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Franklin Graham Meets With Black Church Leaders

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CHARLOTTE, NC - MAY 31: Franklin Graham, son of Evangelist Billy Graham, addresses the audience from the stage during the Billy Graham Library Dedication Service on May 31, 2007 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Approximately 1500 guests, including former U.S. Presidents Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, attended the private dedication ceremony for the library, which chronicles the life and teachings of Evangelist Billy Graham. (Photo by Davis Turner/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NC - MAY 31: Franklin Graham, son of Evangelist Billy Graham, addresses the audience from the stage during the Billy Graham Library Dedication Service on May 31, 2007 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Approximately 1500 guests, including former U.S. Presidents Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, attended the private dedication ceremony for the library, which chronicles the life and teachings of Evangelist Billy Graham. (Photo by Davis Turner/Getty Images)

By Adelle M. Banks
Religion News Service

(RNS) Religious leaders from the NAACP met with evangelist Franklin Graham Tuesday (March 20), less than a month after they accused him of "bearing false witness" when he questioned President Obama's Christian faith.

"All parties were in agreement that it is essential to our society and our faith that we refrain from demonizing Christians and people of other faiths when they do not agree with us," said the Rev. Nelson B. Rivers III, a NAACP vice president, in a statement released after the meeting at the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, N.C.

"We look forward to continued discussions with Rev. Graham."

On Feb. 28, prominent clergy from the NAACP accused Graham of "bearing false witness" and inciting racial discord when he said he couldn't say whether Obama is a Christian and added that "under Islamic law, the Muslim world sees Barack Obama as a Muslim."

Later the same day, Graham issued an apology, saying, "I regret any comments I have ever made which may have cast any doubt on the personal faith of our president, Mr. Obama."

On Tuesday, the evangelist and son of Billy Graham expressed appreciation for the meeting.

"While we may agree to disagree on certain political issues we agreed to work together against injustice both in and outside the United States," he said in the joint statement. "I look forward to continuing the dialogue we began today."

The statement said the leaders discussed "the use of faith as a political weapon" and creating "a new narrative about evangelicalism."

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