Evangelist Billy Graham postponed his long-awaited trip to China last month after sustaining injuries in a fall in Tokyo.

According to Graham spokesman Larry Ross, the evangelist fractured a rib, reinjured several others, and bruised the left side of his chest when he tripped over a briefcase in a hotel room. Graham was treated by doctors in Tokyo until he was well enough to travel to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, to see his personal physician.

Ross said Graham was in extreme pain after the fall, which initially left him partially immobile and confined to his bed. Graham postponed the China trip on the advice of his doctors, but he hopes to reschedule it for next spring.

“This is one of the greatest disappointments of my life,” the evangelist said. “Many unique opportunities awaited us in China. I was especially looking forward to accompanying my wife to see her birthplace, where she spent the first 17 years of her life.”

For his first-ever trip to China, Graham had scheduled meetings with religious and political leaders, visits to churches and house churches, and addresses at three universities. He was invited by the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship With Foreign Countries and the China Christian Council. Graham was also to have visited Hong Kong, where he was scheduled to address religious leaders, sponsored by the Hong Kong Chinese Christian Churches’ Union.

Graham had stopped in Tokyo en route to China from Helsinki, Finland, where he conducted his seventh crusade in five months. Ross said the Helsinki crusade was the largest religious event in Finland’s history, with 300 of the country’s 900 churches participating.

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