At times the press mauled him, demonstrators booed him and threw garbage, leading churchmen shunned him or criticized him publicly, and multitudes were apathetic. Yet evangelist Billy Graham concluded his Skandia ’78 campaign in Scandinavia on a note of hope.
“I believe you are on the verge or at the beginning of a great spiritual awakening,” he told a near-capacity Stockholm audience of 10,000 on a bright Sunday afternoon early this month. “You have the people, the history, and the finances.”
Graham was also speaking to a vast television audience throughout Sweden, Norway, and Iceland. The five Stockholm crusade rallies were beamed from a fairground hall live or by videotape on closed-circuit TV to thirty-one churches and other meeting places in twenty-four cities in the three countries. Preliminary reports indicated that attendance ran as high as 80 per cent of the 50,400-seat capacity of all meeting locations combined. In Bergen, Norway, for example, 4,200 persons gathered in a 5,000-seat public hall for the first live telecast from Stockholm.
The evangelist also preached at a special Sunday morning service that was aired nationally from the Stockholm hall by one of Sweden’s two television channels (both are run by the government). On the preceding Sunday he preached to a stadium crowd of 20,000 in Oslo, Norway, and most of the rally was carried during prime time that night on Norway’s only TV channel. Presumably, the bulk of the 4.1 million Norwegians heard Graham preach the Gospel, along with many of the 8.3 million Swedes.
Hundreds of people streamed forward in both the live and television sites when Graham invited his listeners to receive Christ. It was a rare sight in Scandinavia, where church membership and attendance ...1
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