OTR Interviews

Rev. Franklin Graham: 'People are dying for their faith'

'Christians Under Attack': The Rev. Franklin Graham on the global persecution Christians face against Islam extremists and why it's escalating


This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," August 15, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: ISIS forcing thousands and thousands of Iraqi Christians to run for their lives. But it's not just Iraq. Christians in Sudan also know the terror of religious persecution. And we visited the Sudanese refugees along with Reverend Franklin Graham in 2012.


VAN SUSTEREN: President Bashir of Sudan is bombing their homes, leaving their homes walking for days. They have malnutrition. You can see this poor child, you can see with her skin and her face. But this is not unusual. The Sudanese government launching air strikes, murdering Christians and Muslims in the Nuba Mountains. They are hiding out in caves because the planes overhead will come in and they run the risk that hey can be found. Home, school, churches all bombed. Reverend Graham and I visiting the center of it all.

THE REVEREND FRANKLIN GRAHAM, PRESIDENT AND CEO OF SAMARITAN'S PURSE: You see the mounds have dirt out here, those are fresh graves of people that died right here where we are standing.

VAN SUSTEREN: As you can see it is absolutely devastating what's happening to the people of this country. But it's not just Sudan, millions of Syrians caught in the crosshairs of a brutal civil war, ending up in refugee camps like this one in Iraq.

GRAHAM: Any of these people feel that maybe God has forgotten them or maybe they have done something to make God angry for them to be in a camp like this.

VAN SUSTEREN: And now, thousands and thousands of Christians there forced to flee again, facing imminent execution by Islamic terrorists that have taken the country.


VAN SUSTEREN: And we just spoke with Reverend Franklin Graham about Christians and others under attack around the world.


VAN SUSTEREN: So, you know, when you and I were in Erbil in December, it was so different than what it's like right now. And it shows the speed with which things can change. The speed with which this attempt, this persecution of Christians is growing. That's what is so stunning to me. In just a few months, so much has changed just there.

GRAHAM: Greta, it has. It's intensifying. We are seeing now across Syria. And I will get reports out of Syria where Christians and also in Iraq where Christians have been crucified. They have been beheaded. I have heard incidences where entire families have been buried alive because of they refused to convert to Islam. Greta, these people are dying for their faith. They believe that Jesus Christ is God's son. Who died for our sins who was buried for our sins who God raised to life. And they are being persecuted and they're being killed for their faith. And there are Muslim people too who are fleeing because they do not want to live under this kind of regime. And this is Islam. And people who follow the Koran, the Koran gives them the basis for doing this.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, how come they are persecuting Muslims as well, if the Muslims -- they all follow the Koran, how come some Muslims are getting persecuted as well?

GRAHAM: Well, they're not being persecuted but they're just running. They just don't want to live under this. They don't want to see people beheaded, they don't want to see crucified and buried alive. They don't want their children to see these kind of massacres and to grow up with this hatred. And so, they are running because they don't want to live under it. And we've seen this happen in many places. Even in -- when we were in the Nuba Mountains, a lot of those soldiers we were with, Greta, those were Muslims and they were fighting President Bashir because they did not want to live under Sharia law, under Islamic law.

VAN SUSTEREN: What is that it that President Obama or politicians can do to try to stop this? Because this does seem -- I mean, this -- at least the numbers are growing.

GRAHAM: Greta, they only respond to force. I think the president is making -- taking the right steps when he started bombing these militant groups. And I think we`re going to have to continue to do that and unfortunately, I think there's going to have to be more soldiers on the ground, not necessarily for combat, but to support the air strikes and targeting these air strikes. I think there's going to have to be a much larger U.S. involvement militarily.

VAN SUSTEREN: Reverend Graham, nice to talk to you as always. Thank you, sir.

GRAHAM: Thank you, Greta.