The church that invited homophobic South African preacher Angus Buchan to speak in Scotland has cancelled the event following international condemnation.
The evangelical Hope Church in Tweedbank was set to host Buchan on 22 August at the Volunteer Hall in the town of Galashiels as part of his UK tour, from 21 to 28 August.
Activists mounted a campaign against the visit, leading the venue earlier this week to refuse to allow his talk to go ahead on its premises.
While the church could have tried to find another venue, it has heeded the anger of the LGBT community and has decided to cancel the event completely, reports Kaleidoscot.
Pastor Michael McLeister, of Hope Church at Galashiels, told the site: “For the sake of the gospel, peace and relationships in our community Hope Church have decided not to run this Angus Buchan Event.”
Susan Hart from the group Scottish Borders LGBT Equality thanked the church for its decision.
“We appreciate that they have considered the issues and have taken what we know was a very difficult decision for them to make but which nonetheless acknowledges the importance of reflecting the values of our community here in the Scottish Borders,” she said.
Buchan is set to make appearances in England, Northern Ireland, and the Republic of Ireland and will hold a three-day Mighty Men Conference in North Yorkshire, but these are also under threat.
The preacher is now facing opposition to the other events, with news that Patrick O’Neill, the mayor of Kilkenny in Ireland, has announced that he will sign a petition objecting to Buchan’s talk planned in his town on Wednesday.
Buchan, a Zimbabwe-born farmer and evangelist of Scottish descent who now lives in KwaZulu-Natal, 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. 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.