Franklin Graham Concludes Four-Day Crusade in Taiwan
Evangelist Franklin Graham completed a four-day Festival in Taipei, Taiwan over the weekend, preaching to 150,503 in the country that is more than 90 percent Buddhist and Taoist. Another 32,799 attended a special children’s event on Sunday, Oct. 26. The Taipei Franklin Graham Festival, held in the outdoor plaza of Taipei’s famous Liberty Square - formerly known as Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall, was the largest religious gathering in the history of the venue. In all, 9,673 people responded to the invitation to commit their lives to Jesus Christ. “There is no other name under heaven by which you can be saved. It’s only through Christ,” said Graham, echoing the proclamation that he has made this year in North America, Europe, and Asia. “Jesus said ‘I am the way, I am the truth, I am the life. No man comes to the Father but by me.’” While in Taiwan, Graham met with Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou on Thursday, Oct. 30, in the Presidential Office. In a press release after the meeting, President Ma called Graham “one of the world's best-known preachers” and stated that he was delighted to meet the evangelist. The president also spoke positively about the effects that the Crusade led by Billy Graham, Franklin’s father, had on the country 33 years ago. He indicated that Graham’s Crusade would bring the same comfort to the people of Taiwan today. During his visit, Graham also met with many of the leading pastors and city leaders. Some 650 local churches took part in the Festival. Graham was preceded on the Festival stage by several popular local musicians nightly, including Heavenly Melody, JJ Lam, Jeanette Wang, Sam Hsiao, Rachel Liang, Jung Hung, Joshua Tree, TBC Dance, Queen Wei, Vanessa Chen, Vanessa Wu, David Tao, Tsai Chin and the Taipei Franklin Graham Festival Choir, as well as U.S. based BMX bike stunt team Chaos on Wheels, and North American musicians Huntley Brown, The Tommy Coomes Praise Band, and Dennis Agajanian. The Festival in Taipei is Graham's final Crusade event of 2008, having preached in Belfast, Northern Ireland; Knoxville, Tenn.; Villahermosa, Mexico; Timisoara, Romania; and Charleston, S.C. In all, more than 487,000 people have attended Franklin Graham Festival events this year. In 2009, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association is planning Festivals in Asia, Europe, South America and a multi-city U.S. tour.