Reverend Franklin Graham, head of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) and son of its world renowned founder, Pastor Billy Graham, said that Islam has not changed in 1,500 years and has “not been hijacked by radicals,” but is “a religion of war.”
He also said he wants Muslims to know there is hope beyond Jihad and that they “do not have to die for God,” but can attain “eternal life” through God’s Son, who “died for us.”
Rev. Franklin Graham made his remarks in a Dec. 6 interview with Ruth Gledhill of the London-based inter-denominational magazine Christian Today.
Reverend Graham was asked about comments he made in 2001 about Islam, following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. He said he had not changed his opinion at all and, when looking today at the Islamic State, the Taliban, or Boko Haram he thinks, “This is Islam. It has not been hijacked by radicals. This is the faith, this is the religion. It is what it is. It speaks for itself.”
Islam has not changed in 1,500 years, he asserted, and added, “It is the same. It is a religion of war."
As for how Christians should approach Islam and its followers, Rev. Graham said, "I think it is very important that we do all that we can to try to share God's love with Muslims because they have no hope outside of dying in Jihad. I want them to know, you do not have to die for God. God died for us. He sent His Son to die for us.”
“We do not have to kill ourselves to please God,” he said. “I want them to know that they can have eternal life."
Last month, Rev. Graham criticized a Muslim prayer service held at the National Cathedral, an Episcopal church established by a congressional charter more than 100 years ago, in Washington, D.C.
On his Facebook page on Nov. 18, Rev. Graham said, “It’s sad to see a church open its doors to the worship of anything other than the One True God of the Bible who sent His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, to earth to save us from our sins.”
When asked by Christian Today about that incident, Rev. Graham said he was “sad” that Muslims had “turned their back on the Cross” in the cathedral to pray to “another God.”
"The God of Islam is not the same God of the Judeo-Christian faith,” said Rev. Graham. “The God that we worship in Christianity is a God that has a Son. To Islam, that is blasphemy, to say that God has a son. Therefore, they do not worship the God that we worship."
In addition to overseeing the BGEA, Rev. Franklin Graham is the president and CEO of the international relief group Samaritan’s Purse.
In further remakrs to Christian Today, Rev. Graham said, “As followers of Jesus Christ, we ought to forge our identity in Him. I want to take my life and the time I have on this Earth to try to tell others about Jesus, that Jesus Christ is God's son who took our sins to the Cross and shed His blood for our sins. If we are willing to put faith and trust in Him, God will forgive our sins, heal our hurts and give us eternal life."
Franklin Graham’s father, Billy Graham is 96, and has Parkinson’s disease. According to Franklin Graham, his father is doing fairly well, with good days and bad days, and he continues to read the Bible and pray every day. Billy Graham’s wife, Ruth Bell Graham, passed away in 2007; they had been married for 64 years.
Rev. Franklin Graham, 62, is married to Jane Cunningham Graham, and they have five children and numerous grandchildren, and live in Boone, N.C.
When Ruth Bell Graham died in 2007, Franklin asked his father Billy what he would like on his headstone when he eventually joined her. Billy Graham said, “Just put, Preacher.”