Trump’s pastor claims Christians are being ‘persecuted’ for ‘not supporting gay-lesbian agenda’

Franklin Graham is known for his extreme views on LGBT+ issues

Donald Trump’s pastor, Franklin Graham, has claimed that Christians are persecuted because they do not support the “gay-lesbian agenda”.

The evangelical leader, who previously blamed gay people for causing “moral 9/11”, said that thousands of Christians worldwide are killed “because of their faith”.

However, Graham insisted that there was a larger issue with Christians who were persecuted not through violence but belief.

He said: “We need to not only put a spotlight on what’s happening around the world but we need to put a spotlight on what’s happening here in this country, where Christians are being persecuted but in a different way.

“It’s not with a gun or a sword but they’re being forced out of businesses because they do not support the gay-lesbian agenda,” the pastor added.

Graham, who preached at Trump’s inauguration ceremony, went on to use the example of the Christian bakers in Oregon who refused to bake a “gay cake” and were subsequently sued for $135,000.

“You take the bakers, the Kleins who had the little bake shop in Oregon, the family in Washington state that had the Christian pharmacy but they refused to carry the morning-after pill because they felt that was abortion, they were a Catholic family – and they lost their case before the courts.”

“It’s over and over and over again across the country where Christians are being singled out, their businesses, because they won’t support the agenda of another group of people,” said Rev. Graham, son of pastor Billy Graham.

“We need to protect them,” Graham insisted. “We need to protect the Christians in this country and abroad.”

“If I put it in the spotlight, Tony, it’s going to help,” said Graham. “It’s not going to hurt. It’s going to help get the word out and the voices of those who have suffered, to give them a platform to speak.”

Graham claimed in March that Oscar-winning film Moonlight is an attempt to convince young people to make “homosexual lifestyle choices”.

Last year he attacked LGBT-inclusive churches and declared gay people are ‘the enemy’.

He has also accused LGBT activists of “trying to cram down America’s throat the lie that homosexuality is okay”, alleging that anti-discrimination laws will mean that “your children, and your grandchildren will be at risk to sexual predators and perverts”.

In 2015 Graham praised Vladimir Putin’s support for anti-gay laws – and claimed that homosexuals “take people’s children” in an interview with a Russian newspaper.