Ireland denies admittance to controversial Tempe pastor
PHOENIX – Another country has denied entry to a Tempe pastor known for making contentious statements on LGBT issues and praying for a president’s death.
The Irish Times reported that Steven Anderson, pastor of Faithful Word Baptist Church, has been banned from Ireland, where he had planned a May 26 speech in Dublin.
Anderson, 37, became the first person to be blocked from the country by exclusion powers. Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan signed the order Sunday.
Exclusion orders went into effect in 1999, allowing the minister for justice to proceed if he or she “considers it necessary in the interest of national security or public policy.”
An online petition demanding Anderson be banned had been signed by 14,000 by early Monday.
The petition was posted four months ago.
Anderson has already been prohibited from going to Austria, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Jamaica, the Netherlands, South Africa and Switzerland and the majority of the European Union.
The Tempe church leader’s inflammatory comments have included praying for then-President Barack Obama’s death and denying the Holocaust happened.
Leaders around the world who have forbidden his visits, citing them to not be “conducive to the current climate,” a Jamaican official said in January 2018, to “Civil liberties are not a license for intolerant behavior that limits the freedoms of others,” the Dutch Parliament said in a statement two weeks ago.