Tens of thousands gathered at Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro on June 11 to listen to the Gospel. Franklin Graham led the evangelistic event with the help of more than 4,000 local churches.
Graham preached to over 68,000 people 50 years after his father, Billy Graham, held a crusade in Brazil. The rain didn’t prevent Brazilians from joining “Esperanca Rio,” meaning “Hope Rio,” to listen to the Good News and accept Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior. The famous beach was filled with prayer, music and hope, reports Christian media network, God TV.
Christian leaders are working on the double to make up for the lost evangelism opportunities when the pandemic brought the world to a standstill for two years. Graham and his team have been traveling around the world spreading the Good News and baptizing new Christians.
For anyone who turns from their sins and puts their faith and trust in God’s Son Jesus Christ, know this—God has forgiven your sins! —Franklin Graham
“4,000+ churches have been a part of preparing for this event for many months,” Graham shared on social media. “And some told us they had been praying for years.”
During the event, Graham spoke to the participants:
“The Bible says the value of the human soul is worth more than the entire world. Let’s say you own all the real estate on Copacabana Beach, you own the hotels, the luxury apartments, the beautiful restaurants. Let’s say all of that was yours—your soul is worth far more than all of that—you have more value.
“For anyone who turns from their sins and puts their faith and trust in God’s Son Jesus Christ, know this—God has forgiven your sins! As the Bible says, He has cast them into the depths of the sea.”
Vinicius Vargas, one of the pastors who helped with the historic event, said, “This is a great opportunity for us to continue to help each person know more about the love of Jesus Christ. We are determined to move forward.” He added, “To reach more people, care for those in our communities, and introduce Jesus Christ to everyone around us.”
Rio de Janeiro Governor Claudio Castro met with Graham in support of the event while Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro welcomed the evangelist and sent a message of support. Graham said in a tweet: “I appreciate that these leaders stand with the biblical definition of marriage & against abortion in Brazil.”
Graham will continue his “God Loves You Tour” in the UK on July 16. He will preach at London’s Excel Center and will be joined by musicians Michael W. Smith and CeCe Winans.