As South Africans try to block an American gay hate pastor from coming to the country, it seems we are also exporting our own anti-gay religious rhetoric.
International activists have mounted a campaign urging a Scottish church to reject KwaZulu-Natal Christian preacher Angus Buchan, who is embarking on a UK tour.
Buchan, a Zimbabwe-born farmer and evangelist of Scottish descent who now lives in Greytown, is known for his conservative views on gender roles and his condemnation of homosexuality.
He believes that homosexuality can be “cured” through prayer and that same-sex marriage is sinful.
“I cannot ever agree that homosexuality is right, I cannot bless it. I love them though, but they need help. We have prayed for them and God has changed their hearts,” he said in 2008.
Buchan, who attracts thousands of men to his so-called Mighty Men Conferences, also preaches that men should rule the home and teach their wives to know their place.
He has been invited by the evangelical Hope Church in Tweedbank to speak on 22 August at the Galashiels in Scotland as one of his tour engagements in the UK from 21 to 28 August.
British LGBT rights activist, Peter Tatchell, told KaleidoScot: “I am very disappointed that Hope Church invited a preacher who expressed misogynistic and homophobic views.
“His belief that gay people need help and can be ‘cured’ is false and harmful, as are his views about ‘traditional’ gender-roles.”
Activist, Ward Councillor and Pastor Shaine Griqua, Executive Director at Legbo Northern Cape, commented that: “People like Buchan are the reason why some churches fail to have an open dialogue on LGBTI and other important social issues. His understanding of Christianity is selective and ill-informed, crude and benighted. His unacceptable views are very damaging.”
California-based South African-born activist Melanie Nathan, Executive Director of The African Human Rights Coalition, called for Buchan to be banned from entering the UK.
“Buchan is a great danger to those he targets with his abusive rhetoric. It serves to hurt many while lining his pockets,” she told KaleidoScot. “There ought to be a way to stop the spread of the harm he continues to cause through his travels and to this end he should be denied entry to the UK.
Speaking to Herald Scotland, Hope Church Senior Pastor Mike McLeister claimed that “we as a church steer well clear of homophobic organisations and events”.
He went on to say, however, that An Evening with Angus Buchan would go ahead: “We are very excited about Angus’s visit.”
In South Africa, activists have launched a similar campaign in a bid to stop American Pastor Steven Anderson from visiting the country on 18 September to “win souls” for his hateful cause.
Anderson preaches that gay people should be executed and praised the Orlando massacre as “good news” because “there’s 50 less paedophiles in this world”.
More than 54,000 people have signed two petitions calling for Home Affairs to block his visit. You can sign them here and here.