The Atlantic

Why Billy Graham Was Determined to Globalize Evangelicalism

Recognizing that Americans are not the future of his religion, the late preacher embraced “the black world, the white world, the yellow world, the rich world, the poor world.”
Source: Keith Bedford / Reuters

Billy Graham, who died Wednesday at the age of 99, may have been “America’s Pastor,” but he was also a man of the world. From the early days of his ministry, when he visited U.S. military forces in Korea, to his quiet message of healing at Washington Cathedral in the aftermath of September 11, Graham was a frequent commentator on—and participant in—global politics. He used his status as the most important American religious figure of the 20th century to help lead American evangelicals into a more robust engagement with the rest of the world. He was also an institution builder who was deeply invested in Christianity as a global faith.

There were other people who taught more missionaries, and some who reached more people on television; there were even those whose preaching events rivaled

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Atlantic

The Atlantic7 min readPsychology
The Therapeutic Potential of Stanning
“Superhero therapy” encourages people to think like their favorite movie characters. It seems to work.
The Atlantic9 min readSociety
The Common Misconception About ‘High Crimes and Misdemeanors’
The constitutional standard for impeachment is different from what’s at play in a regular criminal trial.
The Atlantic5 min readScience
The Worst Day in Earth’s History Contains an Ominous Warning
One of the planet’s most dramatic extinctions was caused in part by ocean acidification, which has become a problem in our own era.