WE, the undersigned church leaders, strongly object to the exclusion of both the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) and our congregations from public space by the SSE Hydro as a direct result of Glasgow City Council’s intervention.

We urge Glasgow City Council, at its meeting of February 20, to recommend an immediate reversal of the exclusion and re-instatement of the venue booking. We also request that the council’s chief executive and director of governance fully scrutinise what we believe to be an illegal and discriminatory action.

We reaffirm our love and respect for people of all sections of society, including those identifying as LGBTIQ, ethnic minorities and people of all faiths and none, and we strongly refute scandalous allegations of promotion of "hatred" and ‘intolerance’ on the part of Rev Franklin Graham.

We believe that Glasgow City Council, contrary to The Human Rights Act (1998), has discriminated against both the BGEA and our churches in a way that is in clear breach of: the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, and the freedom to manifest our religion in public; the right to freedom of opinion and expression (speech), and the right to freedom of peaceful assembly.

We believe the council has also acted in breach of The Equality Act (2010) which safeguards religion as a protected characteristic and, thereby, has undermined the city charter which claims in its values to “work to uphold and protect people’s basic human rights”.

As well as reinstating the venue booking, we urge Glasgow City Council to:

Strongly reaffirm our churches’ inclusion in Glasgow city life by issuing an unreserved public apology to all affected by our exclusion; thoroughly investigate a culture of intolerance that may have motivated this error of judgment, particularly with regard to the marginalisation of a religious community on the basis of its beliefs; rigorously review the institutional process which allowed such a significant breach of human rights to be so swiftly executed on January 29th, more than 6 months after the venue hire contract was signed, without inquiry into or regard for the significant time, energy and material support invested by many Glasgow and Scottish churches in the intervening months, without asking for or hearing any defence against the allegations raised, and without any prior warning to those being excluded.

These are mistakes which must be learned from in order to protect the future wellbeing of all of Glasgow’s communities, especially those whose characteristics are protected under the Equalities Act (2010).

Andrew Owen, Senior Pastor, Destiny Church; David Mitchell, Lead Pastor, Connect Church, Kirkcaldy; Andrew Smith, Senior Pastor, Gateway Church, Glasgow; Alistair Matheson, Lead Pastor of Glasgow City Church, Scottish Leader of The Apostolic Church UK; Robert Silver, Minister, Croftfoot Parish Church of Scotland; Peter Anderson, Lead Pastor, Destiny Edinburgh; Taiwo Afolabi, Lead Pastor, RCCG, Throne of Grace Church, Glasgow; Rev Tomas Workman, Lead Pastor, Riverview Church, Bo’ness; Rev. Mark Penman. Lead Pastor Victory Outreach Glasgow; Stephen Prem, Senior Pastor of Rehoboth Churches, Scotland; Alex Nicol, Minister, Prospecthill Christian Fellowship; Pastor Hugh Chalk, Pastor, Mossvale Church; Pastor Debbie Orr, Mossvale Community Church, Paisley; Iyanu Oluwakeyede Olanrewaju Olatunji, Senior Pastor, RCCG Beautiful Gate; Osaretin Elisha Ogunsuyi, Pastor, The Redeemed Christian Church of God; Michael G Rollo, Senior Pastor, Found Church, Larbert; Michael Kurtyka, Pastor, Upper Room Church & Communities International; Margaret MacDonald, Senior Pastor, Emmanuel Christian Centre; Pastor Norman Wright, New Life Christian Fellowship, Part of The Apostolic Church UK; Pastors Jim and Myra Gibson, Freedom City Church, Glasgow; Chris Greenhalgh Pastor, Life Church Paisley; , Senior Pastor at Destiny Ministries; Sue Owen, Senior Pastor at Destiny Ministries; Liam Smith Lead Pastor, Destiny Europe; Craig Denham Lead Pastor, Destiny Southside; Phil Everitt Pastor, BOLD Church; Bayile Adeoti Pastor, Destiny City; Sam Adeoti Pastor, Destiny City; Josie Hogg Pastor, Destiny Rutherglen; Fiona Schubert Pastor, Destiny Clydebank; Andy Brady Pastor, Destiny Westend; Razvan Drulea Pastor, Destiny Stirling; Djeef Nyembo Pastor, Destiny Aberdeen; Gil Lobato Pastor, Destiny London; Gordon Mackintosh Pastor, Destiny Inverness;Ian Batt Pastor, Destiny Falkirk;Tim Brown, Lead Pastor, Destiny Northeast;Colin Murray, Pastor Destiny Portsoy; Dan Owen, Business Manager Destiny Glasgow;Ivan Squillino, Staff, Destiny Glasgow.