancouver Festival of Hope.
Over the three nights, 34,406 people attended in person, with 1929 people going forward to make a commitment to Christ. On top of that, 65,429 people from seventy-six countries watched the Festival of Hope online, with 389 people making a commitment to Christ online. We are rejoicing for lives that have been touched for eternity. It was such a privilege to serve on the Festival of Hope Executive, led by Pastor Guilio Gabeli with the invaluable wisdom of the Festival Director David Ingram. The Billy Graham family and the Billy Graham team are such quality people. We are particularly grateful for Dion and Tammy Collins who served on the ground as Assistant Director and Office Manager. An unexpected treat was to have the grandson of Billy Graham, Will Graham, join his Dad Franklin Graham for the Festival. This was Will’s third time here, since he helped us kick off the Festival and then led 500 young people to Christ at Vancouver Missions Fest this January.
As an antidote to Franklin Graham’s blatant promotion of Christianity, Anglicans sponsored a multi-faith event to celebrate diversity.
Mission accomplished: 0 people made a commitment to Christ.
People from many faiths met twice early in March in Vancouver to show support for one another at two well-attended public meetings that celebrated diversity and took a stand against acts of hatred.
Both gatherings were in reaction to concerns about an upsurge in anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and other forms of social conflict that seem to have accompanied the inauguration of the new administration in the United States.
That American political problems have spilled into Canada was suggested by a bomb threat the previous week which resulted in the evacuation of Vancouver’s Jewish Community Centre (no bomb was found), and by controversy surrounding a three-day campaign in Vancouver led by Franklin Graham, an American evangelist who once called Islam “a very evil, a very wicked religion” and supported a ban on Muslim immigration in the U.S.
Anglicans were involved in sponsoring both gatherings. The first took place on March 7 at Vancouver’s Or Shalom Synagogue. It was sponsored by the synagogue and the diocese of New Westminster and featured talks, chants, songs, meditation, and even dancing, from a wide variety of faith traditions.
It was followed two days later by a presentation at St. Andrew’s-Wesley United Church involving a rabbi, an imam, and a bishop entitled “Hope Amidst the Politics of Fear: Conversations for Creative Resistance.” This event was organized by St. Andrew’s and Christ Church Cathedral, Vancouver.