Australian rugby international Israel Folau has used Instagram to tell gay people that “HELL AWAITS YOU.”
The picture issues a “warning” to “drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists and idolaters” that “HELL AWAITS YOU.”
Next to the message, which ends: “REPENT! ONLY JESUS SAVES,” Folau wrote: “Those that are living in Sin will end up in Hell unless you repent.
“Jesus Christ loves you and is giving you time to turn away from your sin and come to him.”
On Twitter, he broke more than four months of silence to post a screenshot of a news story about Tasmania’s trans rights reform with the caption: “The devil has blinded so many people in this world, REPENT and turn away from your evil ways.
“Turn to Jesus Christ who will set you free.”
The Instagram picture Folau used appears to originate from Bulldog Ministries, an anti-gay religious group in the US whose followers have protested Pride parades in Texas.
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Israel Folau has a history of making anti-LGBT comments
Folau stood by his stance despite opposition, insisting that it did not mean he was discriminatory. He wrote on Twitter: “I love and respect all people for who they are and their opinions.”
However, just months later in April 2018, he prompted outrage by saying gay people were going to hell “unless they repent of their sins.”
“I think of it this way: you see someone who is about to walk into a hole and have the chance to save him.”
— Israel Folau
A number of other rugby players—and Riverdale star KJ Apa—condemned his comments, but Folau remained defiant, even tweeting a cryptic Bible verse about ‘persecuted’ Christians.
Rugby Australia bosses decided to take no action against the star.
And writing on sport news site Players Voice—where he is a founding contributor—Folau rejected the idea that he was a homophobe.
“I think of it this way: you see someone who is about to walk into a hole and have the chance to save him,” he said.
“He might be determined to maintain his course and doesn’t want to hear what you have to say. But if you don’t tell him the truth, as unpopular as it might be, he is going to fall into that hole. What do you do?”