Controversial pastor Steven Anderson preaches in his Church in 2017.
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Ireland has barred controversial American pastor Steven Anderson from entering Ireland, The New York Times reported on Tuesday.
Anderson, who is known for using antisemitic and anti-gay tropes, has been banned from entering South Africa, Botswana, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, parts of the EU and Canada.
He had recent plans to visit both Jamaica and Malawi, but both governments made it clear that he was not welcome and would be banned from both countries.
According to the Times, Ireland’s Justice and Equality Minister, Charlie Flanagan, issued a statement on Sunday saying that he had signed the order barring Anderson, who founded Faithful Word Baptist Church, “under my executive powers in the interests of public policy.”
Anderson's Faithful Word Baptist Church, located in Arizona, is listed as an anti-gay hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, a non-profit US legal advocacy organization.
He expressed support for the 2016 shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, in which 49 people were killed, and gained fame in 2009 for his "Why I hate Barack Obama" video.
He is also a vehement Holocaust denier and has said several times that the Jewish messiah is the anti-Christ.
The newspaper also reported Anderson as saying in a video in March that he was planning to meet old and new supporters while visiting Europe to share meals, preach and “go soul hunting” for new converts on the streets.
“I know that a lot of you out there in Europe are in a bit of a spiritual wilderness,” he said.
Changing Attitude Ireland and several other gay rights activists and groups started an online petition calling for Anderson's ban. It garnered some 14,150 signature.
The groups all welcomed Flanagan's decision, the Times added.
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