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South Africa bars three US hate church members from entering the country

South Africa bars three US hate church members from entering the country

South Africa

Three members of the Faithful Word Baptist Church in Arizona in the United States have been denied entry into South Africa, the country’s Department of Home Affairs announced on Saturday.

The three were denied entry due to a ban placed on their pastor, Steven Anderson, for his hate speeches and anti-gay sentiments.

He was banned from entering South Africa by the Minister for Home Affairs, Malusi Gigaba, on Tuesday after he announced his planned visit.

“Mr Steven Anderson and members and/or associates of his church are prohibited from entering the Republic of South Africa,” Gigaba had said.

According to South African media News24, the Department of Home Affairs spokesperson Mayihlome Tshwete said one of the three was stopped at Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport, while another was prevented in Germany from travelling to South Africa.

He added that the third person was still trying to get into the country.

The church gained international attention in 2009 when Pastor Steven Anderson declared hatred for Barack Obama in a sermon and wished for his death.

He had gone on to attack France after the Paris attacks in 2015 and also the US after the Orlando nightclub shooting in 2016 where he called the victims “pedophiles”.

Anderson is also reported to have been banned this month from entering the United Kingdom for praising the Orlando shooter.