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Billy Graham declines invitation to conduct London crusade

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (BP)–Billy Graham has declined an invitation to hold an evangelistic crusade in London, a decision he deferred until after his just-concluded Greater New York Crusade, according to a July 13 news release from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

Church leaders in the United Kingdom had invited Graham to hold meetings in London later this year. Age and health concerns of the 86-year-old evangelist and his wife, Ruth, made the distance from home and logistical considerations a greater challenge than recent domestic crusades, the BGEA news release stated.

“After much prayerful consideration I determined I should not be that far from home,” Graham wrote in a letter notifying those who had invited him to London. “This was a difficult decision because London has played such a significant part in the life of my ministry.”

Since making the decision in early July, Graham has been closely following events in London, including the city’s selection as the site to host the 2012 Olympic Games followed by the terrorist attack in London.

The evangelist assured British church leaders of his continued prayers for the people of London, especially the victims and their families, and called on people of faith around the world to do likewise.

Graham will continue his ministry of evangelism and resume work writing several books and contributing to other special projects he has begun in recent years, the BGEA news release stated. He also is planning to attend the dedication of the Billy Graham Library at his ministry’s headquarters in Charlotte, N.C., for which the initial groundbreaking will take place on Aug. 26.

Graham’s recent crusade in New York, attended by more than 242,000 people, was his eighth in the metro area.

The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association has planned an aggressive schedule of crusades with Franklin Graham, already extending into 2007 and beyond.

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