Evangelist Franklin Graham Meets With Sanctioned Russian Officials, Praises Them

Evangelist Franklin Graham recently met with and praised sanctioned Russian officials during a trip to Russia.

Graham met with Vyacheslav Volodin, who has been sanctioned by the U.S. government since 2014 for his part in the violent Russian invasion of Ukraine, notes ThinkProgress.

Graham also met with Patriarch Kirill, who is allegedly a former KGB agent.

Graham described his meetings with sanctioned Russian officials as a “blessing” on Twitter:

Graham told Russia’s state-run RIA Novosti that he called Vice President Pence directly to tell him of the trip. “He was very happy to hear the news. And he admitted that he fully supported my decision.”

Graham praised Volodin on Instagram:

It was an honor to meet with @StateDuma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin this week in Moscow, a very gracious man who shared with me how his grandfather had been a priest and was shot by the Communists for baptizing children in the river. Remember to keep him in your prayers.

Graham failed to mention Volodin’s international crimes, but did manage to pose near a portrait of Putin.

Graham appeared to mock the reported collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign on Instagram:

#Collusion? I’m in Russia right now—Moscow to be exact—and I’m meeting with the Russian churches on how we can share with more young people about faith in Jesus Christ! That’s not “collusion,” but it is collaboration for the sake of souls. #GoodNews

(Sources: Franklin Graham/Instagram, Franklin Graham/Instagram, Franklin Graham/Twitter, ThinkProgress)

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