Venue drops controversial preacher over ‘adverse’ reaction

The Scottish Event Campus will no longer host The Graham Tour, featuring Franklin Graham.

Venue drops controversial preacher over ‘adverse’ reaction Getty Images

A conference venue has dropped a scheduled appearance by controversial US evangelist Franklin Graham.

The Scottish Event Campus (SEC) in Glasgow was due to host The Graham Tour, featuring the preacher, on May 30.

Graham, the son of the late Billy Graham, has previously described homosexuality as “a sin” and been critical of Islam.

However, the SEC has since confirmed it will not host the event after “a request from our principal sharehoder” – Glasgow City Council.

A spokeswoman said: “The booking for this event was processed in the same way we would for any religious concert of this nature and as a business we remain impartial to the individual beliefs of both our clients and visitors.

“However, we are aware of the recent adverse publicity surrounding this tour and have reviewed this with our partners and stakeholders.

“Following a request from our principal shareholder the matter has been considered and a decision made that we should not host this event.”

Rev Bryan Kerr, a Church of Scotland minister, launched a petition urging the SEC to cancel the event, which was signed by more than 300 people.

He has since said: “I am obviously pleased that Glasgow City Council have worked with the SEC board to ensure this booking does not go ahead.

“Franklin Graham says he is coming to preach love but with so much of his rhetoric being perceived as hateful towards certain groups, people struggle to hear any positive message.

“In Scotland we are working as churches to share the love of God with our neighbours and the days of 10000 seater mass hyped evangelism events have been and gone.

“Perhaps if anything, the cancellation of this event can bring our churches together in order that we can work hand in hand, within our own culture and nation, to demonstrate the positive message of the Christian faith without a divisive individual from overseas showing us how he thinks it ought to be done.”

STV News is now on WhatsApp

Get all the latest news from around the country

Follow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp

Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country

WhatsApp channel QR Code