A preacher renowned for virulently anti-LGBT sermons, extreme anti-Semitic views and celebrations of violence against his enemies has been banned from Ireland following public outcry over his impending appearance later this month.
Pastor Steven Anderson, who runs Faithful Word Baptist Church in Arizona USA, was supposed to preach in Dublin on May 26 as part of a multinational tour. His website, however, did not specify the time or venue.
But after an online petition to “prevent the hate pastor” from appearing in Ireland garnered more than 14,000 signatures, an Irish judge tapped a never-before-used exclusionary order from the country’s 1999 Immigration Act to ban him, according to the BBC.
“I have signed the exclusion order under my executive powers in the interests of public policy,” Irish Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan said in a statement.
The department later confirmed it was the first time an exclusion order had been effected in the 20 years since it was enacted.
Ireland is the 32nd country to refuse cleric’s entry because of his extreme views.
Pastor Steven Anderson first came to public prominence in 2009 when telling his congregation he had prayed for the death of then President Barack Obama.
Since then, he hasn’t made many headlines for a few years, but the vile content of his sermons seems to cause an uproar wherever he decides to preach.
In 2016, he was arrested and deported from Botswana after joining a local radio station to declare that gays and lesbians should be killed. He’d also celebrated the gunman who killed 49 people at the gay nightclub Pulse in Orlando.
He was also banned from South Africa, which declared he and his congregation “undesirable persons,” according to CNN.
Another sermon he was supposed to give in Amsterdam this month was also stymied, as officials in the Netherlands last week moved to bar Anderson from entering that country, too, according to local media.
Anderson’s hateful sermons, which include calling Jews “anti-Christs” and using homophobic slurs to promote violence against the LGBTQ communities (he has also made an anti-semitic film promoting Holocaust denial, according to the Anti-Defamation League.), has landed him and his congregation in the Southern Poverty Law Center’s list of hate groups.
According to a doctrinal statement on Anderson’s website, his congregation opposes worldliness, modernism, formalism, and liberalism and believes that homosexuality is a sin and an abomination which God punishes with the death penalty.
“Don’t expect anything contemporary or liberal,” declares Anderson, “we are an old-fashioned, independent, fundamental, King James Bible only, soul-winning Baptist church.”
But he fell off the mainstream radar after his 2016 comments, until earlier this year, when a fellow extremist pastor named Donnie Romero resigned from his post in Texas after allegations that he solicited prostitution.
During a sermon in January, Anderson elaborated on the allegations against Romero, whom he had preached with:
“Basically, the major sin involved was being with prostitutes, and then there were also marijuana and gambling that were also discovered,” Anderson said on Jan. 3.
The pastor, whose church has a literal belief of the King James version of the Bible, has already been banned from most EU countries, most recently the Netherlands, and from South Africa. He has also been the subject of an exclusion order in the UK.
Anderson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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