Franklin Graham tour cancellations have exposed 'disagreeable' no-platforming trend

Franklin Graham has said he is considering legal action over the cancellation of his UK tour events.(Photo: Facebook/Franklin Graham)

The Leader of the House of Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg has criticised the "no-platforming" of Franklin Graham after all seven of his confirmed UK tour venues pulled out.

Rees-Mogg said in Parliament this week that the treatment experienced by the American evangelist pointed to a "particularly disagreeable modern trend".

He went on to say that many liberals were behaving in a way that is "very intolerant" of people who hold different views.

Graham, son of the late evangelist Billy Graham and head of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, has vowed to go ahead with his summer tour of the UK despite the venues cancelling his evangelistic events and has revealed that he is considering legal action. 

Rees-Mogg defended Graham in response to a question posed by Fiona Bruce MP, in which she argued that the Prime Minister's Christmas promise to "stand with Christians everywhere" must extend to Christians within the UK. 

"Can we have a statement as to whether we can really call ourselves a tolerant, inclusive and diverse society which respects freedom of speech whatever one's religion or beliefs if we deny the Billy Graham Association a platform in this country?" Bruce asked.

Responding to her question, Rees-Mogg said: "The UK has robust protections for freedom of speech and freedom of religion and the price of living in a free, plural society is tolerating views and beliefs we disagree with or are even offended by.

"This is fundamentally important. It is a sad truth that many people who tout themselves as being liberal are only liberal about what they like and are very intolerant of views they disagree with."

Graham told Christian Today that he has been surprised by the level of opposition but believes it has only helped his tour. 

"My hope is that God will use this tour for His purpose and for His glory. I want the name of Jesus Christ to be magnified and lifted up. And I think maybe the opposition has helped us to do just that," he said.

"Because of the opposition I think more people will know about the tour, more people will come and more people will get saved." 

A petition in support of Graham's tour has been signed over 12,000 times.