About a month after returning from Ukraine, evangelist Franklin Graham has announced that he will go back to the war-torn country to deliver a special message on Easter Sunday amid Russia’s ongoing invasion that has killed more than 1,700 civilians, including 139 children.
“I’ll be going back to Ukraine to preach an Easter message,” wrote Graham, who heads Samaritan’s Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, on social media.
On Easter, he added, we “celebrate the reason for our hope — JESUS IS ALIVE!”
The event will include music from an 80-person Ukrainian choir, many of whom have been displaced by the war, BGEA’s website says.
His Easter message will air on Fox News at Noon ET on April 17.
“My deepest gratitude to my father Billy Graham’s friend, Mr. Rupert Murdoch, who is providing the television air time for this,” Graham shared.
Since Russia began its invasion on Feb. 24, it's estimated that at least 1,766 civilians have been killed and 2,383 have been injured as of a Saturday update from the United Nations. Among those killed are 129 children. Since the invasion began, more than 10 million people in Ukraine have been forced to flee their homes.
Last month, Graham traveled to Ukraine as his ministries are helping Ukrainians in need.
After his return, Graham spoke to The Christian Post and discussed Samaritan’s Purse’s efforts to minister to and help Ukrainians fleeing the regions of their country targeted by Russian troops.
The organization has established a field hospital in western Ukraine.
The North Carolina-based charity is operating medical clinics and distributing relief items through 3,000 church partners in Ukraine and Moldova. The charity has made five airlifts, delivering more than 185 tons of supplies since March 4.
“You’ve got people that are diabetic, you’ve got people with heart conditions, high blood pressure, all of these kinds of things are just normal everyday problems of life,” Graham said. “On top of that, you have a lot of people that have been wounded due to the shelling. And so, you have to throw that into the mix.”
Among the medical clinics Samaritan’s Purse has established is a 24-hour clinic at a train station in Lviv and another at a bus station in the city. A third clinic is located in Chernivtsi in southwest Ukraine.
Samaritan’s Purse has over 150 staff members in the region and treats over 100 patients per day. The organization has seen more than 2,400 patients across all of its medical sites as of last week.
Earlier this month, Graham urged Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to agree to a ceasefire during the 10 days of Easter observances.
“I have written to Putin and to Zelenskyy asking for a ceasefire from April 15-24,” Graham wrote on Facebook.
“I shared with them that I will be calling on churches in Ukraine, Russia, and around the globe to join together in prayer during those 10 days,” wrote Graham. “May we humbly unite before the King of kings and the Lord of lords, the Prince of Peace, to ask for His help and mercy.”
Graham wrote that he hoped that if they could agree to a 10-day ceasefire, then “maybe they can stop fighting for two weeks.”
“If they stop for two weeks, maybe they can stop for a month,” he added. “If they stop for a month, maybe they can stop for good. You’ve got to start somewhere.”
Graham, the son of legendary evangelist Billy Graham, said the deadly conflict is “a man-made disaster, a historic humanitarian crisis.
He believes “God is the only solution.”