Pastor Steven Anderson who founded the Faithful Word Baptist Church has been blocked from coming into Ireland thanks to the country's Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan.
A far-right pastor from Arizona known for his anti-gay rhetoric has been banned from entering Ireland. It is the first time a person has been banned from entering the country.
According to a report by The Irish Times, Pastor Steven Anderson who founded the Faithful Word Baptist Church in Tempe, Arizona, has been blocked from coming into Ireland thanks to the country's Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan, who signed an order blocking the evangelical figure from entering Ireland.
The far-right pastor, who is known for his vicious anti-gay rhetoric, was reportedly scheduled for a trip to Dublin on May 26, where he planned to preach to a congregation there. Anderson is known for his open praise of violence toward the LGBTQ community and even praised the horrific 2016 massacre in Orlando which was targeted at a gay nightclub.
Anderson was quoted saying that there are now '50 less pedophiles' in the world after the horrific attack. "Obviously, it’s not right for somebody to just, you know, shoot up the place, because that’s not going through the proper channels," he said in a video that was posted on his YouTube channel. "But these people all should have been killed, anyway, but they should have been killed through the proper channels, as in they should have been executed by a righteous government that would have tried them, convicted them, and saw them executed."
Following the minister's ban, Anderson will not be able to enter Ireland. Minister Charlie Flanagan signed an order under the country's 1999 Immigration Act and has been carried out for the first time to block the hateful preacher from entering the country. The decision to outlaw the preacher also comes after an online petition by Changing Attitudes Ireland gained 14,000 signatures, banning Anderson from entering the country.
As a result of his anti-gay rhetoric, Anderson has also been banned from entering other countries such as South Africa, the U.K., Canada, Jamaica as well as all countries within the European Union.