Published: Tue, May 14, 2019
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Antisemitic US Preacher Becomes First Person Banned From Entering Ireland

Antisemitic US Preacher Becomes First Person Banned From Entering Ireland

Steven Anderson, who runs Faithful Word Baptist Church in Tempe, Arizona, was due to preach in Dublin on May 26, according to his website.

However, an online petition calling for Mr Anderson to be banned from Ireland was created in response, and gained 14,000 signatures.

Ireland's Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan signed the exclusion order ahead of his planned May 26 trip to Ireland, where he planned to give a public sermon.

The Minister said: "I have signed the exclusion order under my executive powers in the interests of public policy".

Anderson's Faithful Word Baptist Church is listed as an anti-gay hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, a non-profit U.S. legal advocacy organization.

This marks the first time anyone has been banned from the country under the exclusion powers that date back to 1999. He was the subject of a brief media firestorm in 2009 after he prayed for the death of former President Barack Obama.

LGBT Ireland thanked Flanagan for the decision, as well as thanking fellow LGBTQ rights group All Out, and Gay Community News, an LGBTQ publication, for helping to call for Anderson's banning.

Mr Anderson has 10 children and set up the church on Christmas Day, 2005.

Mr Anderson claims to have his materials translated into more than 115 languages.

Anderson also seemingly praised the Pulse Nightclub shooter, who killed 49 people in Orlando, Fla., in June 2016. Should Anderson be banned from traveling to preach his beliefs? "We are an old-fashioned, independent, fundamental, King James Bible only, soul-winning Baptist church". He has already been banned from other countries including the United Kingdom, Malawi, South Africa, Canada, Jamaica, and all other European Union countries. He does not have a college degree but has "well over 140 chapters of the Bible memorised word-for-word", the website claims.

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