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Catholics 'not discouraged' from joining new Graham Crusade

On the eve of a Christian festival in Tasmania with echoes of the landmark 1959 Billy Graham Crusade in Australia, Catholic spokesman Tom Wise said while the church had not sponsored Festival Tasmania it had not discouraged individuals from taking part.

The Festival's major attraction is Franklin Graham, son of the legendary Billy Graham.

The Mercury reports that three of the big four churches - Anglican, Baptist and Uniting - are supporting the drawcard Festival Tasmania, and that only the Catholic Church has declined formal involvement.

Franklin's father Billy Graham's 1959 "crusade" is remembered for having a big impact on church attendances, and many religious leaders are expecting a similar response this weekend. Since the 1959 visit, the popularity of pentecostal and charismatic churches has skyrocketed. By contrast the Catholic, Baptist, Uniting and Anglican churches have reported unchanging, and even declining, attendances.

Uniting Church associate general secretary Alan Thompson said there would be many Uniting Church people who did not support the use of popular music as a way of conveying the message of Jesus -- but others supported it.

"A lot of people were very influenced by Billy Graham and had a positive kind of experience," Mr Thompson said.

New 'crusade' backed (The Mercury 10/3/05)

LINKS (not endorsed by Church Resources)
Franklin Graham Festival (Anglican Church in Tasmania)
Festival Victoria 2005
Franklin Graham Festival
Samaritan's Purse
Billy Graham Evangelistic Association
Franklin Graham's Comments on Islam (John Mark Ministries)
Billy Graham 1950 Crusade to Australia (Bonza - a RMIT based Film Resource)

Gibson film moves Billy Graham to tears (CathNews 27/11/03)

Christians converge for music, ministry (The Mercury 10/3/05)

10 Mar 2005