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Billy Graham's website removes 'cult' comment about Mormons

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SALT LAKE CITY — The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association has removed language from its website referring to Mormonism as a cult.

The article was deleted following a visit by Mitt Romney to Graham's Montreat, N.C. home Oct. 11.

Graham's chief of staff, Ken Barun, released a statement saying, "We removed the information from the website because we do not wish to participate in a theological debate about something that has become politicized during this campaign."

After their meeting, Graham, 93, issued a statement that said in part, "What impresses me even more than Gov. Romney's successful career are his values and strong moral convictions."

"It was a privilege to pray with Gov. Romney—for his family and our country," Graham added.

A Romney campaign staffer said Graham pledged to do all he can to help Romney's presidential campaign.

After that meeting, a gay rights group pointed out that the "cult" reference remained online, even after Graham's positive comments about Romney's bid for the White House. The statement was removed after that.

The website also classifies Unitarians, Jehovah's Witnesses, Scientologists, Spiritists and members of the Unification Church as cults.

Billy Graham's son, Franklin Graham, wrote a column for Decision magazine that concludes Evangelical Christians can indeed vote for a Mormon.

"While there are major differences in the theology of evangelical Christians and that of Mormons, as well as those who practice the Catholic faith or the Jewish faith, we do share common values that are biblically based," he wrote.

"I pray that all Christians and God-fearing Americans, will put aside labels and vote for principles - God's principles - that for many years have resulted in His blessing upon our nation," he added.

Surveys show that most evangelicals do not consider Mormons to be Christian. Many of them, however, support Romney's candidacy.

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Linda Williams


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