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US evangelist to headline huge Christian gathering

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American evangelist Franklin Graham will deliver a speech at this weekend’s Love Phnom Penh Festival. Wikimedia Commons

American evangelist Franklin Graham will attend this weekend’s Love Phnom Penh Festival, an event set to be the biggest gathering of Christians in the Kingdom to date.

Festival director Pastor Derek Forbes said Mr Graham visited the Kingdom before, but never gave a speech.

“He was here for humanitarian efforts in the past,” he said, adding Mr Graham will give a speech during the gathering this weekend.

Pastor Forbes said Mr Graham will deliver a religious message and share the Christian gospel for two nights at the Phnom Penh City Center Golf Driving Range from Saturday to Sunday.

He said the gathering is expected to draw several thousand attendees.

Buddhist-majority Cambodia is home to more than 200,000 Christians belonging to various denominations, including Baptist, Methodist, Roman Catholic, Lutheran, Anglican, Presbyterian, Mormon, Lutheran and Evangelical Christian churches.

Pastor Forbes said Love Phnom Penh Festival is the initiative of local Christian churches.

“They have been praying for a long time for such an event to happen here,” he said.

Pastor Forbes said Love Phnom Penh Festival is the initiative of local Christian churches.

“They have been praying for a long time for such an event to happen here,” he said.

Pastor Forbes said church leaders came together to invite Mr Graham and partner with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association for Christian outreach in Phnom Penh focused on sharing the love of Jesus Christ.

This will be the first time a BGEA event will be held in Cambodia.

“The Khmer Christians want to share the Gospel and to see those who trust in Jesus at the event get connected with a local church to help them in their new walk with Christ,” Pastor Forbes said.

Preparations for the festival have been going on for several months.

The festival team has been holding prayer rallies and training local church leaders in discipleship and evangelism since February, according to the BGEA website.

The festival will include musical performances by Christian groups and artists, including Heart to Worship Cambodia, Life Band, Cultural Dance and Drums, Jimmy Kiss, Khem, The Afters, Tommy Coomes Band and Dennis Agajanian.

“A festival choir and ensemble made up of volunteers from across Phnom Penh will also perform,” Pastor Forbes said.

Mr Graham is the fourth of five children of the well-known American evangelist Billy Graham. His father is considered among the ‘most influential Christian leaders’ of the 20th century.

Mr Graham is currently the president and CEO of BGEA and belongs to the Samaritan’s Purse, a Christian relief organisation engaged in humanitarian activities across the globe.

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