Franklin Graham Praises 'Gay Propaganda' Law, Critizes US 'Secularism' In Russia Visit

Source: Right Wing Watch

November 2, 2015

    

In a trip to Russia last week, U.S. Religious Right leader Franklin Graham praised President Vladimir Putin’s protection of “traditional Christianity,” including the passage of the 2013 “gay propaganda” law that effectively criminalizes pro-gay-rights speech and advocacy.

In an interview with the Moskoviskij Komsomolets newspaper, Graham criticized President Obama for supporting “policies that contradict the teachings of God” and repeated his praise of Putin for “protecting Russian young people against homosexual propaganda,” adding that “homosexuals cannot have children, they can take other people’s children,” according to a transcript the newspaper provided of the interview:

I heard that you called Barack Obama ‘the leader of the antichrist movement.’ Is that true? What do you think about the current president of the United States?

I have met the president on several occasions. He’s a very nice person. But he supports and promotes policies that contradict the teachings of God. As a Christian I believe that abortion is murder, he supports it. Homosexuality and same-sex marriage — those are sins against God, and the president is promoting them. I’m not against homosexuals as people. But God commanded that marriage should be between a man and a woman. And I very much appreciate that President Putin is protecting Russian young people against homosexual propaganda. If only to give them the opportunity to grow up and make a decision for themselves. Again, homosexuals cannot have children, they can take other people’s children. I believe that President Obama (and I’ll repeat, he’s a very nice person) is leading America down the wrong road. He’s taking a stand against God.

In the same interview, Graham reportedly hailed Putin for his actions in Syria, where Russia has been targeting rebels supported by the U.S. and largely ignoring ISIS, saying, "I think that Russia’s involvement in this situation will bring about a political solution to the crisis."

Graham echoed the messaging of Putin, who as the Washington Post notes, “has anchored his political brand in religious nationalism, centered on the Russian Orthodox Church,” telling the paper that as Americans have been “losing many religious freedoms,” there have been “positive changes” in that area in Russia.

[T]he situation in the US regarding religion is in decline. Secularism, which is almost no different from communism, is an atheistic movement. Our country is becoming more and more secular, more atheist, taking God out of government, taking God out of schools. We are witnessing America losing many religious freedoms. In your country over the past 30 years, we have seen positive changes. But over this same period of time in the US, the changes have been negative.

In a meeting with Patriarch Kirill, the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church, which was widely reported in the Russian news media, Graham reportedly told the Orthodox primate: “When I was a young man, we worried that the world would become atheist under the influence of communism, but while communism fell, atheism didn’t go anywhere. Unfortunately my own president promotes atheism … I spoke about this with President Obama, but he did not understand. Unfortunately he does not have a Christian worldview.”

According to another report, Graham told Patriarch Kirill, “Many churches in America have started to support homosexuality. This is terrible, it’s a sin and it’s against God.”

“I call for prayers for the president of Russia, who is protecting traditional Christianity,” Graham reportedly said.

Graham took part in a forum on “religion and peace” with a number of religious leaders, and Graham and Patriarch Kirill announced their plans to organize an international conference on Christian persecution in the Middle East.

Right Wing Watch

11/3/2015

See also
VIDEO: Patriarch Kirill's Meeting with Franklim Graham VIDEO: Patriarch Kirill's Meeting with Franklim Graham VIDEO: Patriarch Kirill's Meeting with Franklim Graham VIDEO: Patriarch Kirill's Meeting with Franklim Graham
On October 28 His Holiness Patriarch Kirill met with evangelist Franklim Graham and discussed our world's moral crisis and the protection of Christians in the Middle East.
The Christian and Peace. Address by Rev. Franklin Graham, President of Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, at International Conference on Religion and Peace (Moscow, 29 October, 2015) The Christian and Peace. Address by Rev. Franklin Graham, President of Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, at International Conference on Religion and Peace (Moscow, 29 October, 2015)
Franklin Graham
The Christian and Peace. Address by Rev. Franklin Graham, President of Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, at International Conference on Religion and Peace (Moscow, 29 October, 2015) The Christian and Peace. Address by Rev. Franklin Graham, President of Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, at International Conference on Religion and Peace (Moscow, 29 October, 2015)
Franklin Graham
I cannot help but note also, Your Eminence, that my father returned here in 1988 to join in celebrating the 1000th anniversary of the baptism of Prince Vladimir of Rus, and the founding of the Russian Orthodox Church. I was deeply moved, Your Eminence, when I learned that this year – 2015 – marks the 1000th anniversary of the death of Prince Vladimir. On behalf of my father and my fellow believers in the United States, I extend to you our most respectful congratulations on this historic occasion.
Franklin Graham Meets with His Holiness Patriarch Kirill and His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk Franklin Graham Meets with His Holiness Patriarch Kirill and His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk Franklin Graham Meets with His Holiness Patriarch Kirill and His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk Franklin Graham Meets with His Holiness Patriarch Kirill and His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk
Son of legendary American evangelist Billy Graham, Franklin Graham, head of the Samaritan’s Purse charity organization, is in Moscow this week and has met with His Holiness Patriarch Kirill and His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk.
Comments
Corey11/4/2015 9:00 am
Whatever one's beliefs in the sinfulness of homosexuality, can I just say that the idea that homosexuals out to convert young innocent children is ridiculous and just offensive. I am a repentant homosexual and celibate, seeking to live a life according to the teaching of the Orthodox Church and I was not 'brainwashed' by homosexual propaganda. The Orthodox Church does itself no favours by supporting and encouraging such backwards beliefs about homosexuality.
John Ward11/4/2015 12:00 am
The alleged president of the United States is described as "nice". What a bland description of a leader. A box of candy can be nice, or an ice cream or suchlike.
The world needs leaders with rock hard morals, the fire of God's love in their bellies and the courage to do what is right, not just nice.
President Putin cannot be described as nice, although he might be in some circumstances (he probably likes children and puppies). He strikes me as a strong, driven leader, a defender of the faith and a good man. I would rather entrust the safety of the world to Putin under Christ than to Obama under political correctness and hatred of his own country.
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