Reverend Franklin Graham recently criticized the Obama administration for its refusal to call the latest victims of beheading Christians and accused the President of "seemingly continuing to protect Islam."
Last week, Twitter accounts linked to the Libyan branch of ISIS revealed disturbing photos of the militants carrying out the execution of the Coptic prisoners in the province of Tripoli. The murders drew condemnation from religious leaders around the world, including Pope Francis, who referred to the victims as "martyrs" who were killed "simply because they were Christians."
A statement released Sunday from White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest also condemned the beheadings, but failed to refer to the hostages as Christians. Instead, Earnest labeled them as "Egyptian citizens" and "innocents."
In response, Graham, who is the President and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelical Association, wrote on his Facebook page, "After a weekend of terrorism in Libya and Denmark, beginning today the White House is hosting a three-day "Summit on Countering Violent Extremism." I am perplexed as to why our President will not acknowledge the truth and call Islamic extremism what it is. In a statement the White House even called the 21 Christians who were beheaded "Egyptian citizens," refusing to identify them as Christians. The truth is--their barbaric murderers openly said they killed them because they were "people of the cross." Why is the President seemingly continuing to protect Islam and refusing to open his eyes to the truth?
Graham, who is also the President of Samaritan's Purse, later told Fox News host Greta Van Susteren in an interview that he is "baffled" by the response from the White House.
"It seems they want to try to believe a lie - that everything's OK when it's not OK. What they (ISIS) did was evil, it was wrong, it was a sin against God," Graham said on Tuesday night.
However, the 64 year old evangelist also spoke directly to the members of the terrorist organization and offered them a simple message: "God loves you and God is willing to forgive you, but you've got to be willing to confess your sin to Him and ask Him for forgiveness and by faith invite His Son Jesus Christ into your heart. If you do that, God will forgive you for what you have done and God will heal your heart and He'll invite you to be with Him for eternity in heaven."
Graham emphasized that God loves Muslims and has provided a way for a relationship through His one and only Son, Jesus Christ.
"They don't have to cut off heads or die in holy wars," Billy Graham's son explained. "It's simply by faith" that they can be with God.