|Franklin Graham speaks at the funeral of Dr. Jerry Falwell on May 22, 2007.|
In Friday’s convocation, Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr. showed his support for Franklin Graham, son of famed evangelist Billy Graham and founder and CEO of Samaritan’s Purse. Falwell said the Associated Press announced Thursday that Graham has been disinvited to speak at a Pentagon prayer service because of comments he made in 2001 about the nation of Islam.
“He said he finds their ways offensive and he wants Muslims to know Jesus Christ died for their sins, but because he has those views he’s not welcome in our Pentagon,” Falwell said. “We think it’s sad when things like that happen. We are supporting Franklin Graham in free speech and freedom of religion, and it’s something that seems to be lost in our country today.”
Graham was originally invited to be honorary chairman at the Pentagon's National Day of Prayer service on May 6.
Liberty University has had many ties to the Graham family and their ministries over the years. The chancellor has called the Rev. Billy Graham “a longtime friend of Liberty University and of our family.” The Graham family was present for the funeral of Dr. Jerry Falwell on May 22, 2007, where Franklin Graham spoke. Franklin Graham was also the keynote speaker at Liberty’s baccalaureate service in 1996; his father spoke at the 1997 Commencement. Billy Graham’s second daughter, Anne Graham Lotz, spoke in convocation in December 2009 and filmed a video series on campus last week. Five of Billy Graham’s grandchildren and three great-grandchildren have attended Liberty, and another grandchild, Basyle J. Tchividjian, is a professor at Liberty University School of Law.