Charlotte city officials and Gov. Pat McCrory called in the National Guard to save the city from a third night of violent protests, but evangelist Franklin Graham says that extra firepower isn’t the solution.
“What does work is prayer,” Graham said in a Facebook posting. “And I encourage individuals, pastors, and churches of all denominations across the city of Charlotte, the state and across the country to pray.
“Our city is in trouble not just politically and economically – it’s in trouble racially, and only God can fix that.”
Graham goes on to condemn the two nights of violence, which included the killing of protester Justin Carr by another protester outside the Omni Hotel. A suspect was arrested in his death Friday morning.
“Looting, vandalism, random violence, mayhem prevailed. Hotels, businesses, and even the NASCAR Hall of Fame were damaged, all under the guise of a demonstration. That’s not a demonstration – that’s a riot. What does it help? Haven’t people learned by now that this doesn’t accomplish any good for anyone?”
He adds that the Billy Graham Evangelical Association, based in Charlotte, sent a Rapid Response Team of chaplains to minister to people participating in the violent protests in Charlotte. A video on his Facebook page shows them talking to marchers and administering a few hugs.