We have just received the following update from the organisers of the Franklin Graham tour, who have taken the difficult decision to postpone the tour planned for May and June in the UK.
“BGEA is dedicated to pursuing a legal resolution with the venues that were scheduled to host the Tour. They broke their legally-binding contracts with us because we preach a message of God’s love, stand uncompromisingly on traditional Biblical beliefs about human sexuality, and share with all people that Jesus Christ is the only way they can be forgiven of sin and have a right relationship with God. Since the legal process takes time, we have prayerfully decided to postpone the Tour until the issues are resolved and the venues become available again.
Would you continue to pray for the outcome of these cases – and for Christians and churches across the UK? There will be serious consequences if venues are allowed to ban Christians from preaching the Gospel. This is a critical threat to our freedom of religion and freedom of speech. Thousands of Christians here regularly use public halls, schools and theatres for the work of the church. Ultimately, these cases could determine whether Christians are free to proclaim the Gospel publicly or whether our message will be increasingly confined to church buildings.
As BGEA tries to reach a resolution with the venues, Tour events—including Christian Life and Witness courses and prayer meetings—will resume once we consult with government and health authorities and determine it is safe to hold meetings again. We will provide additional ministry tools for churches online, such as Sharing Hope in Crisis. We are continuing to operate offices in the eight cities where Tour events are planned, and we are grateful that people from more than 2,300 churches are working with us and praying for the evangelistic outreach. Over 6,500 individuals participated in our first wave of training programmes, and we hope to schedule additional courses in the upcoming months.
In the meantime, as many of our neighbours are living in fear and experiencing an increasing sense of anxiety and hopelessness due to the coronavirus, let’s remain focused on helping people in need and sharing the hope that is found in Jesus Christ. We understand that we are in a spiritual battle, but we know that the victory and the harvest is in God’s hands. He has allowed us to be here ‘for such a time as this’. We ask you to fervently pray that the Lord’s Name will be lifted high during this pivotal period in history and God will be glorified!”