A pastor who celebrated the Orlando massacre was reportedly banned from travelling through the United Kingdom as he attempted to get to Africa.
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.”
He openly celebrated the Orlando massacre earlier this year, 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!”
The pastor planned to head to South Africa this month to convert more people to his extreme cause – but was banned from the country earlier this week.
Following the news, it has since emerged that Anderson was also blocked from entering the UK for onward travel.
In a video blog, he recalled: “Monday morning I showed up for my flight, which was going to connect through London and take me to Johannesburg, South Africa.
“I got there, checked my bags, gave my passport, went through security… and I’m sitting outside the gate when I get paged by security.
“They tell me that the United Kingdom has banned me from entering the country and that I can’t even have a connecting flight in London. Not only am I banned from the UK, but I can’t even go to the London airport.
“They had to give me a whole new itinerary to bypass London, so I wasn’t going to go until today. Overnight, the message came through that South Africa has banned me from entering the country, so I had to re-route my whole plans.”
However, he pushed ahead with his trip to Africa, finding a route to Botswana “through some other African countries”.
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He added: “I’m still excited for what we’re doing in Botswana… it’s too bad that South Africa fell through because they banned me personally.
“But at the end of the day, it’s no skin off my back. I wasn’t really that excited about visiting their so-called beautiful country which is the rape capital of the world.
“It’s one of the most dangerous, wicked places in the entire world. I was actually going there for their sakes. I was trying to bring the gospel to the lost.”
He added that Botswana, which already criminalises homosexuality and jails gay people for up to seven years, was a “way more receptive place” for his message.
Ironically, the news comes the same day that Prime Minister Theresa May attacked ‘safe space’ policies at universities that prevent anti-LGBT figures from speaking there.
Speaking in Parliament, the PM said: “We want our universities not just to be places of learning, but to be places where there can be open debate which is challenged and people can get involved in that.
“I think everybody is finding this concept of safe spaces quite extraordinary.
“We want to see that innovation of thought taking place in our universities; that is how we develop as a country, as a society and as an economy,”