Steven Anderson, the pastor of Tempe, Arizona-based hate group Faithful Word Baptist Church, has been banned from entering Jamaica.
It’s the fifth country that has denied entry to the virulently anti-LGBT and antisemitic pastor in the course of two years, joining Botswana, the UK, Canada and South Africa.
Anderson had planned to visit Jamaica January 29 through February 4 with a group of others on a “missions trip” that would have involved addressing schools. He claimed in a sermon video posted on December 1 to YouTube that a member of his congregation was already in Jamaica making appointments to preach in multiple schools.
Upon learning that Anderson was planning a trip to Jamaica, a local activist launched a petition drive calling on the Jamaican government to bar Anderson; it has been signed by more than 39,000 people.
According to The Guardian, a spokesperson for Jamaica’s Ministry of National Security said that the decision was made by the country’s chief immigration officer because Anderson’s statements “are not conducive to the current climate.” Anderson was also slated to speak at the University of West Indies, but the invitation has been rescinded.
Anderson posted a video to YouTube on January 29 in which he said he had been banned. He said he was on a layover in Atlanta and as soon as the plane landed a flight attendant notified him to speak with a gate agent where he was told that Jamaica was not going to allow him to enter the country.
“I’m pretty surprised,” Anderson said in the video, because of things he’d seen online about Jamaica being “the most homophobic country in the world.” “So it’s pretty weird that I would be banned from Jamaica because of my views on homosexuality.”
He blamed Jamaica’s decision on “an outside influence” such as the United States or the UK. “It just goes to show that we’re heading into a one-world government where individual nations don’t have any say over what they want to do.” He claimed he hadn’t planned to speak about homosexuality and just wanted to preach the gospel and get people saved.
He said a group had already arrived in Jamaica and, as he put it, “they’re tearin’ it up over there, I mean, they’ve been getting a lot of people saved, preaching the gospel to a lot of people.”
Anderson also stated in the January 29 video that he was going to continue on to a different Caribbean country and that he had re-booked his flight.
It’s unclear what Caribbean country Anderson will now visit, though in the past he has made a similar trip in Guyana, though he says he was banned from preaching in public schools in that country.