A preacher from a church that refers to the Pope as the Anti-Christ has backed his stance on homosexuality and claimed all people are born heterosexual.

Rev David McIlveen is the leader of Sandown Free Presbyterian Chuch in Belfast.

The Protestant sect was founded by former First Minister of Northern Ireland Rev Ian Paisley, who has regularly denounced the Roman Catholic Church and the Papacy.

Rev McIlveen’s church placed an advert in a Belfast newspaper earlier this year, just before the city’s Pride event, quoting from the Bible and branding homosexuality an abomination.

Last month the Advertising Standards Authority ruled that the advert, which called gay people perverts and called on “religious” people to publicly oppose gay rights and Pride events, broke their rules on decency.

On Monday the Pope said that saving humanity from homosexuality and transgenderism was as important as saving the rain forest.

Today Rev McIlveen told the Belfast News Letter:

“I think that while we recognise the Pope’s position and the sustaining of his Church’s position, we would come from a different angle with regard to the emphasis we have on the Scripture.

“I think it is a natural concern about the continuation of the human race.

“Biologically we are not created to be homosexual, we are created to be heterosexual.

“There is a great deal of sensitivity about whenever the word homosexuality is raised and I think it underlines the insecurity that is found within that community.”