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South Africa: homophobic US pastor banned from the country

(AGI) - Cape Town, Sep 13 - South Africa's Minister of Home Affairs Malusi Gigab...

South Africa: homophobic US pastor banned from the country
 Malusi Gigaba ministro degli interni sudafrica

(AGI) - Cape Town, Sep 13 - South Africa's Minister of Home Affairs Malusi Gigaba today prohibited gay-bashing American pastor Steven Anderson from entering the country. In a press briefing, Gigaba said Anderson, who had been accused of making repeated anti-gay comments, was banned on the basis of hate speech. "The (South African) Immigration Act of 2002 prohibits the admission of foreigners likely to promote hate speech," Gigaba said. He said Anderson and members of his church have been declared as undesirable persons, which, according to the law, means that they are barred from entry into South Africa. Home Affairs last week initially approved the visit of Anderson, saying there would be "serious conditions attached to his visit". But pressure from the South African Human Rights Commission, which petitioned the department to ban Anderson from entering the country, forced him to rethink his decision. The lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) community also handed over two petitions with more than 60 000 signatures to Gigaba in opposition to the pastor's visit. The controversial pastor, who heads up the Faithful Word Baptist Church in Tempe, Arizona, USA, is known for his hateful remarks against homosexuals. After the shooting at the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, this year, Anderson published a video on YouTube in which he stated: "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." And, in December 2014, Anderson preached to followers: "...if you executed the homos like God recommends, you wouldn't have all this Aids running rampant." Last week he called Gigaba a "sodomite" for having met with the LGBT community to discuss his entry into South Africa. He also bashed South African religious leader and Nobel Peace Laureate Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu for accepting homosexuality and not following the Bible's teachings. Anderson, who was scheduled to preach in Johannesburg on 18 September, reacted to being banned on his Facebook page. "I feel sorry for the people of South Africa, but thank God that we still have a wide open door in Botswana (South Africa's neighbour). Stand by for multitudes saved in Botswana, where religious freedom still exists." (AGI) Tig