South Africa has announced that it will not grant an entry visa to American homophobic preacher Steven Anderson.
Speaking before lawmakers on Tuesday morning, South African Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba declared, “Mr. Steven Anderson and members and/or associates of his church are prohibited from entering the Republic of South Africa,” the BBC reports.
Gigaba added, “I have identified Steven Anderson as an undesirable person to travel to South Africa.”
The minister said the decision to refuse the preacher a visa is born out of the South African constitution that prohibits hate speech.
Anderson is the pastor in charge of the Faithful Word Baptist Church, which was founded in 2005. The church describes itself as an old-fashioned, independent fundamentalist, King James Bible only, soul-winning Baptist church.
The church has been accused of promoting an extremist doctrine that considers homosexuality an abomination punishable by the death penalty.
Anderson was scheduled to visit South Africa for an evangelical crusade on the invitation of a number of local churches as part of his church’s self-styled “soul-winning marathon” billed to begin on September 18th.
In 2009, Anderson enjoyed nationwide media attention in the United States for his sermon, entitled “Why I Hate Barack Obama,” in which he prayed for the President to die and said that the United States would benefit from Obama’s death.
He later told a reporter that he would not judge or condemn anyone who killed the President.
Reacting to his entry ban, Anderson slammed South African authorities, saying, “I feel sorry for the people who live in South Africa.
“Look at the statistics of the rape, and the murder, and the kidnapping, and the car-jacking and all this wickedness. And then they are worried about me coming over and preaching against sin. They’re worried that I might come over there and preach against perverts, when they’re the rape capital of the world.”
Two separate petitions organised by LGBT and rights activist in South Africa –calling for authorities to refuse Anderson a visa — have gathered more than 60,000 signatories already.
Largely influenced by its dark history of state-sponsored oppression against its citizenry and a desire never to descend to such ignominy again, today, South Africa has embraced one of the most liberal constitutional provisions in the world.
The South African constitution expressly recognizes the rights of minority groups, the LGBT community, and the right of a woman to abortion.