In historic first, Vietnam’s government grants permission for evangelistic outreach with foreign speaker outside of a religious holiday

Franklin Graham meets with the Deputy Prime Minister, Le Minh Khai of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, on Wednesday, March 1, 2023, at The Government Offices official building in Hanoi, Vietnam. (Photo by Shealah Craighead)

HANOI, Vietnam, March 2, 2023 — Rev. Franklin Graham was honored to meet and be welcomed to Vietnam on Wednesday by Deputy Prime Minister Le Minh Khai and a distinguished delegation including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Home Affairs, and the Government Committee for Religious Affairs. They discussed Vietnam’s diversity of religions and support for religious freedom at the government’s offices in Hanoi.

“I am grateful for this, and thankful to the Deputy Prime Minister and the government for allowing me to come and preach in Vietnam a second time,” said Franklin Graham, president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, who preached in Hanoi in December 2017. “This weekend I am looking forward to being in beautiful Ho Chi Minh City, where we are working with more than 300 churches for the Spring Love Festival. All are welcome to attend these free events where I will share a message of God’s love for the people of Vietnam.”

In continued meetings on Thursday with Dr. Vu Chien Thang, the Deputy Director of the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Government Committee for Religious Affairs, officials also discussed with Graham how helpful churches were in their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Thang has visited the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association’s headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina, before, and on Thursday, Graham invited him to return as a guest again. 

The Spring Love Festival at the Phu Tho Sports Facility in Ho Chi Minh City will begin with live music at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 4 and Sunday, March 5. 

In the past, evangelical churches in Vietnam have been given permission to hold events during the Easter and Christmas seasons. The Spring Love Festival is historic because this is the first time the government has given permission for an evangelistic outreach with a foreign speaker outside of a religious holiday.

To download high resolution photos of the meetings from BGEA’s Vietnamese media site, visit:

As president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA), Franklin Graham shares the Good News of Jesus Christ around the world. Since 1989, he has held more than 325 outreaches in 55 countries. Last year, Graham preached in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia; Milan, Italy; four cities across the United Kingdom; three cities across New Zealand; and six cities across the United States. Earlier this year, Franklin Graham preached in Mexico City, Mexico; and later this year, he is looking forward to sharing the hope of Christ in Seoul, Korea; London, England; Rome, Italy; and Essen, Germany.


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