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What It Takes to Get Banned From South Africa

What It Takes to Get Banned From South Africa

steve anderson
Steven Anderson

South Africa has prevented an American anti-LGBT pastor from entering the country.

A pastor who is known for spreading anti-LGBT hate was barred from entering South Africa Tuesday.

Steven Anderson, the leader of Faithful Word Baptist Church in Tempe, Ariz., was barred after LGBT activists lobbied the government to prevent him from entering the country to spread hate and bigotry. Anderson's church is considered a hate group by the civil rights group Southern Law Poverty Center.

"I feel sorry for people who live in South Africa, but thank God we still have a wide open door in Botswana. Stand by for reports of MULTITUDES saved in Botswana, where religious freedom still exists," wrote Anderson on his personal Facebook page.

Anderson was traveling to South Africa on what his church calls a "soul-winning marathon" mission, reports The Washington Post. Anderson reportedly shifted the focus of his trip away from anti-LGBT rhetoric after LGBT activists in the country spoke out against his visit.

"It's an evangelism campaign. It never had anything to do with homosexuality," Anderson told South African radio station Radio 702, reports the Post. "Only the media, because they're obsessed with homosexuality, has spun it to be all about these perverts." Anderson went on to call some religious leaders in the country, such as retired Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu, "a bunch of perverts."

Anderson's sermons, however, have shown his obsessive hatred of homosexuality. In a 2014 sermon he called for a "holocaust" of LGBT people, saying, "If you executed the homos like God recommends, you wouldn't have all this AIDS running rampant." This year, after the mass shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, he said, "Obviously, it's not right for someone to just shoot up the place because that's not going through the proper channels. But these people all should have been killed anyway."

South African Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba delivered a statement explaining why Anderson was barred from the country. The minister referred to the nation's constitution, saying that foreigners who spew hate or advocate for violence would be denied entry into the country.

"South Africa has to work towards reaching its constitutional values, to build a democratic, united, non-racial, non-sexist and prosperous state. It is a constitutional imperative for organs of state and society at large to protect and jealously defend the rights of all people," wrote the minister.

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