Pastor who celebrated Orlando massacre heads to South Africa to recruit ‘souls’
An evangelical US pastor who celebrated the massacre in Orlando is heading to South Africa to recruit.
Pastor Steven Anderson of the Faithful Word Baptist Church in Phoenix is one of America’s most homophobic pastors.
In a previous sermon he directly called for the execution of gay people by stoning, claiming: “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them. That, my friends, is the cure for AIDS. It was right there in the Bible all along.”
He openly celebrated the Orlando massacre last month, telling his congregation: “The good news is that there’s 50 less paedophiles in this world, because, you know, these homosexuals are a bunch of disgusting perverts and paedophiles.
“That’s who was a victim here… just a disgusting homosexuals at a gay bar.”
Praising the actions of the shooter, he said: “There is a full-on war going on! A bunch of filthy sodomite perverts are at war with us!”
Though his comments sparked outrage, Anderson has continued to attract a diehard following – and is now planning to head to South Africa to convert more people to his extreme anti-LGBT cause.
South African LGBT website MambaOnline raised the alarm over the planned visit Johannesburg set for September.
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A Facebook event created by Anderson’s church states: “Steven L Anderson… and about 20 or so others from the US and Canada will be coming to Johannesburg and holding a soul-winning marathon on Sunday, September 18, 2016.”
It lists several high-profile events at which Anderson is expected to speak.
Hendrik Baird, the Station Manager at GaySA Radio, has started a petition calling on the South African government to deny Anderson entry under hate speech laws.
He told MambaOnline: “I think there are already high levels of homophobia in South Africa and in the wake of Orlando we don’t want anyone to stoke more hate that could lead to violence against LGBTI people.
“There is a difference between hate speech and free speech and if someone is known to call for the death of LGBTI people I don’t think he should be welcome in a country that constitutionally protects LGBTI people.”
One of the venues listed by Anderson for his sermons – the Premier Hotel OR Tambo – has confirmed that his booking has been cancelled.
The hotel chain confirmed: “This decision was taken when it was brought to our attention that some of the contents of his sermons contradict the Bill of Rights contained within the South African constitution. This particularly relates to clause 9.3 which states that ‘No person may unfairly discriminate directly or indirectly against anyone on one or more grounds, including…sexual orientation…’
“As a South African company, we support the democratic values of human dignity, equality and freedom laid out in this cornerstone of our country’s democracy. We reserve the right of admission to any of our properties and will be exercising this right in this instance.”