US ‘death to gays’ preacher Steven Anderson has been banned from visiting most of Europe, officials in the Netherlands have been confirmed.
Dutch security minister Mark Harbers confirmed he had taken steps to exclude Arizona pastor Steven Anderson, who is known for his incitements to anti-gay violence, from entering the Netherlands ahead of a planned May 23 visit as part of a European tour.
Steven Anderson not welcome in Europe’s Schengen area
In a statement to the Dutch Parliament on Wednesday (May 1), Habers revealed he has “taken measures to prevent the person concerned from entering the Schengen area,” the common European travel area consisting of 26 countries.
He said: “There is no place in a democratic nation like ours for discrimination, incitement to hatred or intolerance and violence on any grounds.
“Civil liberties are not a license for intolerant behaviour that limits the freedoms of others.
“The government is committed to taking strong action against extremist speakers who, by spreading their beliefs. restrict the freedoms of others or incite people to hatred or violence.”
Preacher has ‘extreme’ anti-LGBT beliefs
In a previous sermon, Anderson 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.”
Anderson also openly celebrated the Orlando massacre at the Pulse gay club, 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.”
The preacher, who has previously been banned from entering Canada, Botswana, Jamaica, South Africa, and the United Kingdom, took to social media to note that he is now banned from more than 30 countries after the Schengen zone restriction.
In a YouTube video on Thursday (May 2), he said: “I just got the official notice that I am banned from the Netherlands and the entire Schengen Area, basically most of mainland Europe.
“With these 26 new countries I’m banned from, I’m banned from a total of 31 countries. When it comes to the events coming up in May, I’m not going to make it to the Netherlands, I’m not going to make it to Sweden.”
In addition to the Netherlands, the ban prevents Anderson from entering Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, or Switzerland.
However, Anderson says he still plans on going to preach in Ireland, which is not part of the Schengen area, and is yet to issue an official ban despite a campaign to do so.
Anderson has more than 100,000 subscribers on YouTube, where he evangelises his anti-LGBT beliefs to a diehard following.
He added: “We should rejoice at persecution. I know people are disappointed they’re not going to meet me, but it’s not about me… it’s about the preaching of God’s word.”