UK Tour: BGEA Mounts Legal Challenge to Venue Cancellations

By   •   February 27, 2020

Franklin Graham traveled to London in February ahead of an evangelistic tour across the United Kingdom. He met with pastors from some of the 2,300-plus churches participating in the tour, scheduled to begin in Scotland this May and wrap up in London this October.

With Franklin Graham’s U.K. Tour just three months away, the evangelistic outreach is being actively opposed by groups who disagree with Graham’s Bible-based beliefs. The one-day tour stops will feature live music and a message of hope, but in recent weeks, all eight venues scheduled to host these events have said they’re cancelling their contracts. 

“The Gospel … always faces opposition,” Franklin Graham said recently. “This is spiritual warfare, and we’re not going to back down. … God hasn’t called us to sit back and be quiet. He has called us to preach the Good News of Jesus Christ.”

The tour is set to begin in Glasgow, Scotland, this May. A Scottish court recently expedited a case involving the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA), the Glasgow City Council and Scottish Event Campus Limited.

Below is a statement from BGEA regarding two other tour stops:

In addition to the legal proceedings in Glasgow, BGEA has now filed claims against parties in Sheffield and Wales that it believes were responsible for cancelling its legally binding contracts.

The case in Sheffield involves FlyDSA Arena, Sheffield City Council and Sheffield City Trust. The case in Wales involves ICC Wales and the Welsh government.

BGEA’s position remains that in nearly 70 years of public evangelistic outreach ministry, there is no evidence whatsoever that any BGEA event involving Franklin Graham has ever caused a danger to public safety or incited public disorder. The actions taken by these venues and those responsible for them to publicly repudiate these contracts are clear efforts to distance the decision-makers from BGEA, Franklin Graham and other Christians who hold similar beliefs. There is no question that this was done under pressure from those with opposing views who have demonstrated a relatively predictable pattern of harassment and bullying of those doing business with BGEA.

This disregard for principles of good faith and fair dealing, based on the mere suggestion that a person’s sincerely held religious views or statements are “hateful” or would result in public disorder, should be very alarming to anyone who is genuinely concerned about diversity, inclusion and tolerance, let alone free speech and the free exercise of religious beliefs.

Read more from Franklin Graham: “This Gospel outreach is under attack.”

Keep the Graham Tour U.K. in prayer as plans move forward despite spiritual opposition.