Saturday, June 25, 2005


International evangelist Billy Graham, who is 86 years old and in increasingly poor health, has addressed 60,000 people at New York’s Flushing Meadow as part of what will almost certainly be his last preaching tour – though he reportedly has still to decide whether to accept one final invitation to Britain.

Graham’s message was simple and hopeful. Eschewing the public controversies that have plagued American Christianity in recent years, he called on people to put their faith in Jesus Christ and to practice a way of life based on love rather than hate. He also said that poverty was the biggest problem facing humankind.

Billy Graham, perhaps the best known popular preacher of the twentieth century, has mellowed considerably in tone and approach over the years. He has acted as pastor and counsellor to ten US presidents, and has toured some 185 countries to preach before an estimated 210 million people.

Compromised by his earlier dalliance with the disgraced Richard Nixon, Graham, who is seen as a key figure in the worldwide evangelical movement, has subsequently distanced himself from the religious right and hard-line fundamentalism in the United States. [More]

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