POLITICS

Anti-Gay Pastor Steven Anderson Banned From Ireland

The hate-spewing pastor has repeatedly called for the deaths of gay people and prayed for the death of Barack Obama.
Pastor Steven Anderson.
Pastor Steven Anderson.

Steven Anderson, a bigoted pastor known for his anti-gay sermons and celebrations of violence against his enemies, has been banned from Ireland following public outcry over his impending appearance later this month.

Anderson, who runs Faithful Word Baptist Church in Arizona, was supposed to preach in Dublin on May 26 as part of a multinational tour, according to his website.

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,” said Irish Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan in a statement.

Anderson 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 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.

Previously, he prayed for the death of former president Barack Obama, and celebrated the gunman who killed 49 people at the gay nightclub Pulse in Orlando in 2016. At the time, the gunman claimed he did so in the name of the Islamic state.

Anderson’s hateful sermons, which include calling Jews “anti-Christs” and using homophobic slurs to promote violence against the LGBTQ communities, 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.”

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.

Anderson didn’t respond to HuffPost’s request for a comment for this story.

This has been updated with information about the Netherlands moving to ban Anderson from entering the country.

 
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