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Political and religious leaders react to Billy Graham’s death

All the last presidents of United States, and Protestant figures such as Justin Welby or Efraim Tendero pay tribute to the American evangelist and highlight his influence worldwide.

AUTHOR Evangelical Focus WASHINGTON D.C. 23 FEBRUARY 2018 11:42 h GMT+1
Billy Graham, Presidents George H.W. Bush, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton at the dedication of the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, North Carolina, in 2007. / BGEA

Billy Graham died Wednesday morning at his home in Montreat, North Carolina. He was 99 years old.



Graham became the best-known preacher in the United States during 70 years in the pulpit. He was also an influential voice at the top levels of the political world for decades. His relationship with American presidents dated back to Harry Truman.



 



US PRESIDENTS REMEMBER GRAHAM



After his death, many of these political leaders have paid tribute to the American evangelist.



President Donald Trump tweeted:





His wife Melania also remembered Graham:









Vice President Mike Pence, a committed Christian, said his “matchless voice changed the lives of millions”.







According to former President Barack Obama, Graham was a guide to millions of Americans.







In a statement, another former President, Jimmy Carter, pointed out that Graham had “shaped the spiritual lives of tens of millions of people worldwide. Broad-minded, forgiving and humble in his treatment of others, he exemplified the life of Jesus Christ by constantly reaching out for opportunities to serve”.



Graham’s relationship with American presidents dated back to Harry Truman. / BGA



“Billy Graham was America's pastor”, said former President George W. Bush.



“His faith in Christ and his totally honest evangelical spirit inspired people across the country and around the world. I think Billy touched the hearts of not only Christians, but people of all faiths, because he was such a good man”, he added.



Meanwhile, Bill Clinton wrote a statement on behalf of himself and his wife, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton:







“GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT OF THE GOSPEL”



Protestant leaders also reflected on Billy Graham’s life.



“The debt owed by the global church to him is immeasurable and inexpressible. Personally I am profoundly grateful to God for the life and ministry of this good and faithful servant of the gospel; by his example he challenged all Christians to imitate how he lived and what he did”, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, said.



Welby added: “Now he is face to face with Jesus Christ, his Saviour and ours. It is the meeting he has been looking forward to for the whole of his life”.



Efraim Tendero, Secretary General of the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA), noted: “No one has more defined the essence of evangelical faith than Dr. Graham. He was God's gift and instrument to the growth and development of today's evangelical movement”.



 



Billy Graham n the Lausanne Congress in 1974. / Lausanne Movement.



WEA leaders “were heavily engaged in the Lausanne Congress in 1974, where Graham and John Stott called 2,500 church leaders together in Lausanne, Switzerland, and there reshaped the evangelical witness”.



At the Southern Baptist Convention, Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission President Russell Moore called Graham “the most important evangelist since the Apostle Paul”.







Catholic leaders, like Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the Archbishop of New York, joined the tribute to Graham: “As anyone growing up in the 1950s and 1960s can tell you, it was hard not to notice and be impressed by the Reverend Billy Graham. There was no question that the Dolans were a Catholic family, firm in our faith, but in our household there was always respect and admiration for Billy Graham and the work he was doing to bring people to God”, he wrote in a statement.



In Europe, several evangelical leaders reflected on Graham’s life and ministry.


 

 


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