Rally hosted by controversial preacher ‘under review’

A Glasgow venue has been urged to cancel an appearance by US evangelist Franklin Graham.

Franklin Graham: Scheduled event 'under review'. Getty Images
Franklin Graham: Scheduled event 'under review'.

A conference venue is reviewing a scheduled appearance by US evangelist Franklin Graham.

The Scottish Event Campus in Glasgow is due to host The Graham Tour starring the controversial preacher on May 30.

Graham, the son of the late Billy Graham, has previously described gay marriage as “a sin” and has repeatedly attacked Islam.

He has said America “should stop all immigration of Muslims to the US until this threat with Islam has been settled.”

This week, the ACC Liverpool conference arena cancelled an appearance by Graham on the same tour.

The venue said it had been made aware of “a number of statements which we consider to be incompatible with our values”.

A statement said: “In light of this, we can no longer reconcile the balance between freedom of speech and the divisive impact this event is having in our city.

“We have informed the organisers of the event that the booking will no longer be fulfilled.”

In Scotland, a petition has been launched calling on the SEC to cancel the preacher’s booking.

The Rev Bryan Kerr, a Church of Scotland minister in Lanark, said Graham’s views “do not sit comfortably with many Christians in Scotland”.

He said: “These views, and many more like them, are not shared by all Christians as Mr Graham would have people believe.

“Franklin Graham isn’t the voice of Christianity.

“Many Christians support LGBTQ+ individuals and groups to welcome them into the Church and allow them to express their faith like anyone else.

“Many Christians work tirelessly to develop links with Muslims and people of all religions and none, and utterly reject the assertion that all Muslims have the potential to be radicalised and cause harm.”

The tour in May and June and is set to include venues in Glasgow, Newcastle, Sheffield, Milton Keynes, Cardiff, Birmingham and London.

A spokesperson for the SEC said the booking was currently “under review”.

STV News has approached Franklin Graham for a response.