North Korean State Media Claims Billy Graham Called Late Leader a God

Two pins featuring former North Korean leader Kim Il Sung wearing different facial expressions.
Two pins featuring former North Korean leader Kim Il Sung wearing different facial expressions. (Reuters)

North Korea state media boldly declared famed evangelist Billy Graham said deceased leader Kim Il Sung was God and that the people did not need to read the Bible.  

The statements, originally attributed to NK News, claimed Graham said, "I admit that Premier Kim Il Sung is God who exists in the world of human beings ... he, with his supreme political belief and method has created the greatest heaven on Earth that even God might have not been able to do."

Later, Graham supposedly commented: "Kim Il Sung is this world's God. Why would this country need the Holy Bible?" 

But these comments fly directly in the face of Graham's teachings.  

"No other book is as important as the Bible, because it is God's word—God's message—to you, and to all humanity," Graham wrote in one advice column.

Though the 97-year-old traveled to North Korea as a missionary, a spokesperson for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association says, "Mr. Graham has not said anything like this. These words do not even remotely resemble Mr. Graham's theology or his language."

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