Fifty years ago in the UK, there was widespread public support for Billy Graham’s evangelistic crusades and his “Festivals of Hope”. The American preacher, known for his enthusiasm in proclaiming the message of Jesus Christ, drew thronging crowds of over 2 million eager listeners in 1954 at the Harringay Arena in London. 2.6 million people came to Glasgow the following year, and thousands more flocked to public venues until his last British crusade in 1989. He was famously invited for a private audience with the Queen and the media endorsed his mission favourably.
If Billy was alive today, it seems unlikely that he would have the same opportunities. The courting of cancel-culture across the UK is now rapidly denying Christian preachers the opportunity to preach on the streets, make bookings at privately rented venues, and even be indirectly advertised in public. We’re not just facing a free speech crisis. We’re cancelling Christians.
Writes Elizabeth Francis in The Critic UK. Read the rest of the article here.