Steven Anderson, the founder of the Faithful World Baptist Church, has been banned from visiting Australia by the country’s government. The Arizona pastor had been planning on visiting in November as part of a missionary trip to local Baptist churches. This is the 33rd country he has been banned from.
Anderson broke the news of his ban on YouTube, “I’m banned from Australia. My [visa] was denied by Australia. I’m not going to be permitted to enter the country.”
Anderson further voiced his intentions to visit New Zealand, “I’m planning on flying out to New Zealand this November, basically the same dates… so I’m just gonna shift it over to New Zealand”. He wants Australian people to “just hop over the water and participate [there instead]”.
In May 2019, Anderson became the first person to be banned from Ireland by exclusion powers. The announcement of his visit was met by an online petition for his ban, gaining 14,000 signatures. Irish Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan signed the exclusion.
After the Pulse nightclub shooting in 2016, Anderson openly praised the shooters’ actions. Speaking to his congregation, he said, “There is a full-on war going on! A bunch of filthy sodomite perverts – if you don’t like it get out of here -are at war with us!”.
Previously, Steven Anderson has been banned from Canada, Jamaica, United Kingdom, South Africa, and Botswana. Following a request from the Netherlands, the Schengen area, consisting of 26 countries, handed him an exclusion.
Though the physical areas in which he can travel are growing smaller, his online platform continues to grow with 121,000 subscribers online. He uses the platform to preach his anti-LGBT+ rhetoric.
The Southern Poverty Law Centre has listed his church as an active anti-LGBT+ hate group. Anderson gained media attention following his prayer for President Barack Obama’s death in 2009.
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