From the Charlotte Observer:
Despite fierce criticism from some Christian activists, N.C.-based evangelist Franklin Graham said Sunday he's sticking by his opposition to any "illegal" missionary work during this summer's Beijing Olympics.
Graham, who recently met with state-sanctioned church leaders and government officials in China, told the Observer that as head of the Charlotte-based Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, he obviously supports evangelism. But he said he worries that the planned influx of American and other foreign missionaries into China for the Olympics could jeopardize freedoms Chinese Christians have won in recent years from the Communist government.
"I would be against any groups that would be coming in and encouraging people to break Chinese law," said Graham, who has no plans to attend the Olympics or send any missionaries. "As foreigners, we can come in and make some mistakes that would hurt the (Chinese) church. Then, long after we're gone, they suffer for it."
When I was a young man and full of pith and vinegar, I think I would have disagreed with Reverend Graham the Younger. However, in my 56th year I think Franklin's statements are very wise.
Nearly 50,000 souls perished in last week's earthquatke that rocked China. The Chinese people do not need preaching and witnessing. What they need now is aide, relief and manpower. May the Church do her job to provide.
And may God Bless us all.