The leader of the South African Christian Democratic Party has said that Archbishop Desmond Tutu is “out of order” for his statement on Friday that he would rather go to Hell than worship a homophobic God.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, famous for his role in ending Apartheid, said on Friday: “I would not worship a God who is homophobic and that is how deeply I feel about this. I am as passionate about this campaign as I ever was about Apartheid. For me, it is at the same level.”

According to a statement on Wednesday, the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) leader Kenneth Meshoe condemned the Archbishop’s comments as “out of order.”

He said: “Archbishop Desmond Tutu is out of order when he alleged that God is a homophobic God, and that he finds fault with scriptures that teach that homosexual lifestyle is a sin before God”.

“We ask Archbishop Tutu not to confuse people who respect the scriptures,” he added, and also advised the Archbishop to “keep his unbelief to himself if he does not believe in the teaching of the Holy Bible”.

Back in 2006, the Reverend Kenneth Meshoe warned that it would “provoke God’s anger” after it was announced that South Africa had passed a law allowing same-sex unions.

The ACPD also marched against same-sex marriage earlier that same year, with one MP of the party claiming that: “The institution of marriage has been the cornerstone of civilized society for thousands of years.”

On Friday, Desmond Tutu said: “We have to build a society that is accepting and it is not a free society until every single person knows they are acknowledged and accepted for who they are.”

He said: “Can you imagine me having said it’s unjust to penalise something they cannot do anything about, their race or gender, and then to keep quiet when people are hounded, people are killed, because of their sexual orientation?”

South Africa is the only African country that recognises gay rights and allows same-sex marriage. However, homophobic violence remains a key problem throughout the nation.