Preacher Franklin Graham who called homosexuality a “sin” and allegedly called Islam a “bad and very wicked religion” to appear at Sheffield’s Utilita Arena


Christian evangelist Mr. Graham was scheduled to preach at the Arena in June 2020, but his extreme views sparked a backlash from community groups, religious leaders and politicians.

Sheffield Council had discussions with the Trustees of Sheffield City Trust, the board that oversees the arena, and canceled the event which was part of a UK tour.

The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association has filed a breach of contract complaint and it has now been revealed that the dispute has been settled and the concert will take place.

NEW ORLEANS – MARCH 11: Franklin Graham speaks during the Celebration of Hope at the New Orleans Arena on March 11, 2006 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Celebration of Hope is an evangelical festival run by Franklin and Billy Graham, whose ministry of Samaritan’s Purse is said to have raised more than $ 36 million for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. (Photo by Chris Graythen / Getty Images)

Sheffield counsel said: “The parties are satisfied that the dispute has been resolved and are satisfied with the confidential terms agreed upon.

“As part of these regulations, BGEA has the right to organize its event in the Sheffield Arena and this event is scheduled for May 25, 2022.”

When asked if a financial settlement was part of the action, Sheffield Council said: “The parties have, without admission of liability, agreed to confidential terms for the settlement of the dispute.”

The BGEA had previously published a statement on its website saying: “The BGEA has filed claims against parties in Sheffield who it claims were responsible for canceling its legally binding contracts.

“The Sheffield case involves FlyDSA Arena, Sheffield Council and Sheffield City Trust.

“BGEA’s position remains that in nearly 70 years of evangelistic public ministry, there is no evidence that an event involving Franklin Graham ever caused a danger to public safety or caused public disorder.

“The steps taken by these places and those responsible for them to publicly repudiate these contracts are clear efforts to alienate BGEA policymakers, Franklin Graham and other Christians who hold similar beliefs. There is no doubt that this was done under pressure from those with opposing views.

“This disregard for the principles of good faith and fair dealing, based on the mere suggestion that a person’s sincere religious views or statements are ‘hateful’ or would result in public disturbance, should be very alarming to anyone genuinely concerned about diversity, inclusion and tolerance, not to mention freedom of expression and the free exercise of religious beliefs.

Sheffield Council said it was committed to the values ​​of equality, diversity and inclusion.

“We believe with all our hearts that everyone has the right to enjoy and feel safe and supported in Sheffield without discrimination or harassment.

“We recognize that the free speech law allows for a plurality of views, including those with which the council vehemently disagrees. “

There were protests against the concert because Mr. Graham called homosexuality a “sin”, spoke out against plans to ban gay conversion therapy and allegedly called Islam a “bad religion and Very bad”.

Sheffield Bishop Pete Wilcox said the concert was a “risk to the social cohesion of our city” and Sheffield region mayor Dan Jarvis said “intolerance was not welcome” in South Yorkshire.

In 1985, the preacher’s father, Billy, preached for seven consecutive nights at Bramall Lane Stadium in Sheffield United, sending his message to over 300,000 people during the week.


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