Pastor Steven L Anderson
An American hate preacher who has repeatedly called for the murder of gays and lesbians is set to visit South Africa in September to add more followers to his twisted brand of Christianity.
Pastor Steven L Anderson of Tempe’s Faithful Word Baptist Church has called AIDs “the judgement of God” and stated that killing gay people would free the world from the epidemic.
“…if you executed the homos like God recommends, you wouldn’t have all this AIDS running rampant,” he famously said in 2014.
Most recently, Anderson praised the slaughter of 49 (at first thought to be 50) people at the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando
“The good news is that there’s 50 less paedophiles in this world, because, you know, these homosexuals are a bunch of disgusting perverts and paedophiles,” he proclaimed in a YouTube video the day after the massacre.
According to this Facebook event page, Anderson is among 20 or so Americans and Canadians coming to Johannesburg to hold a “soul-winning marathon” on Sunday, September 18.
Based on Anderson’s website, Soul-Winning appears to be an intrusive process in which his church members preach to people, often knocking door to door, in a bid to convince them to turn to God or Christ.
The day long event will include a breakfast and fellowship at the Spur in Festival Mall, lunch at Wimpy at the mall to “prepare for another round of soul-winning” and a church service at the Premier Hotel OR Tambo, where Anderson will preach.
Hendrik Baird, the Station Manager at GaySA Radio is appalled that Anderson will be coming to South Africa to promote hate Christianity. He has started a petition calling on the Department of International Relations and Cooperation to refuse to allow Anderson entry into South Africa
“I think there are already high levels of homophobia in South Africa and in the wake of Orlando we don’t want anyone to stoke more hate that could lead to violence against LGBTI people,” he told Mambaonline.
Baird said that while some may believe that Anderson is entitled to freedom of speech, “there is a difference between hate speech and free speech and if someone is known to call for the death of LGBTI people I don’t think he should be welcome in a country that constitutionally protects LGBTI people.”
Baird has also written to Spur, Wimpy, Festival Mall and the Premier Hotel OR Tambo making them aware of Anderson’s plans and urging them to take action.
Wimpy replied in an e-mail that,”unfortunately we are unable to refuse him entry, however we have written to him to ensure that he is aware that we do not permit any preaching or religious gathering in a Wimpy restaurant.”
“We have also informed the store owners and operational support team, to ensure they are aware of the situation,” said Wimpy Marketing Manager Luise Peters.
Lee-Anne Leathley, Marketing Manager at Festival Mall, also responded: “Thanks for alerting us to this. We will monitor it.”
Neither the hotel nor Spur, which was embroiled in an alleged homophobic incident last month at a branch in Pretoria, have yet gotten back to Baird.
Baird noted that visits and campaigns by Christian evangelists from the US have been blamed for the spike in homophobia and the enactment of anti-gay legislation in Uganda and fears the same could happen here.
“They swayed certain influential decision makers to try to impose the death penalty, and we don’t want someone here to be working to take away our rights under the guise of Christianity,” he said.
Baird’s bid to block Anderson’s visit is not unprecedented; countries such as the UK and Australia have been known to deny visas to gay hate preachers. You can sign the petition to keep Anderson out of South African here.