Ireland has banned controversial U.S.
preacher Steven Anderson from entering the nation.
According to CNN, Irish Minister for
Justice Charlie Flanagan signed an exclusion order under the
Immigration Act of 1999 on May 10 that bars Anderson from entering
Flanagan said in a statement that he
signed the order “in the interests of public safety.”
The move is a response to protests over
a planned appearance in Dublin on May 26. More than 14,000 people
signed an online petition calling on the government to prohibit
Anderson, who runs Faithful Word Baptist Church in Tempe, Arizona,
from entering Ireland.
“Steven Anderson is a
Holocaust-denier, Islamophobe, and anti-LGBT+ extremist who is
scheduled to preach in Dublin, Ireland on May 26, 2019, possibly in
an attempt to get people to change their minds on last year's
abortion referendum,” the petition reads. “This petition is for
the people to show that they want Pastor Steven Anderson banned from
entering the Republic of Ireland.”
In 2009, Anderson told his congregation
that he prays nightly for the death of then-President Barack Obama.
In 2014, he called for the
execution of gay men, calling it a solution to the AIDS epidemic,
and acknowledged that he
“hates” gays. Two years later, he
cheered a mass shooting in an Orlando gay nightclub that left 50
people dead. “There's 50 less pedophiles in the world,” he
said in a video.
Other nations, including South Africa
and the UK, have also barred Anderson from visiting.