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'It's God Who Touches People's Hearts': Franklin Graham Says 1.7 Million People Turned Toward Christ Through BGEA's Online Efforts This Year

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Around the world, people are continuing to cope with economic challenges, a crushing pandemic, and political turmoil, but millions of weary souls are finding hope in our Heavenly Father. 

Evangelist Franklin Graham, the president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) and Samaritan's Purse told The Christian Post that 1.7 million people have indicated that they made a decision for Christ through BGEA’s online ministries so far in 2020, compared to 1.3 million this time last year.

“I try to shy away from the questions on numbers," Graham explained. "God’s the one who gives the increase. It’s not Franklin Graham and it’s not the institution.”

He added that people are stunned by the recent turn of events and they're drawing towards Jesus Christ for discernment. 

"I think there's nothing normal about 2020," Graham said. "We've never gone through a pandemic in my lifetime. The world has never been locked down before. It's God who touches people's hearts and opens up people's eyes. The pandemic hasn't stopped it. If anything, it's advanced it." 

And this year marks the first time that BGEA has bought national television time with a targeted message and also managed a Gospel hotline that's available around the clock. Graham connected with viewers, and prayed with them during the one-minute commercial. 

The evangelist pointed out that many people have become more merciful as we maneuver through each obstacle together. 

"The people's hearts have been softened a little bit," Graham pointed out. "People who have not listened before are listening now. For evangelism, it may be one of the better years we've had."

"I think they're willing to listen to the Gospel," Graham added. "People are scared and afraid. When you give them the hope we have in Jesus Christ, they're eager to accept that. When the world turns upside down is when they're eager to listen."

Despite a drop in church attendance since the pandemic began, Graham notes there's a strong online presence.

"Bible-teaching churches have generally done very well and are full. The pews may not be full, but more people are watching online than those who usually attend the church," he said.

He declared that America can heal from this troubling year, but we must seek our Lord and Savior for that to transpire. 

"I don't think we can heal without God and for that to happen, there has to be repentance," Graham said. "We have to repent of our sins. I just don't see our nation coming together without God."

Additionally, BGEA and Samaritan's Purse offers discipleship training that will educate and equip believers to follow Christ and live out the Gospel.   

"We don't rely on the churches to do the discipleship for us. We do it ourselves," Graham concluded. 

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About The Author

Andrea Morris

Andrea Morris is a Features Producer for The 700 Club. She came to CBN in 2019 where she worked as a web producer in the news department for three years. Her passion was always to tell human interest stories that would touch the hearts of readers while connecting them with God. She transitioned into her new role with The 700 Club in August 2022.