Steven L Anderson, an Arizona-based preacher, has become the first person banned from Ireland under the country’s immigration act. Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan, who signed the exclusion order, noted that it was done so in the interest of public policy. Section 4 of Ireland’s Immigration Act 1999 allows for an exclusion if the Minister of Justice “considers it necessary in the interest of national security or public policy.”
First Ever Exclusion Order
This is the first time that the country has put such an exclusion order in place, according to The Irish Times. Mr. Anderson has become known for his homophobic and anti-Semitic tirades in the past few years. One of the most notable came in 2016 after Florida’s Pulse nightclub shooting. In the aftermath, Mr. Anderson praised the shooter. He also became known for announcing he had prayed for Barack Obama’s death in 2009.
Speaking about the Pulse nightclub shooting, where 49 people were killed, Mr. Anderson claimed that there were “50 fewer pedophiles.” He was scheduled to preach to a congregation in Dublin on May 26. However, the venue for the event wasn’t announced. A number of Irish LGBT+ groups, among others, protested and called for Steven L Anderson to be banned under Ireland’s Immigration Act 1999. An online petition received over 14,000 signatures.
Faithful Word Baptist Church
Mr. Anderson is known for his work with the Faithful Word Baptist Church. The church has been known for it’s often homophobic teachings. They describe LGBT people as “abominations which God punishes with the death penalty.” However, Mr. Anderson is known for increasingly more anti-Semitic rants. This hasn’t been limited to his congregation, however. Mr.. Anderson released Holocaust denial videos with titles such as “The Jews and Their Lies” and “Jews Are Anti-Christs.”
While based in Arizone, Mr. Anderson has gained somewhat of a following on Facebook and YouTube. However, Ireland isn’t the only country that Steven L Anderson is banned from; he’s also excluded from the Netherlands, South Africa and the United Kingdom.