Controversial American Pastor Banned From Entering South Africa
Faithful Word Baptist Church Pastor Steven Anderson talks about being prohibited from entering South Africa in a video sermon posted online. (YouTube)
South Africa banned a controversial American pastor and his associates from visiting, describing them as "undesirable persons" who criticize homosexuality and promote hate speech.
Pastor Steven Anderson made headlines in the US after he praised the shooting that left dozens dead at an Orlando gay club in June.
South Africa's home affairs minister Malusi Gigaba said after consultation with leaders of the nation's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities, he decided Anderson is not welcome there.
Anderson had intended to visit South Africa this week, until he learned of the news.
Americans traveling to South Africa don't need visas as part of a waiver program. Despite the program, the pastor and his associates will not be allowed into the nation.
South Africa became the first country in Africa to legalize gay marriage, in 2006, but Gigaba said the country still has work toward reaching its constitutional value, to build a democratic, united, nonracial, nonsexist and prosperous state.
Anderson leads the Faithful Word Baptist Church in Tempe, Arizona.
Responding to the ban, Anderson said in a Facebook post that he felt sorry for the people of South Africa, but thanked God his team had a wide open door in Botswana.
"Stand by for reports of multitudes saved in Botswana, where religious freedom still exists," he said