Anti-Gay Marriage Preacher Causes Controversy in Iceland Skip to content

Anti-Gay Marriage Preacher Causes Controversy in Iceland

U.S. evangelist and missionary Franklin Graham will be the main speaker at the Festival of Hope in Reykjavík held next month. Graham’s arrival has been met with controversy as he has openly preached against same-sex marriages.

church-seydisfjordur-inside_psPhoto: Páll Stefánsson/Iceland Review.

Anna Pála Sverrisdóttir, chair of Samtökin 78, the Icelandic Queer Organization, expressed her disappointment with the National Church supporting the event, declaring it a strange message to be sending right before the Gay Pride festival, reports.

According to, the National Church advertised Graham’s lecture earlier this week but yesterday evening released a statement apologizing for the timing as it may have indicated that the church is critical of homosexuality and the fight for gay rights, which is not the case.

Bishop of Iceland Agnes M. Sigurðardóttir stressed to that the National Church does not organize the festival but is invited to take part.

Agnes had planned to give a speech at the event but is now reconsidering it. However, with her appearance she has an opportunity to present the National Church’s message, she pointed out.

The National Church of Iceland has clearly sided with homosexuals and supports same-sax marriages, Agnes explained.

In an interview with today’s Fréttablaðið, Agnes reasoned that it’s possible to socialize with groups and individuals even though one might not agree with their opinions about everything; interacting with those of different views only strengthens one’s self-image, she stated.

Organizer of the Festival of Hope, Ragnar Gunnarsson, held by Christian associations, congregations, volunteers and The Billy Graham School of Missions and Evangelism, said that the festival organizers are currently reviewing the matter of Graham’s speech and will make a decision in the coming days.

According to, people are booking tickets to the free festival en masse with the intention of not showing up in protest of Graham’s attendance.

Click here to read more about the upcoming Gay Pride festivities.


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