Following Pope Francis’ recent comments that the world is at war, but it’s not a war between religions, Evangelist Franklin Graham took to Facebook to express his disagreement.
“I agree that the war is at war–but I disagree that it’s not a war of religion. It is most certainly a war of religion.”
“Religion is behind the violence and jihad we’re seeing in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and here in this country.”
Pope Francis made his remarks after the recent killing of an elderly priest at a French church. He told reporters he won’t label Islam as “terrorist” because that would be unfair and untrue.
ISIS claimed responsibility for the murder of Father Jacques Hamel, 85, whose throat was slit during a morning mass after he was forced to kneel.
Onboard the Papal plane traveling to Poland, reporters asked him why he never uses the word “Islam” with terrorism and violence. “It’s not right to identify Islam with violence. It’s not right and it’s not true,” the pope said.
“It’s a real war, not a religious war. It’s a war of interests, a war for money, a war for natural resources and for the dominion of peoples. Some might say it’s a religious war. Every religion wants peace,” he said.
“It’s a religion that calls for the extermination of “infidels” outside their faith, specifically Jews and Christians. It’s a religion that calls on its soldiers to shout “Allahu Akbar” (“God is Great” in Arabic) as they behead, rape, and murder in the name of Islam,” he wrote.
The pope noted there are violent people in every religion, including Catholicism, and that he’s spoken with imams (Muslim clerics) and they are seeking peace.
“Let’s not be afraid to say the truth,” he added. “The world is at war because it’s lost its peace.”
Graham concluded: “Radical Islamists are following the teachings of the Quran. We should call it what it is.”