Evangelicals and Catholics oppose Franklin Graham's upcoming appearance in Vancouver

Franklin Graham addresses an audience as part of his Decision America Tour 2016.BGEA/Tommy Berry

Evangelical and Catholic leaders in Vancouver, Canada, have come together to oppose an upcoming visit by the televangelist Franklin Graham, calling him "incendiary and intolerant" as well as "ungracious and bigoted".

Graham, the son of Billy Graham, is due to participate in a 'Festival of Hope' event next March, which is supported by many of the area's mega-churches, according to the Vancouver Sun.

But a statement from five prominent Catholics and evangelicals said: "Rev Graham is a polarizing figure ... His ungracious and bigoted remarks have the potential to generate serious negative impact on the Christian witness in Vancouver".

The letter went on: "We ... denounce the frequent incendiary and intolerant statements made by Rev Graham, which he unapologetically reiterates,"

It was signed by Marjeta Bobnar of the Catholic archdiocese, City in Focus president Tom Cooper, Tenth Church pastor Ken Shigematsu, Calvary Baptist pastor Tim Dickau and First Baptist pastor Tim Kuepfer.

Graham has previously said homosexuals are "the enemy" and will "spend eternity in hell" if they don't repent.

The frequent critic of President Barack Obama has also called Islam a "very wicked religion" and backed Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's call for a ban on Muslims coming to the US.

Graham reportedly earns more than $1 million a year as an evangelist and head of the charity Samaritan's Purse, and led a 'crusade' in Toronto in 2014 that was attended by 40,000 people.

The Vancouver Sun said that after the Toronto event, Samaritan's Purse sacked a Canadian volunteer because she refused to sign a statement opposing abortion and same-sex marriage.

George Wong, head pastor at Evangelical Chinese Bible Church in Burnaby in the region, one of the congregations training volunteers to work at Graham's crusade, said "the last thing we want to do is promote hate."

Wong added that Graham "is not coming to Vancouver to preach against homosexuality, but to preach the gospel".

In North Vancouver, Owen Scott, the Valley Church Pastor who is endorsing the Festival of Hope, said: "I know Franklin is not the same as his dad. His dad is a pretty gracious person."

A spokesman for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association headquarters in Calgary said it "never expects 100 per cent support for one of our festivals" adding: "I wouldn't want a few people who are opposed to the festival to overshadow the wide support for it."

Earlier this month Graham opposed Pope Francis's claim that the world is at war - but that it is not a relgious war. 

"It is most certainly a war of religion," he said on his Facebook page. "Religion is behind the violence and jihad we're seeing in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and here in this country. It's a religion that calls for the extermination of 'infidels' outside their faith, specifically Jews and Christians...It's a religion that calls on its soldiers to shout 'Allahu Akbar' ('God is Great' in Arabic) as they behead, rape, and murder in the name of Islam. Radical Islamists are following the teachings of the Quran. We should call it what it is."