Controversial pastor Steven Anderson has become the first person banned from Ireland under exclusion powers. The Baptist preacher came to prominence in 2009 for telling his congregation he prayed for the death of President Obama. He holds extreme anti-LGBT and anti-Semitic views
I do hate homosexuals and if hating homosexuals makes our church a hate group then that's what we are.
Anderson has also been vocal in expressing his hate for transgender people, stating during a sermon that he hopes Caitlyn Jenner's heart explodes.
Anderson said that in the November 2015 Paris attacks the victims brought the attack upon themselves by being devil worshipers for attending a concert by the Eagles of Death Metal, and that France was a sinful nation. In a YouTube video posted following the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting, Anderson said it was good that there were 50 fewer paedophiles in this world, but that it was bad that there were survivors. He also said there would be a backlash against gun rights and religious fundamentalism, both Christian and Islamic. Anderson believed the killings should not have been carried out by a vigilante, but rather "through the proper channels by a righteous government".
The pastor's planned to preach to a congregation in Dublin on May 26th but didn't specify the time or venue. Over 14,000 people signed a petition on change.org, to prevent the American 'hate preacher' from preaching in Ireland. The petition highlights that Anderson has previously spoken to crowds on his opinions on women's rights stating that "women are to remain in the home". Due to his strong pro-life beliefs, the petition suggests that his planned visit to Ireland was possibly an attempt to get the public to change their minds on last year's Repeal the 8th referendum.
Minister Charlie Flanagan signed the exclusion order on Sunday with immediate effect, under the Immigration Act 1999. “I have signed the exclusion order under my executive powers in the interests of public policy,” said Mr Flanagan.
Anderson is now banned from all EU member states, and several African countries.