METROPOLITAN ILARION EVALUATES PREACHING OF "SPIRITUAL DIRECTOR OF AMERICAN PRESIDENTS"
RIA Novosti, 4 March 2019
The preaching of the famous protestant preacher Billy Graham, who is nicknamed "the spiritual director of American presidents," is Orthodox in spirit and comprehensible to believers of Russia, the head of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow patriarchate, Metropolitan of Volokolamsk Ilarion, declared at a presentation of a collection of Billy Graham's sermons in the Russian language.
"Billy Graham loved Russia and wasn't ashamed about it. Despite that there was a Cold War, he not only came to our country but also often spoke about his experience of visiting it. He spoke about this before vast audiences, including in the U.S.A.," the metropolitan said.
He said that the sermons of the pastor were heard by representatives of various Christian confessions and various religions. Graham was able to persuade nonbelieving people; very many people "came to know God through his preaching."
"I have read and listened to rather many of his sermons, and I find that, in its spirit, Billy Graham's preaching was profoundly Orthodox. It was, first of all, Christ-centered; that is, at its center always stood Jesus Christ," the metropolitan noted.
Graham is considered one of the most influential Christian leaders of the U.S.A. He is known for huge preaching gatherings and campaigns throughout the world. Graham also was an informal advisor for a number of American presidents, for which he received the nickname the "conscience of America." He was a pastor of the Southern Baptist Convention, the largest association of Baptists. In the decades of his preaching, the total size of his audience was more than two billion people. (tr. by PDS, posted 7 March 2019)
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