Franklin Graham in historic visit to Vietnam

Graham meeting Vietnamese government officials.(Photo: BGEA)

American evangelist Franklin Graham is in Vietnam this weekend for an unprecedented evangelistic outreach.

It is the first time that the Vietnamese government has given permission for an evangelistic outreach with a foreign speaker to be held outside of a religious holiday.

In the past, such events were only permitted during the Easter and Christmas seasons.

Ahead of the two-day Spring Love Festival, Graham met with Deputy Prime Minister Le Minh Khai and representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Home Affairs, and the Government Committee for Religious Affairs.

The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA), which is hosting the outreach, said that they discussed religious diversity and support for religious freedom at the meeting in capital city, Hanoi, as well as the role of churches during Covid-19.

"I am grateful for this, and thankful to the Deputy Prime Minister and the government for allowing me to come and preach in Vietnam a second time," said Graham, who last preached in Hanoi in December 2017.

"This weekend I am looking forward to being in beautiful Ho Chi Minh City, where we are working with more than 300 churches for the Spring Love Festival.

"All are welcome to attend these free events where I will share a message of God's love for the people of Vietnam."

The Spring Love Festival is being held at the Phu Tho Sports Facility in Ho Chi Minh City starting at 6:30pm local time on Saturday 4 March and Sunday 5 March.