Franklin Graham, president and CEO of Samaritan’s Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, was in Vietnam over the weekend spreading the Word of Jesus Christ to 14,000 Christians. According to UCA News, Graham is the first foreigner to be permitted to share the Gospel in the communist country. The historic event, called the Spring Love Festival, was held in Ho Chi Minh City where the audience included government officials.
Graham was in Vietnam at the invitation of local churches. Vietnam is home to more than 900 pastors and church leaders from 60 denominations who worked together to help make the event happen. According to UCA News, “local evangelical churches are given permission to hold gatherings only during the Easter and Christmas seasons.”
Spreading the message of God’s Word and love, Graham reached the hearts of thousands in Vietnam. Many people attended, confessing their sins, asking for God’s forgiveness, and received free copies of the New Testament. Some attendees never heard of Jesus Christ, and they learned about him from this event.
Many may wonder how a communist country hosted a Christian leader to speak to their people. According to some who were at the event, “the communist government allowed a religious gathering at a public place aiming to show the international community the religious freedom enjoyed in the country. They said the government made use of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association to impress international human rights organizations that criticize its record of religious persecution.” As of 2023, Open Doors U.S. World Watch List ranks Vietnam 25th on its list of most dangerous countries for Christian followers.
Focused on sharing the Good News, Graham uplifted all who attended by giving them hope and faith. For those who do not have religious freedom, Graham’s presence likely brought them not just joy, but also gave them the strength within themselves to continue believing and continue praying.